If you have been watching many cooking videos lately, you have most likely seen people cooking Hibachi. So here is the ultimate beginner’s guide to Hibachi Grilling for you to try.
Hibachi grilling is a cooking technique that originated in Japan. Most grills are small and compact instead of the common ones you see on TV, where it is attached to a fixture.
The traditional recipes are usually composed of meats, vegetables, and rice. However, this technique has evolved in the past years, and many countries have adapted this cooking method.
That is why there are variations of this cooking style. However, the essence of cooking with the Hibachi method to enhance the flavor still exists.
The secret here is to let the food cook as it is. There is no need to cover and cook the food through steam. Instead, you just need it cooked with direct heat from the grill itself.
Hibachi is the Japanese translation for “fire bowl.” It is also often associated with teppanyaki, which is a term that roughly translates to “grilling on an iron plate.”
It all started with small portable grills that cooked for two or three people.
But as many cultures adapted the cooking, the cooking grills have improved and were enlarged into more exciting and fun cookware that can accommodate more people when used.
So if you are looking for another way to cook the food you love, Hibachi might be the method that fits, read om as we look at how it works.
What Do You Need?
Aside from the grill itself, you are not going to need much. You need a lot of preparation, but this is easy if you use ingredients available around you.
Depending on the menu for the meal, you have unlimited options for grilling in Hibachi. This way, you can be as creative as you want when cooking in this method.
The usual food included in the traditional Hibachi cooking is fried rice, grilled meat, and seasonal vegetables. So you can alter the recipe depending on the season in your area.
Just use whatever is abundant, and you will be cooking the best version of it with this method. The rice is a really important part of Hibachi grilling; it is as Asian as it can get.
Grill fried rice also gives you a lot of options. You can put any ingredients you like in it, like meat, broccoli, onions, garlic, and other ingredients that you think will fit with the other recipes.
The vegetables cooked in Hibachi grilling also give you the freedom to pick your favorite ingredients. You can go for some zucchini, carrots, lettuce, and more with the vegetables.
The meat recipe is the easiest part as you are only going to season it with what is available and then grill them. You can use the flat-top grill if you do not want small veggies to fall between the grates.
If you cook with the Hibachi method, you can go for a flat-top grill and get it ready by heating it. This is pretty much the easiest cookware to use for this recipe.
However, if you want to go with the more traditional cooking method in Hibachi, you can cook in a traditional portable grill where you will need to heat it with charcoal.
Flat-top grills are also great for cooking in the Hibachi method. They give off a better surface for cooking, and it catches all the food so they will not fall in the fire.
The first thing you need to do is to cook the rice ahead of time. This is because you cannot cook rice on a grill if it is raw, so make sure that you do that before you prepare the grill.
You can prepare the meats and vegetables differently as they can be cooked directly on the grill right away.
So you can let the rice cook first and then prepare the other ingredients while waiting.
The Hibachi method of cooking does not let the customer finish the food on its plate, so you need to get the process done speedily to keep the customers occupied.
Cooking in the Hibachi Method
This is a very simple method of cooking, and everyone should learn how to do it. The secret here is to arrange the succession of food you cook according to the type of presentation you want.
See, if you want to serve the food all at once, you can start with the meats as they will cook longer. But if you go the traditional way, then you can cook them all at the same time.
Start with The Meats
The first thing you should cook is the one that requires the most time. The larger it is, the longer it will need to be cooked, so you should go with the meats first when cooking.
To shorten the cooking time, you can tenderize the meat or slice them thinly. This way, it will cook faster, and you or your friends will not have to wait for long.
Marinating the meat is also important; this will help add flavor to the meat and tenderizes the lean muscles as well. So make sure to prepare it ahead of time before you cook it, or you can use a meat tenderizer.
Thinly sliced meat will cook quickly, so do not leave them unattended. After the grill has heated up, you can put the meat on it and then let one side cook without moving it around.
This will only take around a couple of minutes. Flip the meat over and then let the other side cook; once the color has changed and there is a bit of browning, remove it from the grill.
You can then put the next batches of meat that did not have enough space for cooking. Do the same process to the rest of the uncooked meat.
Let the cooked meat rest on a plate with a paper towel to drain all the oil; this helps keep the juices of the meat in so it will become tender when served.
Cooking The Vegetables
When it comes to the vegetables, there are no complicated guides here as all you need to do is cut them into small bite-sized pieces and then grill them on a flat-top grill.
The traditional way of grilling will not work with vegetables as they can burn easily. So you need a pan to be heated over the grill or go straight to the flat-top grill when cooking them.
You can let them cook until they become soft. Avoid browning the vegetables as it is a sign of overcooked vegetables, so just let them cook until they are soft.
You can also chop up the other vegetables into even smaller pieces so you can mix them with the fried rice. Now speaking of fried rice, let us see how you can cook it using Hibachi Grilling.
As obvious as it is, we are still going to remind you that you can only fry the rice on a wok or the flat-top grill. So start by preparing the garnishes and spices as the rice cools down.
If you fry rice right away before it has cooled down, it will be more likely to stick on the grill. So place the cooked rice in a bowl and then let it cool down for a little bit before cooking.
First, whisk some eggs and then set them aside. You can also do this while cooking the rice by cracking some eggs directly on the flat-top grill if you want some egg whites in there.
Put the rice directly on top of the grill before the eggs finish cooking. Mix them all well and keep on stirring so the egg mixes with the rice; let the eggs cook for a few minutes.
If you see the eggs forming into a more solid structure, you can now add the soy sauce, sesame oil, and a little bit of rice vinegar.
Then keep on mixing up the ingredients together.
You can alter this recipe by separating the eggs and putting them on top of the fried rice. As soon as the rice looks good to you, you can then serve it in a bowl with the other ingredients.
Tips on Cooking with the Hibachi Grill
While you are allowed to cook with as much fun and freedom as you want, there are also some tricks that you can use to improve the cooking and the quality of food that you produce.
Experts from Japan suggest that you use binchotan. Binchotan is dense white charcoal that is very common in Japan and used a lot in Hibachi restaurants there.
This type of charcoal is more efficient than the ordinary charcoal you order. They get so hot and last longer, so you can use them again when in the next cooking session.
A regular-sized Binchotan can last up to 5 hours of cooking. It is also odorless, making it even better for the recipes you cook with the Hibachi method.
The Hibachi method of cooking is all about freedom. However, another common way of doing this method is to skew the vegetables and meats when cooking.
This way, you can cook both of them directly over the fire. You no longer need to invest in a flat-top grill as the skewers can hold up the ingredients.
This is just a suggestion if you do not have a flat-top grill to still cook directly on the flat-top grill if you have one. Just use the right ingredients when cooking.
Do not be afraid to use spices in this recipe. Although the traditional way of cooking in the Hibachi method only involves three main spices, you can add your favorite spices here.
The three classic spices for the Hibachi method are garlic, ginger, and sesame seeds. But if you want more flavors, you can certainly use other spices to make the meat and vegetables taste better.
The Hibachi method is a really fun way to cook, and every family should be familiar with it. You can even let the kids cook the ingredients that they want in their food.
It is a very free type of cooking where you can put all the ingredients you want and cook it however you want them in terms of succession. It depends on which food cooks faster.
You can also add any flavor that you want in the recipes and make the flavors feel like you cooked the most familiar thing in the unique way possible.
So if you are interested in this cooking method, you should follow the instructions and tips above and then surprise your family and guests with this new technique that you have learned.
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