HOW TO GRILL JAPANESE FOOD
Review by Barb & Ron Kroll
The Japanese Grill - from Classic Yakitori to Steak, Seafood and Vegetables
(Ten Speed Press) ISBN 978-1580087377 158008737X
Are you looking for a Japanese grilled shrimp recipe or a recipe for grilled Japanese eggplant? You will find them and other Japanese recipes in The Japanese Grill.
Cooking Japanese meals is easy with the grilling methods described by Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat. Using their grill cookbook, home cooks can learn how to apply Japanese cooking styles to North American food, like steak and pork chops.
The Japanese Grill is organized by main course ingredients (meat, fish, vegetables) and side dishes.
Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat introduce each grill recipe with advice on Japanese cooking, grilling techniques and substitutions for Japanese ingredients. For example, in his Matsuri restaurant recipe for salmon with shiso pesto, Tadashi Ono says you can substitute basil for shiso, a Japanese herb.
Yakitori recipes provide Japanese to English translations of yakitori names, e.g., tsukune is minced chicken.
Sidebars describe Japanese foods like wagyu. (The most expensive meat in the world, the tender marbleized beef comes in several varieties, including Kobe beef.)
Todd Coleman food photos depict grilled foods made with The Japanese Grill recipes and Japanese ingredients. Step-by-step photos explain Japanese cooking techniques, like how to skewer yakitori.
How to make yakitori
The introduction to The Japanese Grill describes Japanese ingredients such as tobanjan (red paste made from fermented soybeans and chilies). The 184-page grill cookbook also explains the differences between types of miso, e.g., shiro miso (white miso) is a salty rice-based miso, aka miso (red miso) is aged, hatcho miso is brown and meaty and saikyo miso is sweet and delicate.
Harris Salat and Tadashi Ono's grilling cookbook features several yakitori recipes, along with information on how to set up a yakitori grill, and how to select skewers (kushi) for yakitori.
A sources section lists stores and websites where you can buy Japanese cooking ingredients like yuzu kosho (a salty citrus and chile condiment).
Sample Japanese recipes for the grill
Classic yakitori sauce. Bacon asparagus. Crispy chicken wings with seven spice powder marinade. Ginger garlic half chicken. Turkey burger with quick BBQ sauce. Japanese-style turkey pastrami. Yuzu Kosho marinade. Smoked trout with wasabi sour cream. Porterhouse with garlic soy sauce marinade. Scallion beef. Japanese burgers with wasabi ketchup. Ginger boneless pork shoulder. Japanese-style BBQ baby back ribs. Corn brushed with soy sauce and mirin. Asparagus with miso mayonnaise dipping sauce. Foil baked green beans with soy sauce and garlic. Miso yaki onigiri (grilled rice balls). Green cabbage salad with carrot ginger vinaigrette. Spinach with ground sesame. Romaine hearts with miso mustard dressing.
The Basics: Japanese Ingredients
The Basics: Grilling
Fish and Seafood
Perfect Side Dishes
Tadashi Ono is executive chef at Matsuri, a New York City Japanese restaurant. Harris Salat writes The Japanese Food Report blog. Chef Ono and Harris Salat are authors of the Japanese Hot Pots cookbook.