Sisig is a Kapampangan term which means “to snack on something sour”. It usually refers to fruits, often unripe or half-ripe, sometimes dipped in salt and vinegar. It also refers to a method of preparing fish and meat, especially pork, which is marinated in a sour liquid such as lemon juice or vinegar, then seasoned with salt, pepper and other spices.
Sisig also refers to Sizzling sisig, a Filipino dish made from parts of pig’s head and liver, usually seasoned with calamansi and chili peppers.
Tonkatsu (豚カツ, とんかつ, or トンカツ, pork cutlet), invented in the late 19th century, is a popular dish in Japan. It consists of a breaded, deep-fried pork cutlet one to two centimeters thick and sliced into bite-sized pieces, generally served with shredded cabbage and/or miso soup. Either a pork fillet (ヒレ, hire) or pork loin (ロース, rōsu) cut may be used; the meat is usually salted, peppered, dredged lightly in flour, dipped into beaten egg and then coated with panko (bread crumbs) before being deep fried.
It was introduced to Japan by the Portuguese. It was originally considered a type of yōshoku—Japanese versions of European cuisine invented in the late 19th and early 20th centuries—and was called katsuretsu (cutlet) or simply katsu.
Early katsuretsu was usually beef; the pork version, similar to today’s tonkatsu, is said to have been first served in 1890 in a Western-food restaurant in Ginza, Tokyo. The term “tonkatsu” (pork katsu) was coined in the 1930s.
Takoyaki (たこ焼き or 蛸焼?) (literally fried or grilled octopus) is a popular ball-shaped Japanese dumpling or more like a savory pancake made of batter and cooked in a special takoyaki pan (see below). It is typically filled with diced or whole baby octopus, tempura scraps (tenkasu), pickled ginger, and green onion.
In modern days, it became common to be brushed with takoyaki sauce and mayonnaise, and topped with green laver (aonori) and katsuobushi (shavings of dried bonito). There are many variations to the takoyaki recipe. For example, ponzu i.e. soy sauce with dashi and citrus vinegar, goma-dare i.e. sesame-and-vinegar sauce or vinegared dashi.
It was first popularized in Osaka, where a street vendor named Tomekichi Endo is credited with its invention in 1935 under the influence of Akashiyaki. Takoyaki was initially popular in Kansai but later spread to Kanto and other areas. Today, it is popular in many areas throughout Japan. Takoyaki can be purchased in many street food stalls (yatai) but today there are many well-established takoyaki specialty restaurants/eateries that are very popular. Osaka and the Kansai area is particularly famous for it. It may be often sold in many commercial outlets, e.g. supermarkets or 24-hours shops. In addition, frozen takoyakis are even exported to many overseas countries.
Street stall takoyaki, Tokyo, served with grated “daikon” and tsuyu
Yaki is derived from “yaku” (焼く?) which is one of the cooking methods in Japanese cuisine, meaning “to fry or grill”, and can be found in the names of other Japanese cuisine items such as teppanyaki, yakitori, teriyaki and sukiyaki.