Double yum yum? Oh, the familiar words of your favorite hibachi restaurant. Now you can make hibachi at home complete with an onion volcano, shrimp toss and yum yum sauce!
The times, they are a changing and with that change comes a few adaptations. Many of us are trying to find new ways to occupy our time, and for me, it also to entertain my children and maintain some normalcy.
About a week ago a got a creative spark- it was probably fueled by boxed red wine- but a spark nonetheless and I decided to put on a full hibachi dinner for my family. It came complete with a onion volcano and flying shrimp.
The only thing we were missing was a flaming fire bowl cocktail. Maybe that will be next…
I won’t lie, it was a little bit of work to get it all prepped and ready to go, but it was also loads of fun and something none of us will ever forgot. The idea went viral and now I am being flooded with emails about how to make a hibachi dinner at home.
Hibachi at Home
What is hibachi? Well, most people just think of their favorite steakhouse, but hibachi is actually more of a charcoal grilling. Teppanyaki grilling is actually what you experience there.
Next, you’ll need to plan what you plan to include in your hibachi dinner at home. These are the most common elements and all laid out in the paragraphs below.
- Teriyaki Sauce
- Yum Yum Sauce
- Fried Rice or White Rice
- Seafood- shrimp, scallops and lobster
- Lo Mein
My advice is to just choose one or two items to make on the griddle since you have limited space. I made the sauces ahead of time and the rice on the stove.
We served an all seafood menu of shrimp, scallops and lobster. I opted to omit the lo mein (but instructions are below).
You will need teriyaki sauce to make the other items even if you plan to exclusively use yum yum for dipping. You can make your own or buy a bottle at the store. Look for one that is thick and glossy opposed to thin like soy sauce.
What You’ll Need
The biggest thing you will need is of course, the grill. No worries, you won’t need to remodel the kitchen. All you need is an electric pancake griddle!
Mine was little small, so I highly recommend using a larger version around 24 inches. If you have a smaller one or just feeding a large (or super hungry) family, feel free to make some of the other items, like the rice, on the stove and just serve them instead of doing all the prep on the griddle.
You’ll also need utensils. I used a hamburger flipper (stainless steel spatula) and large serving fork. You can also use a standard spatula. While they tend to cut pieces of meat and seafood right on the griddle, they are also working with stainless steel and not a coated, nonstick surface. I recommend pre cutting all your items before starting.
If you plan to do the volcano, you’ll need a squeeze bottle for the alcohol. This is the safest way to do it because you don’t want to be too close to the open flame. If you have picnic ketchup/mustard bottles lying around or small ones for crafts lying around, those work too.
Lastly, have a small fire extinguisher ready. You know, just in case. You are playing with fire here…
- Large Griddle
- Large Serving Fork
- Squeeze Bottles
- Chopsticks– if you are going truly authentic
- Sauce Cups or Ramekins
- Soup Bowls
Sauce, Salad and Soup
If you ask most people what they associate with going to a hibachi grill it will probably be the onion volcano or train and of course, the yum yum sauce. Whatever you do, MAKE THE YUM YUM SAUCE!!!!!!
If you want to make a salad, simply cut iceberg lettuce coarsely and add a few grape tomatoes and carrots. Miso Ginger Dressing is what they serve at mine local joint.
Miso soup is also a favorite and super simple. It is sold in small powdered packets and all you need it hot water.
If you want something a little more substantial, give my Egg Drop Soup a whirl. You can make the broth ahead of time and then add egg, mushrooms and scallions right before serving.
Some also throw shrimp into your mouth as an appetizer. Plan for 2 shrimp per guest. Simply cook with 1/2 tablespoon of butter for 2-3 minutes on each side or until pink and curled.
Cut shrimp in half using the edge of your spatula, then using the back, flatten them. Flat shrimp tends to toss better than round. Physics, I suppose.
Throw food at your family and have fun!
Hibachi rice is no more than fried rice made on the griddle instead of in a wok or skillet. Use my recipe for fried rice and then customize the veggies (if you want any).
There really isn’t a need to add protein since it isn’t the main dish, but you can always add some ham or shredded pork like they do in the restaurant.
White sticky rice is also totally acceptable. You can even use an ice cream scoop to place it into little bowls.
If you plan to make chicken on the hibachi grill, you’ll need some sort of fat. The resturants use a seasoned butter (that giant pale yellow pound on a plate).
I used unsalted butter. You can use salted, but be careful with further seasoning so things don’t get too salty. Of course, soy sauce is also a little salty.
Boneless skin chicken breasts or boneless thighs fillets cut into 1-inch pieces are all you need. There is no need to marinate ahead of time.
Heat the griddle to 350 degrees and then melt about 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the chicken, laying out into a flat layer. Flip when browned, about 2-3 minutes.
