The word yaki means to “sear with heat” and the Japanese consider grilled, broiled and skillet-grilled (what we would call “pan-fried”) foods to be of the same nature. Seafood, fish, vegetables, meat, poultry and eggs are all “seared with heat” in the Japanese kitchen. With skewered or net-grilled foods there is often little or no seasoning used before cooking. Instead the grilled food is dipped into a variety of highly seasoned sauces later at the dinner table. The major exception is glaze-grilled food, for which a sweet soy-based sauce is brushed lavishly in the final moments of grilling. The Japanese also marinate fish steaks in a sweetened miso (fermented soybean paste) before grilling or broiling them.
© 1986 Elizabeth Andoh. All rights reserved.