Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Hibachi Grill Cooking

Hibachi grill

Cooking on a tabletop hibachi, a method of cooking popular in Japan and East and Southeast Asia, uses strips of meat, vegetables and kebabs that cook quickly over intense heat as well as stir-frying. Add this to my Recipe Box.


A hibachi can sit on the top of a table but sometimes has its own stand. It is heated by charcoal with the grill close to the food, good for searing meats quickly. Gas powered versions of the hibachi are sometimes found in Japanese and Korean restaurants. Strips of chicken or pork cooked on sticks over portable grills are a popular street food throughout Asia.

Western Variants of a Hibachi

In the West, the term "hibachi" has been expanded to include home and restaurant models heated by gas or electricity and with a flat cooking surface. Although not a traditional hibachi because they don't have a grill necessary for a true barbecue, these are suitable for stir fry dishes.

Cooking Ideas

Cooking on a traditional hibachi does not rely on Western-style recipes. Asians typically marinate meats. They do not smother them with sauces as is the fashion in the West. A host can place platters of thinly-sliced marinated meats on the table so guests can cook what they like. These thin slices of meat may include Korean barbecue pork, teriyaki chicken or pork, or satay skewers---strips of chicken or pork covered with a spicy peanut sauce popular in Malaysia and Indonesia. The thin strips of meat are cooked hot and fast. Depending on how hot your hibachi is, each strip should be cooked about two minutes on each side. It is easy to cook any number of vegetables on a hibachi as well as shrimps and steaks. Cooking times will vary with a particular hibachi and the intensity of heat.

Cooking Kebabs

Kebabs are easily cooked on a hibachi. Kebabs ordinarily contain chicken or fish, but pork or beef can be used. The meat is marinated from 20 minutes to six hours. There are numerous marinade sauces, ordinarily containing ginger, soy sauce and garlic. Sweet and sour sauces are popular. Alternate the meat with vegetables on a skewer. Zucchini, onions, pepper, and small tomatoes are good for kebab, but other vegetables may be used as well. Cook these kebabs about seven minutes on each side although as with strips, cooking times will vary.

Stir Frying

Both meat and vegetables should be sliced thinly for stir frying. Marinate the meat. Traditional marinades are similar to those for cooking strips and kebabs over charcoal. Add the meat then the vegetables that take longer to cook then the vegetables that cook more quickly. Serve both meat and vegetables over rice. Asians do not like to overcook their vegetables, but rather keep the color, crunch and flavor.

Cooking Western Food

Cooking on a hibachi is not limited to Asian foods. Any food can be fried on a hibachi with a flat cooking surface. Pancakes, eggs or bacon can all be fried on a table-top hibachi as well as hot dogs or hamburger patties. Cold beer is an Asian favorite to have with foods cooked on a hibachi. Wine is often served in the West.

Tags: chicken pork, meat vegetables, cooked hibachi, cooking surface, each side, flat cooking