What is the Japanese Term for Grilled Chicken Skewers?

Discover the Japanese term for grilled chicken skewers and dive into the world of yakitori, a beloved dish in Japan and abroad. Learn about its types, popularity, health benefits, and where to find the best yakitori restaurants.


Japanese cuisine is known for its delicious flavors and unique cooking techniques. One popular dish that has gained international acclaim is grilled chicken skewers, often referred to by a specific term in Japan. In this article, we will explore the Japanese term for grilled chicken skewers and learn more about this mouthwatering dish.

Yakitori: The Japanese Term for Grilled Chicken Skewers

The Japanese term for grilled chicken skewers is ‘yakitori.’ ‘Yaki’ means grilled, and ‘tori’ means bird or chicken in Japanese. Yakitori is a type of Japanese skewered chicken dish that is typically seasoned with salt, soy sauce, or a sweet and savory sauce before being grilled over charcoal. The result is juicy, flavorful chicken skewers that are popular as both a street food and a izakaya (Japanese pub) dish.

Types of Yakitori

There are several different types of yakitori depending on the part of the chicken used and the seasoning applied. Some common types of yakitori include:

  • Momo: Chicken thigh
  • Tsukune: Chicken meatballs
  • Tebasaki: Chicken wings
  • Negima: Chicken thigh and green onion

Popularity of Yakitori

Yakitori is a beloved dish in Japan and has also gained popularity worldwide. It is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed as a snack, appetizer, or main course. In fact, there are dedicated yakitori restaurants in Japan that specialize in serving a variety of grilled chicken skewers with different seasonings and toppings.

Case Study: Yakitori Restaurants in Tokyo

In Tokyo, the capital city of Japan, there are numerous yakitori restaurants that attract locals and tourists alike. One popular yakitori restaurant is Toriki, located in the bustling neighborhood of Shinagawa. Toriki is known for its high-quality chicken skewers grilled to perfection over charcoal, as well as its extensive sake menu that pairs well with the savory flavors of yakitori.

Health Benefits of Yakitori

Yakitori is not only delicious but also relatively healthy compared to fried or greasy dishes. Chicken is a lean source of protein that is low in fat and calories, making yakitori a good choice for those looking to enjoy a flavorful meal without compromising on their health.


Yakitori, the Japanese term for grilled chicken skewers, is a popular dish that showcases the unique flavors of Japanese cuisine. Whether enjoyed as a street food snack or a sit-down meal at a yakitori restaurant, yakitori is sure to satisfy your cravings for tender, juicy chicken skewers seasoned to perfection.

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