Type Skewered meat
Place of origin Japan
Main ingredients Beef, pork, seafood, and seasonal vegetables
Similar dishes Sate, Shish Kebab
Cookbook: Kushiyaki  Media: Kushiyaki

Kushiyaki (串焼き) is a formal term that encompasses both poultry and non-poultry items, skewered and grilled. At times, the restaurant group them as kushimono skewered and grilled food (串物) and yakimono (ja) skewered and grilled food (焼き物).

Yakitori and kushiyaki

Both yakitori and kushiyaki are used interchangeably in Japanese society to refer to skewered meat collectively; however, when referring to a specific item, yakitori will not be used unless the primary meat is chicken. While using pork, grilled pork on skewers are cooked with the same sauce as yakitori, and that is why in some areas as Muroran, grilled pork on skewers are called "yakitori", instead of yakiton (やきとん, skewered and grilled pork).[1]

While kabayaki is also skewered and grilled over charcoal, it is rarely categorized as kushiyaki since they are not served on skewers.
Fish grilled whole on skewers with salt and served after pulling off the skewer including sea bream (tai) and sweet fish ayu is not called kushiyaki but shioyaki (grilled with salt) at high end restaurants. At food stalls or yatai, ayu is sold on skewer.

Ikada 筏|lit. raft suggests when two or more skewers are used to prevent rotation for Japanese scallion (negi) or Japanese pepper (shishitō).


In order to facilitate even cooking, the ingredient is cut into small, roughly uniform shapes. Skewers or kushi is made with bamboo or Japanese cypress, and shape as well as length varies to use for the type of food: flat type is applied for minced meat for example.[2][3]

beef (gyūniku), pork meat (butaniku) and cartilage (nankotsu), horse meat (baniku).
sweet fish (ayu), minced and seasoned Atlantic horse mackerel (aji) and sardine (iwashi), prawn and shrimp (ebi), Japanese scallop (hotate), squid and cuttlefish (ika).
onion (tamanegi), egg plant (nasu),[4] cherry tomato, potato, pumpkin (kabocha), scallion (negi), ginkgo nuts (ginnan), green bellpepper (pīman), garlic (ninniku), Japanese pepper (shishitō).
Products and prepared
Tōfu,[4] nattō, steamed rice.[5]


Kushiyaki seasonings are primarily divided among two types: salty or salty-sweet. The salty type usually uses plain salt as its main seasoning. For the salty-sweet variety, tare, a special sauce consisting of mirin, sake, soy sauce, and sugar is used. Other common spices include powdered cayenne pepper, shichimi, Japanese pepper, black pepper, karashi and wasabi, according to one's tastes.


Products and prepared food are applied for receipt.

  • pīman no nikuzume ピーマンの肉詰め, bell pepper stuffed with minced pork
  • tomato no bēkon maki トマトのベーコン巻き, cherry tomato wrapped with bacon strips
  • fukuro , fried thin tofu (aburaage) pouch filled with nattō
  • gyūtan 牛タン, beef tongue, sliced thinly.
  • butabara 豚ばら pork back ribs
  • atsuage dōfu 厚揚げ豆腐, thicker variety of deep-fried tōfu
  • enoki maki エノキ巻き, enoki mushrooms wrapped in slices of pork
  • asuparabēkon アスパラベーコン, asparagus wrapped in bacon

See also


  1. "おっと! むろらん—室蘭やきとり" [Muroran yakitori—Oh! Muroran]. Muroran Tourist Association. Retrieved 2017-07-04.
  2. "Hiragushi flat bamboo skewer". Fujita Dougu Co.Ltd. Retrieved 2017-07-04.
  3. "types of takegushi bamboo skewer". Izumo Takezai Kōgyōsho. Retrieved 2017-07-04.
  4. 1 2 Kushiyaki grilled with coat of sweet miso such as egg plant, tōfu or konnyaku is called dengaku.
  5. In the mountanious area of Aichi, Gifu, Nagano, Shizuoka, Toyama and Yamanashi Prefectures, steamed and mashed rice basted on flat skewers and grilled with coat of sweet miso is called gohei mochi (ja:五平餅). When cooked rice is mashed and basted around kushi to form cylinders in Akita Prefecture, it is called "tampo" which is cut and cooked in kiritanpo.

Further reading

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