Tondemo Skill – 280 – The Great Yakitori Debate: Sauce vs Salt?

Tondemo Skill – 280 – The Great Yakitori Debate: Sauce vs Salt?

Chapter 280: The Great Yakitori Debate: Sauce vs Salt?

 

Translated by Zzonkedd

Edited by Gumihou and Onionpi

Please read this at kitchennovel dot com

 

“Is it done yet?”

““Is it done yet?””

““Not yet?””

[8] I was surrounded by Fer, Dora, Sui and even Elland-san.

This started the moment we got to the inn. Rather, it started when I placed the skewers on my DIY yakitori grill.

Naturally, today’s dinner would be Cockatrice Yakitori.

The yakitori grill was made using Earth Magic with two metal rods over it. [9] The exposed part of the bamboo skewer would rest on one of the two metal rods further from me. That way, I could easily turn and adjust the meat over exposed fire without any part of the meat touching the grill. That’s why I wanted the extra 1.5cm on the top. 

[9] Fire control is also very important. The hot charcoal should be about 1 or 1.5 inches from the meat. This is why I decided to make my own yakitori grill since I could adjust the height and width of the grill to my liking. Magic sure is convenient.

I adjusted the height so that I could grill the yakitori while sitting. The grill was longer than usual so I could grill more meat per skewer since I have four very hungry mouths to deed.

Speaking of which, I also made myself a chair using Earth Magic and burned the charcoal to a nice ember with carefully controlled Fire Magic so that’s perfect for quick and steady grilling. [6] All this had to be done before the first yakitori went on the grill, so you can imagine the grumbles I get from my familiars (and Elland-san).

I started by lining up the DIY yakitori grill with standard breast meat and leek & chicken threaded skewers as well as thigh meat skewers. The strength of the fire should not be too strong for now.

“Yoshi, I think it’s about done,”

“What’s that? We can eat now?”

“Not yet, we’re almost there. I still have to season it first. Let’s go with yakitori sauce.” [6] The trick to delicious yakitori is to cook it until it’s about 80% done and then slather on the sauce (or sprinkle with salt and pepper) and grill it over a strong fire. 

[6] It’s easy to make a strong fire. All you have to do is fan the flames, like literally. The difficult thing is fire control. We want it strong but not too strong.

Let’s make half with sauce and the other half with salt. [2] I’ve already lightly seasoned the meat before skewering so the extra salt is for the final bit of roasting to increase the meat’s fragrance.

Speaking of which, I’m using natural salt from Okinawa. As for the black pepper, it’s freshly grounded via a pepper mill.

I tasted both salt and pepper before using them. The salt is not just the regular one dimension salty taste. It has a more savoury taste and is filled with umami. As for the pepper, since it’s the freshly grounded stuff, the flavour is pretty astounding.

Yakitori seasoned with these exceptional products should result in some very delicious skewers.

“Gununu, I’m hungry…”

Please wait a little longer.

Before skewering the meat, I’ve cut them to bite-size pieces and removed a moderate amount of excess fat. [6] Fat is flavour, but too much fat means unwanted flare-ups from the grill which results in burnt spots and ash. Oh, I also mix the yakitori sauce myself by boiling soy sauce, mirin, sake, granulated sugar and water according to the recipe that I learned from the time I worked as a part-timer at a yakitori restaurant.

Sizzle…

[8] Now, let’s fan up the fire a little and slather on the sauce. I should sprinkle a generous amount of salt and pepper on these.

A nice fragrance began to permeate the air.

“Alright, I think it’s about done.” [7] I quickly transferred the salted versions onto the plates first, allowing the sauced yakitori to caramelise a little bit more.

“Finally! This smell is too irresistible, quickly now, quickly!”

““That’s right, that’s right! Hurry, hurry!””

“”Sui is really hungry~~ Sui wants to eat soon~~!””

Ah, the hungry calls of my familiars ringing in my ear.

“Hold on, I still need to remove the skewers for you first,” I said as I calmly pushed the slightly sizzling meat off the bamboo skewers with metal tongs onto plates.

“Alright, the paler ones are salted and the brown ones are covered with a sweet and savoury sauce.” [5]

I watched as my familiars jumped forward and bury their faces into plates of grilled yakitori.

