Skewered foods, known as kushiyaki, feature delectable bites of meat and vegetables that go perfectly with beer or sake. “Kushi” refers to the bamboo skewers used to spear the ingredients, while “yaki” means grilled or fried.
Eating grilled meat on sticks is a Japanese tradition that dates back to at least the 17th century. Although for some time eating meat was forbidden in Japan due to Buddhist conventions, during the Meiji period of modernization people began to eat meat again and shops specializing in grilled meat on skewers took off. In the period between WWI and WWII, the battered and deep-fried skewers known as kushiage or kushikatsu also became popular. Today, both grilled and fried kushiyaki can be savored with all kinds of meat and vegetables.