Hello from Sapporo

KAI Magazine Editors' notes on how to best enjoy Hokkaido!

Bibai Yakitori: Savor the entire chicken on a single skewer

By Ayaka Tsutsumi
PUBLISHED July 6, 2016

Photograph by Yukitaka Ida

Photograph by Yukitaka Ida

When you visit one of Hokkaido’s izakaya (traditional Japanese-style pubs), I hope you’ll rise to the challenge of one of my favorite dishes.

Hokkaido’s city of Bibai was once home to a thriving coal mining industry. One of Bibai’s most popular local styles of yakitori (grilled chicken skewers) is called “motsu-gushi”, a compound of “motsu” (edible offal such as liver) and “kushi” (skewer). Each hearty skewer typically contains thigh meat, skin, heart, liver, and eggs, which are first steamed, then grilled high above a very hot charcoal fire, and simply seasoned with salt and pepper. This cuisine uses the entire chicken without waste, and provides a variety of flavors and textures in one skewer, not to mention an impressive visual display. It’s also a favorite of Sapporo’s citizens, and you can find restaurants specializing in Bibai Yakitori here.

Share this article