Hibachi Rice: Easy to Make Super Delicious Stir-Fry Dish

We may earn a commission on qualified purchases made through one of our links. Learn more

Talk of some of the most popular rice dishes to have come out of Japan, and hibachi rice will definitely be on the list somewhere. 

There are two reasons for that!  First of all, it is hibachi! Which means it is automatically delicious.

Second, it is effortless to prepare with highly accessible ingredients.

Even a 12 year old can whip it up with some practice, NO JOKES! 

Hibachi Rice- Easy to Make Super Delicious Stir-Fry Dish

Hibachi rice or hibachi fried rice is a simple rice-based stir-fry dish prepared with sesame oil and butter, with soy sauce as its primary flavoring ingredient. The dish is cooked on high heat and has a mild flavor that goes great with almost any siding. 

But is it all that you need to know? Certainly not!

If you’re a fan of Japanese cuisine, this article might add to your overall knowledge. Besides, you get to learn how to make a great rice dish.

Check out our new cookbook

Bitemybun's family recipes with complete meal planner and recipe guide.

Try it out for free with Kindle Unlimited:

Read for free

What is hibachi rice?

Hibachi rice, Hibachi fried rice, or Japanese fried rice, is a delicious stir-fry of cooked rice with butter, soy sauce, and other tasty ingredients. 

The dish makes use of calrose rice. It is a short-grain variety of rice, much like sushi rice.

When cooked, the grains clump together, attaining a moist, sticky texture. 

This type of rice is great at absorbing flavors and are one of the most sought-after choices for hibachi rice.

If you can’t find calrose rice, you can also use simple jasmine rice. 

Although it has a slightly fluffier texture than calrose rice, it doesn’t feel much different. Plus, the flavor absorbing capability of this rice is also considerably good. 

Oh, and for our curious fellows, the Japanese word “Hibachi” means “fire bowl.”

It specifically refers to a cooking style that uses a round, pot-like Japanese grill for cooking. 

However, you should remember that the term is also used for teppanyaki-style cooking in the west.

Although teppanyaki is a completely different style of cooking (it uses a griddle), it’s now synonymous with hibachi. 

It’s also important to mention that hibachi rice is also prepared using the teppanyaki style method (mostly) and is cooked over a heated griddle.

In other words, hibachi rice is simply a teppanyaki dish. 

If you want to make it truly “hibachi,” you might like to use a more unconventional cooking method, such as placing a wok over a fire bowl filled with burning charcoal. 

Hibachi fried rice is served with many sidings, including veggies, steak, chicken, and seafood.

A complimentary sauce is also served with the combination, further accentuating the flavors. 

How is hibachi rice cooked? 

Hibachi rice is cooked in stir-fry style over a super hot griddle, using the same method as any normal fried rice.

Now if you have a griddle at home, you can just scroll up a few youtube videos, and you should be able to cook perfect hibachi rice without any problems. 

However, the elephant in the room is; what if you don’t have a griddle? Well, here’s the thing! Making hibachi fried rice at home is super easy and affordable. 

All you need is a large wok or flat-bottomed pan.

See Kyo whip up an easy version using a simple wok and a gas stove here:

The dish comes together quickly and tastes like a Hibachi restaurant’s fried rice.

Plus, it’s a great way to use up leftover rice. 

In fact, this dish turns out better when made with one-day-old cold rice.

The reason for that is simple. Old rice is drier and hence, ideal for stir-frying with other ingredients. 

How to make Hibachi rice at home

Let’s see how you can cook hibachi rice at home, from start to finish: 


To make Hibachi Fried Rice, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Cooked rice
  • Butter
  • Soy sauce
  • Vegetables (optional)
  • Eggs (optional)


  • Heat butter in a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add cooked rice and stir-fry for a few minutes.
  • Add soy sauce and stir-fry for a few more minutes.
  • Add vegetables and eggs, if desired, and stir-fry for a few more minutes.
  • Serve with your favorite grilled protein choices and veggies, and serve! 

For more detailed instructions, see my complete Teppanyaki Hibachi Restaurant-Style Fried Rice Recipe

What is the best rice to make hibachi fried rice? 

