When I step into a Japanese hibachi grill, a deliciously enticing aroma surrounds me. Waiting for a table feels like waiting to bust out of timeout when I was 4 years-old. It's way too long and tormenting. Usually I grab a sake whatchama-call-it at the bar which is basically anything that consist of sake and a mixer. I try to be authentic with my specialty fruit sake cocktail and flamboyant ornaments hanging off the glass. Alright I know it doesn’t count, but a girl needs a cute cocktail.
Let's be honest the real reason I find myself in any hibachi grill is for that rich creamy special sauce, also known as shrimp sauce or Hibachi white sauce. I dip my fork in the mystery condiment before stabbing a tender piece of meat, but it’s not enough. I try to submerge a fork full of crunchy vegetables into the small ramekin, but it still doesn’t satisfy. So before I drink it, I drench my whole plate in that perfect white sauce. Wow, it's soooo good.
The recipe varies from cook to cook but some basic ingredients are mayonnaise, butter, paprika, garlic powder, sugar, and rice-wine vinegar. When I ordered the take-out you see above at a local hibachi grill in Birmingham, I asked what the secret was. The sweet lady said, "too many ingredients to tell you. I will bottle it up and sell it to Walmart so you can buy." It's highly confidential.
Whether it is an authentic Japanese recipe or not, I’m still in love. Here's a whole website dedicated to this superb Japanese Steak House White Sauce. Also check out The Best of Japan, a collection of Japanese recipes.
What are some restaurant staples you want to get your hands on? Maybe I can help you search for them.
For more delicious white sauces...