All-you-can-eat yakiniku joints are understandably popular. It’s an almost guarantee for a full stomach and a good time. Unlimited grilled meats with all the extras for $20-$30 a person. It’s hard to turn down, especially at 2 am. You can’t go wrong.
That said, places like Sikodorak and Camellia are never a bad meal. But all-you-can-eat in 60-min isn’t really all you can eat is it? And for the price you really can’t expect the highest quality. If you want a true all-you-can-eat experience, at home is the way to go.
We were on a mission to prove that last week, going all out for a Mother’s Day grill-athon. Starting with the sauces. Between the two of our collections we had every sauce imaginable–sesame sauce, garlic sauce, sweet and savory tare, seasoned shoyu, yuzu kosho, ponzu, and gochujang. And don’t forget the wasabi and lemon.
Next tsukemono and banchan to balance the fattiness of the meat. Pickled cucumbers, carrots, and daikon. Takuan, kuro mame, kimchee garlic, dried daikon kimchee, taegu and glazed potatoes. With some good rice, korean nori, and lettuce it’s already a meal by my standards.
Hearty vegetables that can stand the heat. Fresh asparagus, zucchini, onions, and bean sprouts do some of their best work on the grill. Sugars from the sweet potato burn nicely on a hot surface. Meaty mushrooms cleaned and cut–shiitake, enoki, and shimeji.
And of course what we all came for–Niku! Marbled rib eye, kalbi, and gyu tan. Throw in some pork belly, chicken, shrimp, calamari, salmon, shishamo, and poke for good measure.
After much prep, the stage is set. Every inch of the table covered. The last piece of real estate just big enough for a sauce dish. Extra fat is used to prime the hot grills–Vibrating with heat, like magnets waiting for the first piece of meat.
And then it begins–A no holds barred, every man for himself, all-you-can-eat rampage. Multiple meats on multiple grills, browning and sizzling. Hot rice on sesame nori. Dipping sauces, kimchee and wasabi passed across and back around.
It’s a Japanese, Korean, yakiniku, teppanyaki, anything goes affair. Everything in different combinations but all making sense. Each bite featuring a tender morsel of glistening beef. Each piece brown and crispy and juicy inside.
In the end it was all-we-could-eat for that night and a couple more. By all accounts, we probably over did it. But when mom says she wants yakiniku, she gets yakiniku–Chun style! Next Mother’s Day forget the brunch. With so many Asian markets in Hawaii it’s easy to grill for mom. Tell us about it in the comments below.