What is the origin of the Mongolian grill
What is the difference between "Mongolian Grill" and "Hibachi"?
Technically speaking, hibachi are a traditional Japanese device used to heat your own home. They are a simple, heat-resistant container that contains charcoal.
The cooking utensils that many people refer to as "hibachi" are what the Japanese would call "shichirin":
I suspect that the term "hibachi" was popularized in North America because "shichirin" can be difficult to pronounce for Anglophones.
At some point, mainly in North America, the term "hibachi" was also used for teppanyaki:
I'm not sure when or why this started. Perhaps it has something to do with Banihana confusingly referring to their teppanyaki restaurants as "hibachi style".
Among these, teppanyaki is most similar to the Mongolian grill, in which meat is cooked on large, round, cast-iron frying pans:
(Images from Wikipedia.)
If you actually went to a Japanese restaurant and cooked your own food over a shichirin, it would likely be referred to as a "yakiniku" which is believed to have some origins in Korean grilling.
While teppanyaki has long been a traditional Japanese cooking method, "Mongolian barbecue" was developed in Taipei, Taiwan in the 1970s. During this time, Japanese teppanyaki was very popular in Taiwan, so many people speculate that this was actually the inspiration for Mongolian grilling. There are also some similarities between the Japanese dish "Jingisukan" and the Mongolian barbecue, but Jingisukan is older than the Mongolian barbecue.
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