The History of Hibachi

A group enjoys dinner at Shogun, a great place to try the practice of hara hachi bu.

Hibachi is celebrated globally for being the most entertaining way to dine. Although most know what to expect from a hibachi outing, not many are aware of how this Americanized craft began and what it looked like before reaching worldwide popularity. Let’s travel back to when the journey of hibachi began before it made its way through the world of dining.

Early Hibachi Cooking

Hibachi’s birth was marked by simplicity. Translating the name reveals what an actual hibachi looks like and its use: hi for “fire” and hachi for “bowl or pot.” Japanese households used this “fire bowl” to contain burning charcoal. The hibachi was then covered with an open-grate grill to cook and heat a variety of items. Most often it was used to heat a room.

Eat What You Want Day - Chef preparing meals on a hibachi grill.

The origins of what we know as modern hibachi come from the Japanese term “teppanyaki,” which loosely translates to “grilling over a metal plate.” Inspired by teppanyaki and motivated by commerce, hibachi grilling moved out of the home and eventually into restaurants. Hibachi-style cooking centered on highlighting the natural flavors in foods, which is why seasonings were sparsely used during the cooking process. Food prepared on a hibachi grill typically consisted of animal proteins, vegetables, and rice with minimal amounts of soy sauce, vinegar, salt, and pepper.

The First Hibachi Experience

In 1945, the first original teppanyaki restaurant opened in Japan. The restaurant, Misono, became a huge success with both locals and visitors. Patrons were amazed by the chefs’ abilities to artfully craft meals while putting on a culinary performance. The work at Misono started a trend in the restaurant business.

Hibachi Goes Abroad

A couple of decades following the success at Misono and the growing popularity of hibachi across Japan, the cooking style made its way across the world.

Since its move to the United States, hibachi has become a household word in every American’s culinary vocabulary. Many restaurants have adapted hibachi to offer more North American menu items paired with modern seasoning blends and innovative entertainment.

Hibachi grills eventually adopted teppanyaki cooking methods that more closely reflect modern-day hibachi. What were once small, mobile grills that served traditional hibachi meals are now massive tabletop fixtures that patrons can sit around. These fixtures are better known as teppanyaki grills, but the term has become interchangeable with hibachi in North America.

Hibachi at Shogun Japanese Steakhouse

Exterior of Shogun Japanese Steakhouse, the perfect destination for Eat What You Want Day

Although hibachi has evolved in the past few decades, you can still find an authentic hibachi experience at Shogun Japanese Steakhouse. Our highly skilled chefs are trained to provide the best in both cuisine and performance. If you’re looking for a truly entertaining and delicious culinary experience, reserve your next dinner at Shogun Japanese Steakhouse. Call 407-352-1607 to save your table today.

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Shogun Japanese Steakhouse on International Drive is where talent, fresh flavors, and entertainment ignite on the grill. Our teppanyaki shoguns bring the heat and humor in an unforgettable dining experience unique to all restaurants on International Drive. Dine with your crew around the teppanyaki or at a table. We also love hosting gatherings and small parties.