Yakiniku, which means "grilled meat" in Japanese, is a perfect example of a meal that is wonderfully simple yet incredibly satisfying to eat. Although it's easy to make, yakiniku is anything but boring. Learn more about how to make this Japanese barbecue dish and get tips for serving it properly at home.
What Type of Meat Should I Use for Yakiniku?
Yakiniku is best enjoyed with premium meat. The simplicity of the meal is what makes it perfect for enjoying with authentic Wagyu beef. The minimalist cooking process allows the rich, buttery flavors of the Wagyu to really shine. In order to make sure you get the best products, look for A5 Japanese Wagyu, which features the highest quality rating available for this exclusive type of beef.
Keep in mind that you can serve several different cuts of beef for yakiniku. Although beef is the primary focus for this meal, you can also expand your menu to include grilled pork, chicken, seafood or vegetables as well.
How to Prepare Wagyu for Yakiniku
An important part of the yakiniku process is slicing the meat. Generally, the pieces should be very thin. This ensures that the meat retains a melt-in-your-mouth tenderness because it can be grilled evenly throughout in a short amount of time. Great options for this preparation include A5 Ribcap and A5 Short Rib Block.
How to Cook Yakiniku
A small indoor grill is an ideal option for cooking yakiniku. To make it closer to the authentic Japanese experience, where the grill is actually placed at the center of the table, you can combine it with a portable gas burner. A skillet is another option if you do not have a small indoor grill at home.
- Preheat the grill.
- Slice meats thinly and arrange beef, veggies and any other items to be cooked near the grill.
- Place slices of beef on the grill for only a few minutes at most until rare or medium rare.
- Before eating, dip beef in yakiniku sauce, sprinkle it with salt or other seasonings like red pepper flakes, or enjoy it with a bit of wasabi.
Yakiniku Serving Tips
Your Wagyu beef strips should be consumed very soon after coming off the grill. This ensures that they are still warm and tender. The meal can be leisurely, with slices grilled throughout the meal.
Provide individual dishes for the yakiniku sauce so that everyone can dip their beef at their own plate. If grilling at the center of the table, provide tongs or a set of metal chopsticks to each guest for individual grilling.
Although the meat can be enjoyed on its own, there are a number of optional side dishes you can combine with the meal, such as steamed rice, boiled edamame or Japanese potato salad.