Friday, March 15, 2013

Hibachi Shrimp (or Chicken or Beef)

Last year's post: Swordfish en Papillote

Who doesn't like the food at Japanese steakhouses?  But it can get pricey, and it's surprisingly easy to create your own hibachi dinner at home that tastes exactly like the restaurant version.  You could always cook chicken or beef instead of or in addition to the shrimp, but I particularly like hibachi shrimp (or even lobster!).  You can indulge when you make your own meal at home, because it's so much less expensive than a restaurant.

Hibachi dinners are usually served with sauteed vegetables and rice.  Another benefit of cooking at home is that you choose the vegetables you like - zucchini and onion are traditional, but broccoli, carrot, mushrooms and even red peppers are fun.  For this dinner, we chose to serve zucchini, onion and mushrooms.

The final ingredient is the dipping sauce.  I've seen three different sauces served at Japanese steakhouses - a soy-based ginger sauce, a pale creamy pinkish sauce (aka Japanese white sauce), and a mustard sauce.  Some restaurants serve two and claim one is better for steak and the other is better for seafood; others serve you one for everything. The pale pink sauce is supposedly for seafood and the mustard sauce is for steak, although we recently ate at a restaurant that served the pink sauce with everything. Whatever. My personal opinion is to make whatever sauce(s) you like best.  I've included recipes for all three, although we opted to make the ginger sauce to go with shrimp.  The Lawyer liked the sauce so much that he dumped it on the rest of his rice and vegetables and mixed the whole thing together after his shrimp were eaten.

So basically you have four components - the dipping sauce (make in advance), the rice (make second), the sauteed vegetables and the shrimp/chicken/steak (make last).  Making the dipping sauce in advance simplifies things, plus the foam from blending everything goes away in a half hour or so and the beautiful dark sauce is clear.

Because the preparation is so simple, the quality of your meat or seafood will make all the difference.  That's why Japanese steakhouses use filet mignon or sirloin rather than top round. Start by buying the best - in our case, the most beautiful raw shrimp we could find. It's easiest if they're shelled and deveined first, then all you have to do is pull the tails off and butterfly them by cutting down the curved back (where the vein was) almost but not all the way through. That helps them cook more evenly.  If you're using chicken or steak, just cut them into bite-sized pieces.

click here for a printable recipe version
Hibachi Shrimp (or Chicken or Steak)
Makes 4 servings

For the ginger dipping sauce (see the other two sauces below):
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
½ lemon, juiced
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon white vinegar

For the hibachi vegetables:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
½ teaspoon sesame oil
½ onion, sliced
3 cups zucchini, cut into bite-sized pieces (or broccoli, carrots, red pepper, mushrooms, etc.)
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce
salt and pepper

For the shrimp (or chicken or steak):
16 large or 12 jumbo shrimp, shelled, tails removed, butterflied (or 16 oz chicken or steak, cut into bite-sized pieces)
3 tbsp butter
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp lemon juice

hot cooked white or brown rice

For the dipping sauce: combine all sauce ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.  Serve at room temperature.

For the vegetables: heat the vegetable oil and sesame oil in a large skillet or wok on medium high heat. Add the onion and other vegetables and sauté for 4-5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add butter, soy sauce, and salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, heat a second wok or skillet over high heat letting it get very hot. Add shrimp and butter, then add soy sauce and lemon juice. Stir-fry until cooked, about 2 minutes. Add pepper to taste.  (For chicken, stir-fry until no longer pink in the middle, approximately 3-4 minutes.  For steak, stir-fry to desired degree of doneness.)

Serve the shrimp and vegetables with hot cooked brown or white rice and the ginger (or alternate) dipping sauce.

Alternate Sauces:

#2 - mustard
3 tablespoons dry mustard
2 tablespoons hot water
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
1 garlic clove

In a small bowl, blend mustard and water into a paste.
Pour paste into blender container; add remaining ingredients and process about 1 minute or until smooth.

#3- pink  (also called Japanese white sauce)
1-1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon paprika
dash cayenne pepper

Mix all ingredients together thoroughly until well combined and the sauce is smooth. Refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to blend. 

1 comment:

johnniecarson91 said...

This is great! I'm exactly looking for a dish that I can cook for my friend because he's coming in my house tomorrow. And this recipe is perfect for him. Thanks for sharing this!

Easy Stir Fry