““Umu, this one is pretty delicious. Both salt and sauce versions are good. I like this.””

“”Grilled food is yummy. I love the smell of grilled meat. Both versions are delicious, but I think I like the salted ones better.””

““Yummy~! Sui likes this one a lot~~”” [5]

Ah, I’m being bombarded by telepathic compliments all around. [5]

Now then, let’s prepare another set of yakitori for someone who’s been waiting so patiently all this while. [6] I quickly laid out another set of skewers onto the grill and got to work.

“Here you go, Elland-san,”

“Ooh, I’ve been waiting! As expected, the sauced version smells really delicious! Let’s eat!” Elland-san held up his plate of yakitori like a trophy before chomping on the first piece. “Ooh! This is worth waiting for! The sauce is sweet and slightly spicy and compliments the grilled meat wonderfully.”

Yes, yes, as expected of this gourmet elf.

Although this yakitori isn’t quite like the one that I used to make back at my part-time job, the sauce is reproduced using the same ratios. Therefore, I’m pretty proud of the yakitori I managed to make.

Now, once this next set of yakitori is done, I should be able to eat some too.

Oh, before that, I’m going to pour myself a beer. This time, I’m going to use the special automatic self-cooling cup that I bought from Neihoff. [1] With this auto-cooling function, I don’t have to worry about my beer getting warm or slimy from being too near the grilling table.

Gulp, gulp…

“Puhaa! That’s delicious!”

Having a cold beer after working so close to the grilling table is too delicious.

Let’s see, I’m going to try the leek & chicken skewer first. [2] Ahh, this sauce has a really nostalgic taste. Yes, this is the taste of yakitori…

This sweet and slightly spicy sauce compliments the bite-sized Cockatrice roasted over a coal fire. [1] The roasted leek has a slightly sweet taste from having been grilled over a fire and soaked up a little of the Cockatrice fat.

After chomping down one skewer, I took another swig of beer.

Gulp, gulp, puhaa~!

“Yakitori and beer are the best!”

Now that I’ve tried the sauced version, let’s go for the salted one next. Oooh, thigh meat is one of the best parts. The salted version did not have quite the impact as the sauced version. However, the flavour is delicious and more elegant somehow.

While I enjoyed my yakitori, I continue to pile on more chicken, I mean, Cockatrice on the grill. Turning the skewers ever so often to prevent burning. Once the yakitori were mostly done, I dusted half of them with salt and pepper while the other half gets a dab of sauce on each side.

Okay, just a couple more minutes of grilling and-

“Alright, the next set is done~”

Fer, Dora and Sui (and Elland-san) rushed over with their plates. [5]

The elf looked really happy as he stuffed his cheeks with yakitori. But…

“Are you really not going to have any beer, Elland-san? I think you did not have any the other day either.”

“Ah, elves don’t really like beer. I prefer delicious food like this, haha!” he bit down on another leek & chicken skewer. [2] I got myself a thigh meat skewer and chased it down with another gulp of icy cold beer.

“Aaahhh~ delicious~”

Leek & meat threaded, thigh meat, skin, oesophagus, heart, liver, gizzard, kidney and ‘kinkan’.

[9] What’s kinkan you asked? Also known as tamahimo, these are actually undeveloped chicken eggs taken before it enters the fallopian tube.

[8] For the leek & chicken threaded skewer and thigh meat skewer, half of them were sauced while the other was salted. The skin was salted, of course, to maintain a nice crispy exterior. For the rest of the organ meats, I prefer to flavour them using salt only. For everything else, I could alternate between salt and yakitori sauce.

Sizzle… sizzle…

The fragrance of grilled meat, the dripping fat popping off the hot coals.

This is yakitori. Too irresistible~~

“Alright, it’s done,” [3] I handed over the grilled leek & meat skewers and thigh meat skewers to my familiars.

And finally…

“The internal organs?” [6] Elland-san had refrained from snatching skewers from my familiars and was now staring at the pile of lesser known meats with a shine in his eyes.

“Yes,” [6] I answered with a similar shine in my own eyes.

I have more than enough organ meats to make two of each type of organ meat skewers.

[6] Sizzle… sizzle…

[6] A dash of salt and pepper later…

“What part is this?”

