How to Do Hibachi Tricks

You can create a Hibachi trick with an onion, oil and fire.
You can create a Hibachi trick with an onion, oil and fire. (Image: Images)

Many find that the best part about going to a Japanese Hibachi steak house is not eating the food, it is the viewing the show. Japanese Hibachi chefs entertain patrons with jokes, witty comments and tricks performed on the Hibachi. The tricks range from silly to amazing. Typical crowd favorites include the onion volcano and the egg trick. Hibachi tricks on the grill take practice and concentration but with hard work can be performed at home.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 to 2 whole onions
  • Knife
  • Hibachi grill
  • Spatula
  • Condiment squeeze bottle
  • Vegetable oil
  • Vodka (80 proof or higher)
  • Lighter
  • Golf ball
  • Dozen or more eggs

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The Onion Volcano Trick

Slice the onion into 1/4-inch rings. Separate the slices with your finger and line the pieces up. Select a large ring to be the base of the volcano. This is usually a piece from the middle of the onion. Select rings that decrease in diameter to stack on top of the bottom ring. You should have a tower of onion slices that resembles a volcano. If you do not have pieces that fit together, slice another onion and mix and match pieces. Do this step in the prep area or kitchen before presenting the trick.

Turn on the Hibachi grill. Re-stack the onions in the tower with the spatula to start the performance of the trick.

Squirt vegetable oil into the top of the onion volcano with a condiment squirt bottle. You should squirt enough to fill up the bottom two rings of onion; about 1/2 inch of oil will pool inside of the ring.

Pour a splash of vodka into the volcano. This should go on top of the vegetable oil. Light the vodka on fire with the lighter. Flames will start shooting up out of the onion, creating a "volcano."

Remove the onion from the grill with the spatula after the volcano has flamed from the vodka and smoked from the oil.

The Egg Trick

Take a golf ball and place it on the spatula. Practicing with a golf ball saves money on eggs.

Toss the golf ball into the air by flicking your wrist upwards. The ball should go about a foot into the air. Try to catch the ball on the spatula.

Repeat Step 2 until you can catch the ball on the spatula without making any noise. If you can catch the ball without a sound, catching an egg without breaking it will be much easier.

Replace the golf ball with an egg. Try to catch the egg and bring the spatula down with the egg on it at the same rate of speed that the egg was falling.

Try to throw the egg and catch it multiple times in a row after you have mastered catching it without breaking it.

Tips & Warnings

  • The egg trick requires many hours of practice to become proficient at it.
  • Use caution when lighting the onion on fire. Position the onion where it is not close to spectators. Step back after lighting the onion as small flames do shoot up.
  • Wash your spatula well after an egg has broken on it to prevent possible infection from salmonella.


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