Thursday, February 2, 2017

Comfort food: Yakiniku at home

I start February by writing about another guilty pleasure of ours - yakiniku. I first enjoyed eating Japanese style beef barbecue while residing in Japan in the 1990s. It was introduced to me by friends one lunch after going to church in Meguro back in February 1996 during my first trip to Japan. There was a nearby yakiniku place that offered unlimited rice (tabehodai gohan) to customers. It was popular among Filipinos, particularly us students who were mostly from the Tokyo Institute of Technology. I was a Visiting Scientist then and staying at Tokodai (now I think they prefer Tokyo Tech) for 35 days. I recall the restaurant was naturally warm (they did specialize in barbecue) and so was welcome to us due to the cold weather outside.

We still try to go to a yakiniku restaurant once in a while when in Japan and even here in Metro Manila. But what is usually available to us is the Korean version, which many say is the one adapted by the Japanese. Whichever was first, though, we enjoy this home version of barbecue over either a gas or electric stove using a grilling pan that's just right for the purpose.

We get our beef from a nearby supermarket where the staff can slice the sirloin or ribeye to the desired thickness. Of course, Kobe or Wagyu beef would be most preferable but these are uncommon in most supermarkets (what more in wet markets?) and are expensive. 
You can purchase your preferred dipping sauces from most supermarkets nowadays that have international sections. 
Those who are a bit discouraged by the Japanese on the labels need only to look at the back for a sticker showing a translation in English for the description of the sauce.


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