We’ve wrapped up our best BBQ & potluck recipes to kick start your summer! From chicken spring rolls to teriyaki burger to yaki onigiri to mochi ice cream, you will find many popular Japanese and Asian-inspired dishes on the menu.
Summer is the season of backyard BBQs, casual brunches, potlucks, and breezy suppers. With a busy schedule ahead, it’s easy to get stuck with the same old menu when you need to whip up something to feed a crowd.
If you are in the mood to switch things up for some new flavors, we have you covered. From teriyaki burger, chicken spring rolls with sesame sauce to colorful fruit jelly, these Japanese and Asian BBQ recipes will keep you inspired.
Have a delicious summer, and I hope you enjoy the hot grills, amazing foods, great friends and laughter.
Appetizers + Finger Foods
Fresh spring rolls are always a hit at the summer cookout! Here you have juicy Japanese BBQ meat with crunchy vegetables, all wrapped in rice paper to seal in the deliciousness.
Vegetarians/vegan? Swap the meat with grilled tofu, zucchini, eggplants, or a good mix of meaty mushrooms!
Prep the vegetables, fresh herbs, poached chicken and the sesame sauce ahead of time. When ready to serve, everyone can help themselves by wrapping the filling with the rice paper. It’s the best kind of finger food for outdoor entertaining.
Inspired by the cult-favorite Japanese drama – Midnight Diner, these Japanese version of American Corn Dogs are going to remind you of summertime in Japan. You’ll need only pancake (hotcake) mix, sausages (or hot dogs) and a quick dip into hot oil. It’s really easier than you think!
Salads + Pickles
This is a classic. Period.
This pantry-friendly Macaroni Salad is your last-minute friend. The creamy, tangy and sweet dressing will have everyone come back for more.
Hearty, satisfying, and delicious Steak Salad that kicks your average green salad up a notch with sizzling steak and savory Japanese-style shoyu dressing!
Oh yes, these pickled watermelon rinds are super addicting! They are sweet, refreshing and hit all the right notes. Perfect with any BBQ meal.
These pickled cucumbers are another must-have! Crunchy and refreshing, it literally goes well with any Japanese or Asian BBQ theme cookout.
For The Grill (Meat + Vegetables + Rice)
When it comes to summer grilling, one thing that comes to mind: a juicy flavorful burger that we can really sink our teeth into. Brushed with a sweet-savory glaze and topped with a grilled pineapple slice and melted cheese, these teriyaki burgers are a fun little vacation and a whole lot of deliciousness.
Char-grilled with husk and smothered in savory miso butter, these Grilled Corn with Miso Butter are exactly what you need! The intensity and flavor of miso butter elevate the sweet corn to another level.
Caramelized crispy exterior and creamy interior, this grilled miso-glazed eggplant dish is easily the dream dish of any eggplant lovers!
If you must have chicken wings, then look no further than these Sweet & Spicy BBQ Wings. The simple marinade includes soy sauce, mirin, garlic, sesame oil, and the umami-packed gochujang. Make extra, because they are absolutely finger-licking good!
With minimal seasonings and a quick stint on sous vide machine, this Santa Maria Tri-Tip makes that intimate Friday night grill outs extra special. Any leftovers can be used in salads or amazing sandwiches.
Bulgogi, a classic Korean grilled beef, is so easy to make and fun to eat with friends and family. Tender pieces of caramelized beef with crunchy sweet vegetables, this flavorful grilled meat can be done on a barbecue or a stove-top griddle.
Glazed in a savory-sweet sauce, these Japanese chicken and scallion skewers are the ultimate food for the good times.
Marinade short ribs overnight to have the meet deeply infused with all the delicious flavors. Once the marinaded meats are placed over the hot grill, sear them until beautifully charred. Serve them with a big pile of fresh lettuce, kimchi, spring onions, or pickled vegetables. Rice is optional, but why not!
You can make these rice ball babies with or without fillings. Form them into triangles, lightly brush with a savory sauce, place on a cast iron pan and cook! The outside will develop a toasty delicious crust while the inside tender and sticky.
Drinks + Desserts
Cold brew green tea is the most guilt-free drink to counterbalance all the grilled food you enjoy. You can of course sweeten it up with a light drizzle of honey.
Another healthy but delicious drink to enjoy is Cold Brew Hojicha. The natural caramel flavor and sweetness makes you want to refill the cup again and again.
20. Watermelon Juice
Watermelon juice is the epitome of summer drink. Don’t forget to add a splash of fresh squeeze lime juice.
Lemonade is a true summer thirst quencher! If you haven’t tried making lemonade from scratch, this recipe shows you how to make classic lemonade, and two other refreshing flavors with summer herbs – mint and thyme lemonade.
22. Japanese Parfait
Made of delicious layers of sponge cakes, granolas, fresh whipped cream, ice cream, and summer fresh fruits, these Japanese fruit parfaits are a winner for weekend brunches or special breakfasts. Kids & adults will go crazy for it.
23. Fruit Popsicles
It wouldn’t be summer without fruit popsicles! With all the delicious summer fruits in season, this is the best time to enjoy these frozen treats. They are so easy to make too. Perfect for a poolside party.
24. Mochi Ice Cream
This is a highly rewarding summer cooking project. All you need is to make the mochi shells from scratch and fill it with quality store-bought ice cream in all sorts of flavors!
25. Fruit Jelly
Colorful and whimsical, these chilled fruit jellies make a lovely dessert tray for summer entertaining.
26. Ume Shaved Ice
Fruity, tart, sweet, and aromatic, this Ume Shaved Ice has the perfect flavor of Japanese summer!
We are all about red bean flavored treats at Just One Cookbook, ice cream included! Life is not the same without it.
We hope you enjoy making these fun Japanese and Asian-inspired summer recipes!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on Jun 29, 2017, and has been edited in June 2019.