Ribs, thighs and tongues: Japan’s favourite grilled items

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A cow's edible bits, in JapaneseIn my quest to bring you the rather more obscure and slighly weird surveys of Japanese public opinion, here comes an odd report from DIMSDRIVE Research, who asked 4,551 Japanese of all ages what their favourite meat on a yakiniku (grilled meat) menu was. 44.7% of those who replied to their internet-based questionnaire were male. This survey was carried out last July.

As a vegetarian myself, I have to go for the “None of the above” option. I also must resist saying anything about the fact that so many young Japanese women seem to love nothing more than a bit of tongue. Oh, and if you too want to get away from meat and get some decent tofu and other soy-based foodstuffs, and live in the Kansai area, I hearily recommend “Mame no Hatake” and “Seed’s Kitchen” as semi-organic, semi-veggie eateries. The “Mame no Hatake” buffet, in particular, is quite amazing value, 1,900 yen for a high-quality all-you-can-eat buffet.

Q: From a yakiniku meat menu, what items do you like? (Sample size=4,551, multiple answer)

Cut (日本語)Cut (reading)Cut (English)Votes
カルビ(牛)Karubi (ushi)Ribs (cow)3,401
もも(鶏)Momo (niwatori)Thigh/drumstick (chicken)3,122
ン(牛)Tan (ushi)Tongue (cow)2,658
手羽先(鶏)Tebasaki (niwatori)Wingtips (chicken)2,295
ロース(牛)Roosu (ushi)Sirloin (cow)2,075
豚トロ(ピートロ)Tontoro (Piitoro)Pig neck (I think – resembles toro, fatty tuna bits)2,064
ロース(豚)Roosu (buta)Sirloin (pig)2,031
豚バラTonbaraPig flank1,897
カルビ(豚)Karubi (buta)Ribs (pig)1,670
皮(鶏)Hada (niwatori)Skin (chicken)1,594

Looking at the more detailed breakdown, the top four cuts were identical for both sexes, and the only new cut coming into either chart was the tenth most popular cut for women, ハラミ(牛), harami (ushi), which seems to get translated as “outside skirt”, but I must say I’ve never heard that term before.

Beef ribs are the top choice for almost every age group; however, twenty-something women by just a handful of votes prefer a bit of tongue, as it were; women over fifty and men over sixty want nothing more than to get their hands on the warm thighs of a tender spring chicken or two.

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