Hibachi rice is best made with medium-grain calrose rice.

The grains of this rice aren’t too sticky nor too fluffy and sit somewhere in between, having a unique texture. 

Another thing that makes this rice preferable is its ability to absorb flavor.

In a dish where you will be basically using minimal tastemakers, you want to retain as much flavor as you can. 

Being a strong flavor-absorbent, calrose rice is an ideal choice to make your favorite dish. 

However, here’s the catch; calrose rice is only easily available in some places. This is why most people also like to substitute it for jasmine rice. 

Although jasmine rice doesn’t have the same balanced texture as calrose rice and tends to be fluffier; its grains are also good at absorbing flavors. 

What’s more, jasmine rice is naturally fragrant, which will add up to flavoring and aroma. It just won’t be as clumpier, which isn’t a huge problem if you ask us.

If you’re interested, check out our guide on what equipment and ingredients to buy to make hibachi at home! 

How to eat hibachi rice?

Hibachi rice is one of those classic dishes that you can eat alone, pair with veggies, or eat with proteins, and it will taste as delicious. 

Traditionally, hibachi rice is just a part of a larger meal served on a platter at hibachi restaurants.

The combination is sided with a special hibachi sauce for extra flavoring. 

To eat hibachi rice, you simply have to pick your chopstick, combine it with a protein and veggie of your choice and take a bite.

If you’re uncomfortable eating chopsticks, you can also use a spoon and fork. 

Many people like to eat the dish with a spoon at home. The reason is simple- it allows you to take more wholesome bites, something you cannot do with chopsticks.

Oh, and you can always pour that sauce over the bowl! It just makes things much more flavorful. 

I have a full recipe to make that amazing Hibachi white sauce at home here

History and origin of hibachi rice

If we look at it generally, the term “hibachi” traces its origins back to the Heian period, which is the timeline between 794 and 1185 AD. 

However, the history of hibachi rice doesn’t go back that far. There are two reasons for that.

First, the initial hibachi-style cooked foods were grilled mainly steaks and veggies. 

Second, hibachi fried rice is not technically a hibachi dish since it’s cooked using the teppanyaki technique.

This completely different cuisine got popular in the post-World War II era. 

In other words, the history and origin of hibachi rice go around 60 years back, when the first teppanyaki restaurants were opened in America and started preparing their own version of Chinese fried rice. 

The only difference was that this rice dish was prepared over a griddle with a few tweaks in the ingredients.

Griddle cooking was known as hibachi in South America; hence, we have hibachi rice today.

Hibachi rice vs fried rice

Hibachi rice and fried rice may look similar, but they are actually quite different.

Hibachi rice is cooked on a teppan or griddle, a type of Japanese grill. 

On the other hand, fried rice is cooked in a wok or a large skillet with oil. This gives it a crunchy texture and a more intense flavor. 

When it comes to the ingredients, hibachi rice is usually made with short to medium-grain white rice, butter, soy sauce, and seasonings like garlic, ginger, and onion. 

On the other hand, fried rice is usually made with long-grain white rice, eggs, and several different vegetables like carrots, peas, and onions. 

Although hibachi rice sometimes uses egg, it is not necessary and can be skipped.

Moreover, unlike fried rice, veggies are often served on the side rather than added to the rice. 

As far as the question “which one’s better?” is concerned, there are no favorites really. It all comes down to one’s preference. 

You might like Chinese fried rice more if you like something richer in overall flavor, texture, and ingredients that you can eat without any side dishes. 

But if you’re more into a versatile rice dish with a subtle flavor that tastes good when sided with anything, hibachi rice is your perfect go-to dish. 

When it comes to hibachi rice, seasonings aren’t really much in the scene.

All a chef would use to flavor the rice is soy sauce, butter, sesame oil, and maybe rice cooking wine. 

If a chef wants to get more creative with his approach, they might add some garlic soy sauce, which gives the rice that sweet, salty, umami kick, but of course, with a garlicky punch. 

Other than that, hibachi rice is super flavorful on its own, and it does not use any seasonings.

