How to cook Asian recipes on the grill with skewers

Jul 29, 2008 at 12:13 p.m. ET

Backyard barbecues can feature more than just burgers, steaks, and hot dogs. Pull out your skewers and create a sophisticated and global feel for your next grill out with the taste of Asian grilled specialties. Read on for Asian cooking techniques on the grill using skewers.

Vegetables on Skewer

What Makes Asian Grilling Different?

Smaller cuts: Most Asian style foods are cut in small pieces or formed into patties so that cooking is quicker and requires less fuel.

Cooked well: The food tends to be fully cooked instead of medium or rare.

Vegetable and carb centerpoints: Asian grilling also centers on starch and vegetables instead of meat, so the meat portions are often smaller than in typical grilling.

Skewered: Asian style grilling is also typically on skewers.

Flavorful marinades: Marinades and wet rubs are popular in Asian grilling as well. Soy sauce is one of the most popular bases for a marinade.

Get Skewer Savvy

You have probably cooked kabobs (or kebabs) on the grill or under the broiler. Asian cooking using skewers is a little more adventurous. Asian grilling includes different types of skewers that are often soaked in a flavorful mixture of soy sauce and water. Before you get grilling, keep these skewer tips in mind. 

1. Soak wooden or bamboo skewers in a mixture of soy sauce and water for at least 30 minutes to keep the ends from burning on the grill.

2. Skewer fish, scallops, and squid with at least two parallel skewers to keep the tender meat from falling apart or spinning around one skewer, making it hard to cook all sides evenly.

3. Lemongrass stalks also make awesome skewers and add a lovely citrus flavor to the food. Peel off the outer leaves and sharpen one end for easy threading. Soak lemongrass stalks in soy sauce and water for 20 minutes before using.

4. Six-inch pieces of sugarcane also impart flavor and sweetness to the food. Sugarcane can be found in the Asian section in most markets or at Asian specialty markets.

Now that you have a better understanding of Asian grilling, head to Asian recipes on the grill for more Asian grilling secrets and three delectable recipes for grilled Asian specialties.

And if you are in the market for some new decorative, metal or bamboo skewers, check out the Shopping Channel for a delicious selection.