Chef Hiro Sone explains why he loves the yakitori at Nojo in San Francisco.
My name is Hiro Sone I am from from Terra Restaurant Napa Valley and Ame Restaurant San Francisco. [MUSIC] I am here at Nojo Restaurant and I came here to order Kawa, which is chicken skin on a skewer And tsukune, which is a juicy chicken meatball. [MUSIC] I know Greg, he used to work for us many, many years ago. [LAUGH] He was really into Japanese [UNKNOWN] a type of food. I know it sounds kind of funny, but the first time I went to Japan I felt like I was meant to be there. I feel like I was born in the wrong country. [LAUGH] But you fit in with Japanese size though. I do. So with the [FOREIGN] we're gonna go ahead. We use cartilage, knee caps Thigh, breasts, liver. [BLANK_AUDIO] I like to start with the soft breastbone. I feel like it's almost like a crunchy chicken bouillon with a slightly grill flavor, I love it. It's really delicate. Then we kneecaps, they have a good fat too Make sure that this gets super fine. We don't want a chunk, or someone to be what the hell did I just do with my tooth. So always you do by hand? Always by hand. Wow. We tried it with the Robot Coupe a few times, it kind of would come to like a paste. Kind of don't want that. I wanted texture. Mm. I'm chopping up thigh and breast. Middle course Yeah, more of course. And then we'll also do liver. The great thing about liver is it kinda just melts in there. Chop up some onion, throw it in as well. Yakitori, it's just so much a part of the culture in Japan. It's something that is like a hamburger is to us. Now we're gonna season it. We're gonna do salt, black pepper, and then yuzu. But when you make a forcemeat or a sausage, you usually knead it. Almost like you're making bread dough. Exactly. If not, it'll fall apart. So I don't recommend this at home, but we kind of lightly taste it for seasoning. Can I taste? You can taste. [BLANK_AUDIO] Okay. Oh, wow. Lot of yuzu. Yes, and that's another thing I learned from Hiro, is I was always used to heavily seasoning my food and he taught me to kind of underseason it. Because too much seasoning, people get overwhelmed by it and kind of lose their appetite. Up to the hand. We poach it to rare. Very short, maybe 30 second to a minute, just so It holds it's shape. Next step for these is we chill them. So in the meantime we're going to do a skin skewer. We always do our skin we blanch it first. Yeah. Why you blanch? It's easier to skewer them. That's a lot of skin. That's a lot of skin. Probably made it bigger than I should have. Are you gonna cut it? Yup. The ends will burn a little bit. And really, having any burnt on the skewer really takes away the flavor. [MUSIC] [BLANK_AUDIO] Japanese style grilling, Ingredients never touch the [UNKNOWN] grid. It's suspended over charcoal heat. Almost in a way like a rotisserie. Working the yakitori grill is one of the most complicated stations Getting the temperatures right and not charring them too much and then make sure they're cooked perfectly. It's just a puzzle Yeah it's a total puzzle Smells so good It's gonna get dipped in sauce [MUSIC] I'm getting hungry just looking at this. Hiro gave me the greatest compliment when he first ate here, though. He said he didn't know he was in San Francisco. He would've thought he was in Tokyo. And that meant the world to me. [MUSIC] Nice. Stays really crispy and it's really concentrated almost like a nice. Chicken stock flavor. Mm, it's so good. I go into the. [UNKNOWN] Mm, a nice [UNKNOWN] Century chicken flavor. You know, yakitori is just so simple things to do. But, really, that is a lot to get exactly the moisture and the color and the texture. Great [UNKNOWN] the best [UNKNOWN] I can see in San Francisco. A O, A O.