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Hibachi Myth

January 4, 2008
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I would like to set the record straight.

Myth: Japanese Steakhouses are an example of traditional Japanese cuisine.

Reality: False. When Japanese want to eat steak, they go to American Steakhouses. They do have beef in Japan (Kobe Beef is supposed to be some good stuff), but it’s usually eaten in other forms than the traditional massive slab of thoroughly cooked meat on a plate. Think sukiyaki, yakiniku, and shabushabu.

Myth: Hibachi grills are the epitome of daily Japanese cooking.

Reality: False. I never used the word “hibachi” while in Japan, although the device does exist (not in my house though). The English usage of hibachi is more akin to Japanese teppanyaki, which is also a sort of hotplate that, in Japan, allows diners to cook for themselves as a group as opposed to being entertained by a chef who enjoys throwing shrimp at their eyeballs and otherwise maiming customers.

Despite these strange discrepancies, I had a lovely afternoon of affordable hibachi yumminess with the girls this afternoon.

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