Gyutan Beef Tongue

Gyutan Beef Tongue_1 Gyutan Beef Tongue_2

A taste you will never forget is the texture of a juicy piece of quality meat. When people in Japan say the word “Gyutan”, others will immediately say, “I want some!”

The “tan” in “Gyutan” comes from the English word “tongue”, and designates the tongue of a cow. Grilled Gyutan was first introduced by a Japanese chef named Keishiro Sano, who used to run a restaurant that mostly served yakitori. But one day, he discovered and became passionate about Gyutan, and started to sell salted slices of it to his customers. In 1948, he started his own restaurant just for Gyutan called “Sendai Gyutan”.

Now Sendai is famous for its Gyutan, but in the beginning it was difficult for people to adapt to this unique offering. Sano worked hard to find gyutan when there was only a certain amount available on the market, and tried to make his customers eat only the best of the best. However, the salted Gyutan was not so popular, and was eaten with alcohol or just as a little something after a main meal. But after Japan’s spurt of economic growth, many workers began to visit Sendai for work more than before, so many businessmen got the chance to try Sendai’s Gyutan, and started to talk about it back in their hometown. Word started to spread about Sendai’s delicious Gyutan throughout Japan, and it started being introduced in the media.

Using charcoal fire, juicy slices of Gyutan are grilled right in front of you, and then served with a side of rice, grated yams and soup, vegetables and pickled condiments. You should try grilled Gyutan at least once; it is enjoyed very much by the Japanese people.


Photo by Sendai Tourism & Convention Bureau

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