Alongside a sharp ginger sauce, stateside hibachi grills usually dish up a spicy, Japanese-style mustard sauce to complement their grilled chicken and beef entrees. Even without the culinary theatrics -- a style known as teppanyaki, brought to America by restaurateur Rocky Aoki in the early 1960s -- this mustard packs a punch at home. Unlike thicker western mustards, this dressing-like sauce works best as a dip or drizzle.
Lay the Foundation
At its core, hibachi-style mustard blends spiciness with a creamy consistency. To achieve this flavorful balance, fill about half a cup with equal parts soy sauce and water. Stir in a few spoonfuls of heavy cream and an equal amount of Asian-style mustard -- mustard made from the Brassica juncea plant, available at Asian markets -- and a dash of garlic powder to taste. Mix the ingredients until they take on a smooth, sauce-like consistency and chill before serving.
Tweak the Blend
While the basic mix of Asian-style mustard -- also known as Indian or Japanese mustard -- cream and soy sauce serves as your foundation for hibachi-style mustard, feel free to add your own personal spin. For a spicier flavor and a bit more texture, substitute minced garlic for garlic powder. To amp up the sauce's tangy edge, add a few spoonfuls of fresh lime juice or grated ginger. To tone down the spice a bit, add toasted sesame seeds to taste.
Craft Your Karashi
Some hibachi grills also serve traditional Japanese hot mustard, a condiment known as karashi. Compared with its American counterpart, this mustard has a more paste-like consistency and a spicier, slightly more bitter taste. Sharp, poignant karashi is simple to make -- just whisk a few tablespoons of hot mustard powder, often labeled as Chinese or English mustard powder at the grocer, and an equal amount of cold water until you achieve a thick, pasty texture. This simple combo derives its heat from a chemical reaction between the mustard enzymes and the cold water, so it's spicier if you eat it within minutes of mixing. Serve karashi with hibachi-style dishes such as pot stickers, miso soup and fresh vegetables.
While hibachi-style mustard sauce complements the chicken and beef dishes at most teppanyaki restaurants, your at-home hibachi dining experience isn't complete without the signature ginger dressing, which pairs with seafood and veggies. To create this concoction, combine a half cup of equal parts soy sauce and chopped onion, a nickel-sized slice of peeled and chopped ginger root, a clove of minced garlic, a few spoonfuls of fresh lemon juice, a dash of sugar and a bit of white vinegar in a blender and puree. Like the mustard sauce, chill this piquant mix before serving.
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