Chicken [Toriniku]


Japanese Name and Pronunciation:

toriniku in Japanese


In Japan, the majority of chicken available in the market is broiler chicken, but there are also chickens referred to as “Jidori” or local chicken. Jidori chickens are considered a premium product, accounting for just 1% of the total chicken distribution, and they are subject to strict regulations regarding rearing period, rearing methods, and lineage.

Jidori chickens are raised in a specific locality, often with a focus on traditional breeding methods and a strong emphasis on the natural environment and diet.

The unique characteristics of Jidori can be attributed to the region-specific factors such as climate, terrain, and feeding practices. These factors contribute to the distinct flavor, texture, and overall quality of the meat. Jidori are typically raised in a free-range or semi-free-range environment, allowing them to move and forage freely, which can contribute to their robust and flavorful meat.

The regional nature of Jidori is highly valued in Japanese cuisine. Different regions have their own specific breeds and traditions associated with Jidori. The chickens are often used in local specialty dishes, where their unique flavor and quality are showcased.

Jidori is known for its firm texture, rich umami flavor, and a good balance of fat. The meat is highly regarded for its tenderness, juiciness, and pronounced taste. Due to the emphasis on quality and traditional breeding methods, Jidori are often considered a premium ingredient in Japanese cuisine.

Top 3 Jidori


Hinai-jidori is a renowned breed of chicken from Akita Prefecture. It is prized for its rich flavor, tender texture, and high-quality meat. Hinai-jidori is often used in traditional dishes and is particularly sought after for yakitori and hot pot preparations.



Satsuma-jidori, also known as Kagoshima-jidori, is a regional specialty from Kagoshima Prefecture. This free-range chicken is known for its flavorful and tender meat. It is often used for dishes like yakitori, chicken sashimi (torisashi), and hot pots.

Nagoya Cochin

Nagoya Cochin is a heritage breed of chicken from Aichi Prefecture. It is prized for its tender and juicy meat, as well as its rich umami flavor. Nagoya Cochin is commonly used in regional specialties such as Nagoya-style chicken wings (tebasaki) and various traditional dishes.

These are just a few examples of the many chicken varieties found in Japanese cuisine. Each type of chicken brings its own unique qualities to different dishes, adding depth of flavor and enhancing the overall culinary experience. The careful selection and appreciation of specific chicken breeds contribute to the rich tapestry of flavors found in Japanese cooking.