Valentine’s Day varies in meaning in different parts of the world, from Finland where they celebrate “Friends Day” to Iran where printing and distributing anything promoting the holiday has been banned because they feel it opposes Islamic values. That may be a nice little tidbit for those who go through the trouble of getting in a fight with your loved one on the 13th of February to avoid putting up the cash on the 14th, just change your name to Malik Shabazz X for a day.
This year for Valentine’s Day we decided that we were not going to go out and spend a bunch of money for dinner. Part of the decision may have had to do with the fact that we procrastinated to the last minute and probably would have had trouble getting a reservation anyway. Hibachi has always been a great date idea due to its entertainment value and its being so interactive. Then I started to wonder if I could recreate a Hibachi experience in our apartment…..why not? Sure, it is something that requires a little leg work on the front end with chopping and preparing food but with anything, you get back what you put into it.
Below I will give a step by step break down of how to prepare a Hibachi night-in for friends, family or that special someone. This can be used for Valentine’s Day, an anniversary, birthday or just to change things up a bit:
1. YOUR HIBATCHI TABLE – If you don’t have one, get a plug-in griddle that you can place on your dining room table so you can cook in front of your guest while they are seated. They can be found at any department store for $24 and up.
2. THINK OF A MENU – For the menu I decided to use what I already had in the kitchen and that worked out well with what I would normally order when at a Hibachi Restaurant. If you want to get real creative, print a made up menu and make up some funny names for the dishes. For example my menu consisted of:
MISO HORNY SOUP
GET PORKED FRIED RICE
STEAK AND CHICKEN HIBACHI
DESSERT – CHEF TORI-HANA SURPRISE
I had everything I needed to get this done and only had to buy a can of chicken broth, miso and tofu for the soup. Don’t for get the miso….oh crap I forgot the miso.
3. GATHER YOUR INGREDIENTS
MISO HORNY SOUP – 1 can chicken broth, 3 cloves of garlic, chopped scallion, tofu, soy sauce, salt/pepper. I know what you are thinking, how can this be miso soup without any miso? Well its not miso soup, its Miso Horny Soup and there is a huge difference, pay attention.
GET PORK FRIED RICE (PORK FRIED RICE) – ¼ Hilshire Farm Turkey Keilbosa (this is what was in the fridge but you can use anything here as long as its chopped into small cubes i.e. ham cubes, bacon, any type of sausage), 1 cup uncooked rice, I carrot (chopped), 1 scallion, ½ bell pepper, 1 egg, soy sauce, salt pepper
VEGETABLE HIBACHI – ½ onion (cut in half then sliced), ½ bell pepper (sliced), 1 carrot , soy sauce
CHICKEN AND STEAK HIBACHI – 1rib-eye steak (thinly sliced), 1 chicken breast (thinly sliced), garlic, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce
4. PREPARE INGREDIENTS
– Get all of your ingredients chopped then place them in separate ramekins or small dishes (this can be done hours or the night before).
– Cook rice and set aside and allow rice to cool. (rice can be made a day ahead)
– Place your sliced steak in a bowl and stir in olive oil, soy sauce, garlic, salt and pepper. Set aside in refrigerator until ready to cook (may be left over night to marinate). Place sliced chicken in bowl and mix in some homemade or store bought teriyaki sauce and allow to marinate in refrigerator until ready to cook.
5. PREPARE THE MISO HORNY SOUP
– Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a small pot. Add the garlic, scallions and cook on a med-high heat and stir frequently for 2-3mins (do not allow the garlic to brown).
– Add the chicken broth, tofu and allow to sit in a low heat. Turn up heat just before serving.
6. SET-UP YOUR HIBACHI STATION
– Put your griddle (hibachi table) on the center of dining room table.
– Place the ramekins with your ingredients down one side of the table adjacent to you griddle. (its best to place the ingredients for each dish next to each other so they are easy to access.
– Set your seasonings, sauces and oil down the opposite side (soy sauce, teriyaki, olive or sesame oil, water and salt/pepper)
– Pack your rice into a bowl large enough to fit all the rice. Place the bowl of rice upside down on a plate and tap the bowl until the rice falls out to make a perfect rice dome. Place the plate of rice with your fried rice ingredients.
– Turn griddle up to the highest setting.
7. GET THINGS COOKING
– Turn the heat up on the soup and serve.
GET PORKED FRIED RICE
– Add some oil to the skillet then your pork and chopped vegetables. Use two spatulas to mix the things around on the griddle and look like you are doing more than you really are.
– Mix in the rice and add some soy sauce.
– Pull the rice apart to make a circle in the middle. Break the egg in the open area and scramble for 1 minute then mix eggs in with the rest of your rice and serve.
– clean off griddle with spatula and pour some more oil on griddle
– Add vegetable to griddle and keep vegetables moving.
– Place a little bit of water over vegetables to create stream, keep vegetables moving.
– Add some soy sauce to vegetables while stirring, cook for a few more minutes than serve.
STEAK AND CHICKEN HIBACHI
– Clean of griddle and add more oil.
– Add steak and chicken to the griddle (add to the opposite side of the griddle)
– Cook steak to desired doneness, stirring frequently and add some soy sauce near the end of cook.
– Stir and cook the chicken until cooked all the way through. Near the end of cooking stir in some teriyaki sauce then serve along with the chicken.
Sure I wasn’t able to do all of the greatest Hibachi tricks like the flaming volcano made of onions, or tossing the egg in the hat but it turned out to be an interesting and fun meal (tasted pretty good to). You can put your own little twist on things but most of all have fun.
*Photos taken by T. Fredericks and property of Toriano’s LBV.