Japanese barbecue is best explained in contrast to the classic American affair. You won’t find whole pigs or pitmasters. There are no monster-sized grates and no pre-commitment to long, slow smokes or simmering sauces. Although tiny by more carnivorous American standards, Japanese barbecue is a very nimble, interactive, and omnivorous experience.
Most Japanese households are not equipped with American-sized backyards and built-in barbecues. Instead, portable, often collapsible charcoal grills accompany camping trips or trips to parks, beaches or mountains. In place of a pitmaster, guests gather around the grill, burning their own bites while drinking and chatting.
Instead of massive cuts of brisket or ribs, Japanese barbecues showcase an array of fresh, seasonal ingredients seasoned primarily with char and charcoal smoke. Clams, scallops, shrimp and whole fish are grilled with simple dashes of sake or soy sauce. Bites of chicken, beef or pork often require no marinade and are done in a snap. Fresh vegetables are usually as filling as protein, and no outdoor meal would be complete without onigiri, the quintessentially Japanese rice balls.
Beer is a universal barbecue accompaniment, and there are plenty of Japanese craft beers to try. But a Japanese barbecue is also a fantastic platform to accompany sake, shochu and the unique Japanese variations of highball – simple cocktails made with whiskey or shochu mixed with soft drinks, juices and teas. frozen.
Here are four Japanese barbecue recipes and drink pairings to try this summer!
This article originally appeared in the June/July 2022 issue of Passionate about wine magazine. Click on here to subscribe today!
Posted on June 10, 2022