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A Late-Summer Japanese-Style BBQ

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This casual menu combines Japanese flavors and techniques with the classics of late-summer American barbecue: baby back ribs, corn on the cob, watermelon, and more. Start out with (and sip throughout) a watermelon lemonade spiked with the distilled spirit shochu. It pairs perfectly with the first course of summer vegetables and shrimp dipped in a light, crisp tempura coating and quickly fried. Move on to barbecued baby back ribs in a BBQ sauce of miso, sake, and soy. Instead of the traditional slow and low (temperature) method for ribs, here you braise the ribs until they’re tender, then grill. This way, you’ll get both fall-off-the-bone tenderness and nice caramelization and char. On the side is summer corn rolled in a surprising, crunchy coating of miso, panko, and sesame seeds. For an extra dose of crunch, thinly shred green or napa cabbage and toss it in a batch of Japanese carrot ginger dressing.

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