By the Book: The Japanese Grill

By: Kirsten Vala
Related To:
Pork Chops with Yuzu-Miso Marinade

Growing up in the Midwest, my first exposure to Japanese food was a local teppanyaki restaurant, where knives would click, flames would fly and I would anticipate the first whiff of seductive, sizzling sauce hitting the flat-top grill, the aroma permeating my senses, getting tangled in my hair. 

Brushing a beef marinade from the new The Japanese Grill cookbook this week, the same alluring aroma came sizzling off my grill pan, and I was instantly hooked. The authors — Japanese-born Tadashi Ono (chef at Matsuri in NYC) and food writer Harris Salat — came up with a simple yet brilliant concept: combine American-style grilling (steaks, chops and chicken over a backyard grill) with basic Japanese flavors.  

Ginger-Garlic Half Chicken

Writing out the exotic grocery list for Pork Chops with Yuzu-Miso Marinade(red miso, sake, mirin and red yuzu kosho), I wondered whether it might be too much trouble. But seeing the same ingredients called for in the next recipe, and the next — I used the yuzu kosho (a spicy citrus sauce) in a marinade for fish, flavored my green beans with sake, and brushed red miso over grilled rice balls — I realized the the stroke of genius: The authors set you up with a few key ingredients, and use them again and again. With one shopping trip, you'll be set to grill Japanese-style dishes all summer long. 

Foil-Baked Green Beans with Soy Sauce and Garlic

This cookbook covers all the Japanese grilling bases. Beginning with traditional yakitori (skewered food, including chicken hearts, gizzards and more!) — a cool nod to the grilling culture of Japan— it then delves into American standbys like Garlic-Ginger Chicken and sides like easy Spinach with Ground Sesame.

A surprising chapter is devoted to Yaki Onigiri, or grilled sticky rice balls, brushed with flavorings. I was tempted to skip such a complicated-looking accompaniment, but the crisp, golden grilled rice balls were fun and easy to make, definitely worth the extra effort. Japanese-style foil-packed grilling is also a nice surprise — for small or tender veggies or fish, try cooking in a pouch with ingredients like sake and soy sauce (like the  Foil-Baked Green Beans with Soy Sauce and Garlic).

The Japanese Grilltakes grilling to a new, unexpected level, mixing infinitely familiar grilled fare with a bit of the exotic. I'm hooked on the flavors — tangy yuzu kosho, sweet mirin and potent sake — and I'll be working my way through this cookbook all summer, with weeknight, grill-pan suppers and backyard cookouts sure to impress. 

Start grilling from The Japanese Grill with these recipes: 

More cookbooks to try: 

Browse more Grilling Recipes on Cooking Channel, from burgers to summer cocktails.

Next Up

Peaches on the Grill

The best recipes for grilling peaches this summer.

The Grill Guide

Assume the role of grilling guru with the following tips for serving meats and veggies with a crispy char and a tasty wood-smoke edge.

Meat Your Dream Burger with Our Grilling Personality Quiz

Find out what burger you should make with Cooking Channel's grilling personality quiz. Get recipes for cheese-stuffed burgers, mushroom burgers and more.

Bobby Flay Bio

Learn more about Bobby Flay host of BBQ with Bobby Flay and Brunch @ Bobbys and about grilling barbecue and summer cooking.

Sifted: Summer Strawberries, Cherry Soup and Something More

Celebrate summer with strawberry wine, cherry soup, and agretti, a favorite ingredient from Italy.

Let Kix Brooks Show You How to Make the Perfect Steak

Find out how to grill the perfect steak with tips from Cooking Channel star Kix Brooks.

On TV

So Much Pretty Food Here