“That’s the heart. It has an elastic and slightly crunchy texture,”

Elland-san studied the skewer with slightly dubious eyes, so I ate mine first.

Un, it’s really delicious.

Elastic and crunchy, but not rubbery because I managed to cook it well. There were no weird smells either and really aromatic.

I’ve had yakitori before, but compared to the meats we get at that yakitori restaurant I part-timed in, Cockatrice has a slightly gamier flavour. So the organ meats have a slightly stronger aroma too. It’s just too delicious.

Seeing me enjoy the heart, Elland-san also took a bite of his skewer.

“Ooh? Ooh! It’s chewy! But it’s much easier to eat than I expected,” he looked happy but a little conflicted at the same time. I guessed that’s because people in this world aren’t used to thinking organ meats as food or ingredients.

“Right? Right? Since the prey is freshly caught we can eat it without having to worry about spoilt meat. Try this one. It’s liver. I know, I know, but do you know that it’s the most nutritious part of the animal? It has a moist texture and a very rich taste!”

Without waiting to see if Elland-san follow suit, I bit off a piece of my grilled liver.

Oh, oh, it’s delicious! [1] So creamy and so yummy~~

Since it’s so fresh, there was no gaminess to it. Even people who normally avoid organ meat would find this delicious.

“M-Mukouda-san. What is this flavour? Is this really liver? Has liver always been this delicious?” [3] Elland-san was looking at me with the eyes of a convert. [5]

Elland-san unhesitatingly tried the gizzards too. While we enjoyed our grilled food, I heard a sudden tapping sound.

“Hmm? Did you hear that?”

Elland-san opened one eye, “Hrm? No? I didn’t hear anything.”

…tap …tap tap…

“There, that tapping sound.”

We cocked our heads and…

Taptaptaptaptap! Tap! Tap!

“Is that the door?”

Elland-san pulled the last piece of meat off his skewer and went to the door. “I’ll go and check. Mukouda-san, please keep looking after the grill.”

“Of course, of course,”

Tap! Tap! Tap! TAPTAPTAPTAP!

“Yes, yes, I’m coming,” Elland-san grumbled.

[6] The sound of the door opening reached me, but since the grill chose that time to have a flare-up, I had to use my fan to quickly control it.

[8] “Mukouda-san?”

[6] “What?” I yelled back.

[8] “Were you, um, expecting customers?”

[6] “What?” I turned and saw two Elves looking back at me.

The second Elf has really shiny eyes. It was Feodora-san, “Food, please.”

I blinked.

The glittering eyes seemed to magnify in size and glitter, “Please? Food?”

“Er, help yourself…?”

 

[Gumihou: Oh no, another Elf, lol!]

 

[1] Structural Change: Combine 2 paragraphs

[2] Structural Change: Combine 3 paragraphs

[3] Structural Change: Combine paragraph & dialogue

[4] Structural Change: Change passive sentence to dialogue 

[5] Delete Repetitive or Pointless Information

[6] Additional Information for Aesthetic Purpose

[7] Add Dialogue Tag

[8] Creative Licence Taken

[9] There’s an actual youtuber called Yakitoriguy!

He breaks down the various ways of making yakitori from ways of breaking down chicken and equipment used (knives, different types of grills etc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=weZs_MPrvp8

https://gurunavi.com/en/japanfoodie/2010/05/yakitori.html?__ngt__=TT1233ce5d6000ac1e4ae1a9fBSTbHhrvxDpNk-XL-RZNF

 

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This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Gackt1

    Wonder what will happen if one day Mukouda come to elf kingdom

  2. Philip

    LOLZ, I think that Feodora either felt (6th sense like) or got close enough to feel that smell of grilled meats (various cuts), and came knocking at their door. Makes me think she might have run away from her team (at least temporarily, though I have little doubt she would join Mukoda’s team, even as a pet, a hungry pet).
    Thanks for the second chapter this week! Awesome translation! May God bless you!

  3. Shadow

    And the legend of “How to tame an elf” was born….

  4. Hamster

    Mukouda mentioned the use of umami salt. I had no idea that salt could have umami, but maybe this is finely ground salt that also has a little bit of monosodium glutamate mixed into the salt.

    1. Gumihou

      Most likely, seaweed salt would have plenty of umami.

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