This is partially because it derives most of its flavor from the side dishes it’s served with. 

Any extra ingredients or seasonings could make the platter overly flavorful- something most people don’t like.

However, you can always go for more seasonings if you like foods with stronger flavors. 

Hibachi rice is always served with different pairings. In fact, the hibachi rice experience is incomplete without pairings.

Although you definitely have an idea of what those pairings are, let us list them out for you separately: 

Hibachi steak

Hibachi steak is a simple steak cooked using the hibachi or teppanyaki method.

The only difference is that the meat is marinated with soy-based marinade and cooked using hibachi grill. 

Moreover, after, or during cooking (depending on your preference) the meat is cut into bite-sized pieces instead of the usual slices. 

The cooked meat is juicy and has a very natural flavor, with a touch of smokiness. It perfectly complements the flavor of hibachi rice and serves as a delicious siding. 

Hibachi chicken

Hibachi chicken is another popular pairing with hibachi rice (see my delicous hibachi chicken recipe + cooking tips).

It is also prepared using soy-based marinade and sauces, like the hibachi steak. 

The chicken is also prepared using the same method as the steak. However, the flavor it adds to the overall experience is quite unique. 

You can also side the rice with teriyaki chicken if you’re making it at home. It brings much more flavor intensity to the dish. 


The most common seafood, and also the most common protein served with hibachi rice, is shrimp. Its buttery, sweet, and salty taste combine well with hibachi rice. 

At the same time, it adds some depth to the overall combination of flavors and is one of the favorite parts of the hibachi platter for most people. 


Grilled vegetables such as zucchini, carrots, and bell peppers are some of the most popular pairings with hibachi rice. 

The veggies, coupled with some button mushrooms, not only balance the flavor of all the protein and soy but also add the much-needed complexity to the dish. 

Any hibachi food, whether rice or anything else, is not complete without veggies. 

Hibachi sauce

Creation of American teppanyaki restaurants, hibachi sauce, or yellow hibachi sauce, has remained a classic in teppanyaki restaurants worldwide. 

It’s a mayo and mustard-based condiment with a generally savory flavor.

Although a teppanyaki platter is already topped with this sauce, some sauce on the side is always a good option. 

You can always pour in more when you like, especially if you have made hibachi yellow sauce yourself (fool-proof recipe here).

Where to eat hibachi rice?

Hibachi rice can be eaten at any of your nearest hibachi or teppanyaki restaurants. Both have the same menu and provide the same taste when it comes to rice. 

However, if you have none of the aforementioned located anywhere near you, don’t worry. You can always prepare the dish at home. 

The ingredients are super simple, and so is the preparation method. Just grab your ingredients, heat up your favorite skillet, and get cooking. 

Wondering where to go? These are the 10 Best Teppanyaki Restaurants in America worth a visit

Is hibachi rice healthy? 

Generally, yes! When taken in moderate amounts, hibachi foods don’t harm your health and can be a great option to end your weekend with a delicious meal. 

However, make it a regular part of your diet, and it can get quite a dark and depressing turn.

You see, hibachi, and teppanyaki foods specifically, are prepared with copious amounts of butter or oil. 

This butter and oil, combined with all the soy used to prepare the rice, proteins, etc., can contribute to increase the overall body fat and blood pressure. 

Not to mention all the harm if you’re someone susceptible to developing kidney stones repeatedly.

In other words, hibachi rice is good when eaten casually with proper portion control. 

But as a regular part of your diet? We wouldn’t highly recommend that. It can be quite harmful to your health. 


And that pretty much sums up everything you need to know about hibachi rice.

It’s an easy, versatile, and delicious dish that any casual and skilled cook can whip up in just a matter of a few minutes. 

What’s more, it doesn’t use any of those hard-to-find Japanese ingredients. In fact, you won’t even have to run to the store.

Chances are, most of the ingredients might already be present in your pantry. 

Read next: How to cook teppanyaki at home | These are the key ingredients

Check out our new cookbook

Bitemybun's family recipes with complete meal planner and recipe guide.

Try it out for free with Kindle Unlimited:

Read for free

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.