Ignorance series: You call this Yakiniku? What the sheep?

Sheep is off to Maldives for a photo shoot, so I’m here, blogging about food.

Today’s topic is: What the F exactly is yakiniku?

A few days back I had lunch at KFC. Bored of the usual 2-piece, rice and Coke fare, I decided to try the Colonel’s Yakiniku. I thought, well, this has got veggie on it, so it would be healthier than having the chicken or the burger or whatever else that’s deep fried.

The food came in a plastic tray and it got me staring. . . . .

French fries, two spoonfuls of salad with the generic thousand island dressing, and two crispy crumbed chicken strips, cut to pieces, topped with some sort of sweet teriyaki sauce.


They call this YAKINIKU??

My thoughts went to Hoka Hoka Bento and their yakiniku menu:

Now, a definition from their site: Daging sapi yang dimasak dengan saus yakiniku khas HokBen terasa nikmat dengan tambahan bawang bombay dan paprika hijau. – Beef cooked with HokBen’s yakiniku sauce, delicious with the addition of spanish onions and green peppers. Ahem.

Now, how come that’s also called yakiniku? They’re like 2 completely different dishes. One is crumbed and fried, one is stir fried with veggies (and lots of gluten haha). None of them is grilled (“yaki” in Japanese). Suspicious.

Panicking, I pulled out my phone immediately and wikipedia‘d yakiniku. My so-called KFC Colonel Yakiniku lie cold and ignored on the red-laminated table.

Yakiniku (焼き肉 or 焼肉), meaning “grilled meat“, is a Japanese term which, in its broadest sense, refers to grilled meat dishes.

Today, it commonly refers to a Japanese style of cooking bite-sized meat (usually beef and offal) and vegetables on gridirons or griddles over flame of wood charcoals carbonized by dry distillation (sumibi, 炭火) or gas/electric grill.

Here be pictures of the REAL yakiniku:


It’s GRILLED! Hello, KFC! Hello, HokBen!

This is like “pembodohan masyarakat” in Bahasa. Public misinformation.

Well, anyway, most of you living in Indonesia would probably be more familiar with the term “Korean Barbeque”. Yakiniku is essentially the same with Korean BBQ, but using different sauces/seasonings.

Anyway, kirai.net also provided a very interesting article:

Yakiniku (焼き肉: “bake, grill”, “meat”) is a Japanese “dish” where the main ingredient is grilled meat. It’s original from Korea, but it’s been a long time since it was introduced in Japan. Nowadays there are many differences between the Japanese “yakiniku” and the Korean “yakiniku”. Korean “yakiniku” is called bulgogi and the meat is marinated with soy sauce and sugar, it’s usually eaten with kimchi. On the other hand, in the Japanese version the meat is not marinated and it’s usually dressed with tare sauce.

Here be some yummylicious yakiniku cooking on a grill, the way it’s supposed to be, foo!

It’s amusing that we Indonesians have been duped for ages thinking that Hoka Hoka Bento is selling the real Yakiniku dish, while in fact, Yakiniku is a different dish altogether. Oh come on! I bet some really old bearded Korean chefs (the inventors of Yakiniku) and also Colonel Sanders will be rolling in their graves laughing if they could see this creative Indonesian re-invention!

Anyway, for fun, have some Indonesian-style Yakiniku recipe. Enjoy. My gran cooked this today and it tastes just like HokBen’s… with less gluten.

Chicken Yakiniku
(Replace chicken with kangaroo or whatever, I don’t care)

500g chicken, finely sliced

Mix all these bloody ingredients into one:
1 tbsp coarsely ground sesame seeds
1/2 tsp white pepper powder
2 cm finely chopped ginger
50cc kikkoman soy sauce
100cc chicken broth
1/4 tsp MSG powder (gah!)
2 tsp white sugar
2 tsp sesame oil
50g spanish onions, sliced in half circles
4 tbsp cooking oil

How to cook:
Marinate meat in the mixture for 2 hours. Heat 3 tbsp of cooking oil, stir fry until well done. Serves 4.

Enjoy the dish with a bowl of rice, eaten with chopsticks, on a tatami, while thinking OMG I’M SOO JAPANEESU DESU!!!!111

One thought on “Ignorance series: You call this Yakiniku? What the sheep?

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