Apr 29, 2017
The Japanese display a giddy fondness for the 'insert food here party'. Said gathering might involve but two people and the title food, however, if you call it a party, it's a party. Although it's really not. Anyway, what's in name? And who cares what it is when it involves yakiniku, the theme of tonight's, errrm, 'party'.
Off all the things that Japan has 'borrowed' from other countries, be it language, Zen state of mind, medicine, engineering, green tea, English teachers, cheesy weddings ... the Korean form of barbecuing meat has to be my favourite. It's typically something I'd go out for (there's a Gyu-Kaku near the crib, and a thousand other yakiniku joints near work). Sometime's of a Saturday night though, you just can't be bothered to go out. For those times when the lethargy hits then, you want to get yourself a hot plate combo. Like this ...
... so that you can have yakiniku from the comfort of a sofa.
I've used the hot plate for a number of Japanese classics; yakisoba, shabushabu, sukiyaki, and winter-warmer staple, nabe. All fine dishes, even when subject to these culinary-stunted hands, but all of them pale in comparison to yakiniku.
For tonight's 'party' for two, we hit up the local supermarket and walked out with a bumper-size pack of 牛肉バラカルビ / gyu-niku bara karubi (1280 g for around 500 yen - fairly cheap), 250 g of ホルモン / horumon (intestines and other normally unwanted bits - 200 yen), and some cuts of American 'prime' beef (331 g - 1,000 yen). If this sounds expensive, it could have been so much more had any of tonight's beef come from Japan.
We flavoured the カルビ with a cheap yakiniku sauce before 'BBQing' it, and finished it off with a one-time-serving packet of ジャン(焼肉んのたれ) which I'm told is much fancier. For the sake of adding a bit of veg to help 'process' the meat, we threw in some cabbage, pumpkin, and mushrooms.
OK, so the hot plate can't really compete with open flames and hot coals, but it does a pretty sterling job nonetheless, and remains a legitimate yakiniku option. It doesn't half stink out the apartment though!!
NB; the volume of meat in today's yakiniku party was just about too much for us to get through comfortably!