Just like yakitori, the traditional cooking method for yakiton is grilling. Speedy and I discovered that in Kyoto while waiting for our girls to finish with their shopping at the souvenir shops near the entrance of Fushimi Inari.
In this recipe, the skewered pork was cooking in a broiler. A whole slab of pork was simmered and cooled before it was sliced and skewered. Simmering is not traditional for cooking yakiton but we wanted to make sure that the pork was ultra tender before going under the broiler.
The cut of meat you use for cooking yakiton is totally up to you, naturally. Know, however, that Almost any part of the pig, including its organs, can be skewered and cooked as yakiton. Jowl, heart, intestines, liver, tongue… In Asia, wasting any part of an edible animal is discouraged.
But we like pork belly so that was the cut used for our home version of yakiton.
As for the seasoning, we brushed the pork with tare and allowed the meat to absorb the flavors of the sauce. But brushing the meat with sauce during grilling is not a requirement. The pork may be sprinkled, quite simply, with salt before going on the grill.
- 500 grams pork belly (in one piece) simmered, uncut, in lightly salted water for an hour then cooled to room temperature
- 4 to 6 stalks green onion (you'll need thick stalks for this)
- 6 bamboo skewers soaked in cold water for 30 minutes
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup sake
- ¼ cup mirin
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon grated ginger
- Preheat the broiler to 400F.
Skewer the pork
- Slice the cooked pork belly into one-centimeter (about half inch) slices then cut each slice into bite-size pieces.
- Cut off the root ends of the green onion and discard. Cut off the dark green part of the stalks and set aside (you may use them to make broth). You need only the white and light green portion for making yakiton.
- Peel off the tough outer stalk of the green onion and discard. Cut the trimmed green onion into two-inch lengths.
- Take a bamboo skewer, thread a piece of pork in it followed by a piece of green onion. Repeat until you have four to five pieces of pork in the skewer. Do the same for the rest of the pork and green onions.
Make the tare
- Stir all the ingredients for the tare sauce in a small pan. Cook over medium heat, uncovered, until reduced by half.
Cook your yakiton
- Arrange the pork skewers in a tray and brush the top side with tare. Broil for three to four minutes.
- Turn the pork skewers over and brush with tare. Broil for another three to four minutes.
- Repeat until the pork and green onions are nicely charred.