When chicken is fully cooked and browned, ladle a small amount of teriyaki sauce onto the chicken and use your best hibachi chef skills to clink and clank the spatula and mix the chicken and sauce.
Serve it up on the plate.
For hibachi steak, you’ll also need a fat, such as butter. Again, unsalted is the best bet, but salted work fine too.
No need to season or marinate the beef either. The restaurant usually gives you a choice of these cuts, you can use the same ones at home.
- Beef tenderloin (chateaubriand)
- New York Strip
- Skirt Steak
Most are cut into bite-sized pieces and I recommend doing this before adding to the griddle so you don’t ruin the coating.
Heat griddle to 350 degrees. Add 1 tablespoon butter, allow to melt. Add cut beef pieces, arranging in a single layer.
For rare, wait until the beef is just browned, about 2 minutes on each side. Add 1-2 minutes for each degree of doneness.
At the end, gather into a mound and add a small amount of teriyaki sauce. Work your magic to mix it all up and then serve.
There is typically a lengthy list of seafood options including:
I like using shrimp, scallops and lobster since they require the most amount of action. It is kind of boring to just watch a filet of salmon or tuna sizzle on the grill.
Shrimp– Use large peeled and deveined shrimp, account for about 1/2 pound per person. Using 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter, melt on griddle at 350 degrees. Add shrimp in a single layer, cooking for 2-3 minutes on each side or until pink and curled. They usually do a spritz of fresh lemon juice before serving.
Scallops– Clean scallops and dry with a paper towel to dry. Make sure the side muscle is removed. If using large scallops, cut in half. Smaller, bay scallops, don’t need to be cut. Add 1 tablespoons of unsalted butter to the griddle at 350 degrees. Add scallops in a single layer, cooking 2-3 minutes on each side or until browned and fibers are visible. Serve with a spritz of lemon juice.
Lobster– Remove meat from lobster tail and cut into 1 inch pieces. Heat griddle to 350 degrees, add 1 tablespoon unsalted butter and then arrange in a single layer. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until meat is opaque and taunt. Serve with lemon wedges.
Every restaurant has their own mix of veggies, but they usually consist of a julienne cut mix.
Don’t mix all your veggies together at once because some take more time to cook than others. Broccoli carrots go on first, then add zucchini and eggplant, followed by onion and mushrooms.
Use 1-2 tablespoons of butter to prevent sticking. I seasoned mine with fine sea salt, freshly ground white pepper and sesame seeds, but no sauce. After all, you’ll want to dip it in the yum yum, right?
Hibachi Onion Volcano
Disclaimer: Try this trick at your own risk and have a fire extinguisher close by.
Gather your tools ahead of time. Here is what you’ll need:
- Long reach lighter or butane torch
- Small squeeze bottle of 8- proof vodka or other 80+ proof alcohol
- Small squeeze bottle of vegetable oil
Cut onion into thick slices (about 1/2 inch). Using the largest piece, build a tower from the largest up to the smallest, leaving the last one off so you have a large enough hole to squirt the liquids.
Do this trick at the very beginning or the very end because you’ll need to crank the heat on your griddle up as high as it goes.
I recommend stacking the slices before you put them on the griddle to avoid getting burned or messing it up. Stack it on the side and use your hamburger flipper to transfer the whole tower.
You’ll need to work quicky to make the rest of it work correctly.
- Squirt oil into the center of your onion volcano for 2 seconds.
- Squirt 80+ proof alcohol into the center for 3-4 seconds. Be careful not to drip it any place else or it can also light fire (sometimes the chef will make a smiley face doing just this).
- Hold your long lighter or butane torch close to the top of the volcano and then light it or after the flame is lit, wave it over the top. This needs to happen briskly after you put the alcohol in so it doesn’t simply seep out the bottom. Some even do the fire at the same time as squirting the alcohol. Stand as far back as you can to avoid getting burned. It should flame up and then die down to just smoke in a few minutes.
I know it seems like a lot, but it will all come together and be superb! I’d love to hear about how your experience went, so come back and leave us a comment. If you put it up on social media, tag @savoryexperiments and #homehibachi !
More Asian Inspired Meals:
Typically meat, seafood and vegetables prepared on a super high heat metal griddle. Traditionally these are heated with coals or wood, but in the states they are mostly propane. Hibachi is also very fast and interactive and has been entertainment in the US. Most US “hibachi” is actually closer to teppanyaki style cooking.
Hibachi is a style of cooking and preparation whereas teriyaki is a sauce, but also more of a skewer and grilled preparation than griddle. However, many hibachi restaurants serve a teriyaki sauce with the food.
If truly being cooked with fire, the coals or wood, but in the US, sesame oil, good quality dark soy sauce and butter with salt give it flavor.