Tokyo's Shinjuku Yakitori Alley comes to Urbana

I've never been to Japan, but if I were to ever go, Tokyo's "Yakitori Alley" would be at the top of my list of culinary destinations. There are over 7,000 yakitori restaurants in Tokyo, but the most "authentic" ones are all located in one alley near Tokyo's very busy Shinjuku station. Also affectionately called "memory lane," this strip of 81 tiny stalls sits in a narrow alley that hasn't changed much since World War II. Most of these "mom and pop" shops are so small that they seat only six or seven people. What would it be like to take a tasting tour of this alley? Well, I'm going to try to recreate that fantasy experience at the Common Ground Food Co-op on Tuesday, March 7, 2023. Sorry, but this cooking class is already sold out. But since we are doing regular pop-up events, perhaps a Japanese yakitori dinner experience might be in the cards soon (send me an email if you're interested).

Technically, yakitori is translated as "grilled bird" -- usually chicken skewered on a bamboo stick and grilled over charcoal. But you can literally skewer anything and grill it like Middle Eastern kabobs. In Japan, that would be called "Kushiyaki" (beef, pork, veggies, etc.) or if it's grilled fish you're skewering, then the proper label would be "Shioyaki." We'll be cooking up all three types of skewers at this upcoming Japanese "Deep Dive" cooking class which will include some special "mystery meat" surprises.

More information about my classes and pop-up dinners can always be found on my website. For the latest news, feel free to subscribe to my monthly email newsletter.