Yakiniku (BBQ) / Horumon (Offal), Gourmet Guide

One of the Japanese peoples' favorites - yakiniku. When people want to eat yakiniku, they usually go to a specialized restaurant. Although it uses the same meat, "yakiniku" - ususally prepared on an open fire - is completely different from a barbecue where you grill outside, the steak you eat in a steak house, or the food you prepare on a steel plate at home.

Sometimes special pots or iron plates are used as they are with Genghis Khan (grilled lamb with vegetables), but in most places, the ingredients are placed on a mesh. The wire mesh is heated up, and then coated with beef tallow. Now everyone can grill their favorite meat and other ingredients, take them off the mesh when they have reached the desired degree of completion, and dip them in tare (sauce) before eating them. Yakiniku mainly uses beef and organ meats, but sometimes includes pork or chicken. Yakiniku is almost always eaten with vegetables. The beef is ordered by saying which part of the cow you want. If you just say "Bring me some beef, please," you most certainly will be asked "And...what kind?" The most common are kalbi, rib roast, sirloin, fillet, boned rib, and tongue. Restaurants that serve aitchbone or misuji (shoulder meat) are rare. If you put a "jo," which roughly means "high quality," in front of the meat you order, it should be even more delicious. Organ meat is referred to as "horumon." There are many types of horumon, but the ones most often eaten are reba (liver), hatsu (heart), harami (diaphragm), tecchan (large intestine), mino (first stomach), hachinosu (reticulum), and senmai (omasum). There are restaurants that have an even bigger selection to choose from and also serve rare parts. These are parts you would not normally eat, but since they are thoroughly cleaned and pretreated, there is no unpleasant smell, and being rich in vitamins and collagen makes them very healthy which in turn makes them attractive for young women. They are so popular that there even are many restaurants specialized in horumon, so-called "horumon-ya,"  The history of horumonyaki in Japan does not go back very far. It began around World War II. At the beginning of the Showa era, Western restaurants and the like began to offer organ meat dishes as horumon cuisine, and after the war, Korean organ meat dishes had become known as horumonyaki. The vegetables you grill along with the meat are the same in almost every restaurant: cabbage, onions, shiitake mushrooms, sweet potatos, corn, and green peppers. Many places also serve side dishes such as salad, kimchi, cold noodles, bibimbap, or soup.

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