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Kushiage, or Kushikatsu, is a deep-fried skewered dish in Japan, made with various meats, seafood, and vegetables. Kushiage serves the various ingredients on bamboo kushi (skewers) after they are dipped and fried in egg, flower, and panko using vegetable oil. Kushiage is believed to originate in Osaka's Shinsekai neighborhood as a means to serve workers after a day of working. The creator is said to be the owner of a small food bar, and sold the fried skewers to blue collar workers looking for something filling to enjoy without being too expensive. The owner used available ingredients at hand and a bit of ingenuity to create something tasty and cheap. The affordable dish became quite popular over time, and is now served in various regions in Japan, with each region having certain rules, dipping sauces, and ways to enjoy the food.
Depending on the region, the size of each kushiage skewer, the batter used to fry the kushiage, or even the ingredients used to top the dish can all vary. For example, while the chef in Osaka who created Kushiage would use only a single food on her skewers, the local Tokyo diners enjoy putting alternate pieces of meats and vegetables (like pork & onions). In Nagoya, kushikatsu is sometimes topped with a miso-sauce and called miso-katsu instead.
One thing to note, when kushiage is served with sauce, it is important not to dip the kushiage in the sauce twice for both sanitary and customary reasons. If you are at a restaurant that serves the sauce in one pot, only dip the kushiage once, or add the sauce to your plate to dip at your own liking. It is customary to use a slice of cabbage to scoop up a bit of sauce to pour over your kushiage, or some restaurants will have a spoon or brush you can use to glaze over your kushiage to apply the perfect level of sauce.
Sometimes considered a fusion between tonkatsu and yakitori, enjoy delicious Kushiage in Osaka before your tour begins with Japan Deluxe Tours! You can also customize your vacation with our affordable day-trips to include a kushiage restaurant while you explore the charms of Osaka!
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