What goes on the back-yard cooker this summer may have more in common with the fancy grilled dishes served in upscale Washington restaurants than with standard American barbecue fare.

Many new restaurants feature grilled specialties, and some serve very little that isn't grilled. This mesquite-induced phenomenon has even caused many of us to drop the unfashionable word "barbecue" from our vocabularies in favor of the more trendy "grill."

One of the more obvious differences between the new wave of grilling and yesterday's barbecuing is the shift in menu from the red-blooded American charred steak or hot dogs and hamburgers to more delicate and healthful selections of fresh fish and shellfish. Ever-popular chicken has been elevated above its traditional tomato barbecue sauce and is now more exotically attired in sauces and marinades that incorporate fresh herbs, seasoned vinegars, condiments and exotic spices.

The popularization of mesquite and other wood chips, which are scattered on top of hot coals to impart flavor to grilling meats, poultry and seafood, has also raised the level of sophistication in home grilling.

The grilled dishes of Asian countries have long been popular among food-oriented Americans. Those who frequent the wealth of ethnic restaurants in the area have enjoyed such well-known grilled delights as teriyaki and yakatori from Japan, satays from Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, Korean bulgogi and Chinese barbecue pork.

Grilling has been a basic cooking technique all over Asia for centuries. With firewood at a premium in densely populated Asian countries, cooking equipment and methods were developed that permitted the cook to prepare foods very quickly over an intensely hot fire, utilizing very little fuel and heating the kitchen in the bargain.

The various cultures developed efficient, compact little stoves like the well-known hibachi of Japan. Though they vary in design, some round, some square or rectangular, some tall, some short, they are all designed to utilize charcoal to produce intense heat.

A standard hardware store grill or any other grill occupying your patio will do for most oriental grilling. A grilling basket, skewers and basic barbeque tools (long-handled fork, spatula and basting brush), also found in most hardware stores, are needed. Little wire baskets with a short handle and bamboo skewers of various lengths are available in many Asian food stores. The round southeast Asian clay stoves, sheathed in a gold-tone metal, can occasionally be found in Asian markets and are well worth the $10-$15 they cost.

To prepare a fire for any of the following recipes, proceed as you would for grilling any small pieces of meat or fish. The coals should be white and very hot. Place the food just far enough above the coals so that it cooks quickly without charring.

And a word about charcoal and the lighting of it. Unless you are fond of the faint aroma of fuel in your food, avoid the charcoal that is presoaked in lighter fluid. For the same reason, it is a good idea to buy a charcoal-starting chimney that employs nothing but a wad of newspaper and a match to get perfect coals the first time every time. These, too, are available in hardware stores.

Most grilling requires the use of a sauce of some kind to marinate or baste the meat. Though often interchangeable, basting sauces and marinades have different functions. While both will contribute flavor to grilled food, a basting sauce is brushed on repeatedly during cooking to protect the meat's surface, sealing in the juices and sometimes promoting crispness. Meats are soaked in marinades to tenderize them. Marinades usually contain an acid such as wine or lemon juice, which acts as a tenderizer, and other ingredients that add flavor. In many instances, a single sauce is used to both marinate and baste the meat or fish, with any remaining sauce reheated and served on the side.

To round out a grilling menu, add a spicy cold oriental noodle salad, a crisp vegetable stir-fry, a refreshing vegetable salad and, for dessert, a fresh fruit salad or sorbet.

The exotic ingredients used in the following recipes can be found in oriental markets. KAI YANG (Thai Garlic Chicken Wings) (8 to 10 entree servings, or 20 appetizer servings)

If you want to serve these as an appetizer, remove and discard the wing tip section and cut each wing in half at the joint.

FOR THE MARINADE:

10 cloves garlic, chopped

2 to 3 teaspoons fish sauce, to taste

2 tablespoons black peppercorns, coarsely ground

8 cilantro plants, roots included, washed, drained and finely chopped

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Zest of 1 lemon

FOR THE CHICKEN:

4 pounds chicken wings

Combine the marinade ingredients in a food processor or blender and process to a fine consistancy. Toss the chicken wings in the marinade and leave at room temperature 3 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.

Drain the wings, reserving the marinade, and grill over a moderate fire, basting with the reserved marinade until the pieces are tender and the skin is crisp. Use a grilling basket if you have one. CHA SHAO (Chinese Roast Pork) (6 servings)

This delicious pork is not only wonderful as an entree hot off the grill, but the leftovers also enliven fried rice, can be sliced and added to noodle dishes or sliced and served cold with Chinese mustard as an appetizer. The same marinade/basting sauce is good on ribs.

FOR THE MARINADE:

2 teaspoons garlic, minced

2 teaspoons ginger, grated

1/4 cup hoisin sauce

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 tablespoon oyster sauce

Salt to taste

FOR THE PORK:

2 pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed of all fat and connective tissue

Combine the marinade ingredients and soak the pork for 2 or 3 hours at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator.

Grill the meat over a moderate fire, turning often and brushing with any remaining marinade until the meat is done but still faintly pink and juicy in the center. Internal temperature should be about 160 degrees.

Note: In the United States, pork is usually considered unsafe to eat unless it has reached the internal temperature of 180 degrees because of the remote possibility that it could contain the parasite trichina. Unfortunately, at this point the meat is overcooked and dried out. In truth, trichina is killed at 138 farenheit, and pork reaches its juicy peak of flavor and texture at about 160.

Bear in mind that meat continues to cook for several minutes after it is removed from the grill, so for optimal flavor and texture, remove the pork while it is still faintly pink in the center. KALBI (Korean Barbequed Short Ribs) (6 servings)

The occasion of grilling these ribs is the perfect opportunity to introduce yourself and your friends to the glorious but controversial kim chee, Korea's ever-present hot and pungent pickled cabbage, available in the refrigerator container in Asian food stores. Add a bowl of fresh steaming rice and a crisp salad for an informal supper menu.

FOR THE MARINADE/BASTING SAUCE:

1 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup sesame seeds, toasted in and crushed in a mortar and pestle or blender

3 tablespoons garlic, minced

3 tablespoons ginger root, grated

1/4 cup oriental sesame oil

3/4 cup scallions, finely chopped

FOR THE BEEF:

4 pounds lean beef short ribs, cut crosswise in 1/4-inch slices

Combine the marinade ingredients and marinate the beef for at least 1/2 hour or overnight. Grill the ribs about 5 inches above glowing coals, turning and basting frequently with the marinade/basting sauce, for 8 to 10 minutes. DOW SEE PAI QUAT (Twice-Cooked Cantonese Spareribs in Black Bean Sauce) (4 servings)

These bite-size morsels are first steamed in a spicy sauce to sauce reheated and served on the side.

To round out a grilling menu, add a spicy cold oriental noodle salad, a crisp vegetable stir-fry, a refreshing vegetable salad and, for dessert, a fresh fruit salad or sorbet.

The exotic ingredients used in the following recipes can be found in oriental markets. KAI YANG (Thai Garlic Chicken Wings) (8 to 10 entree servings, or 20 appetizer servings)

If you want to serve these as an appetizer, remove and discard the wing tip section and cut each wing in half at the joint.

FOR THE MARINADE:

10 cloves garlic, chopped

2 to 3 teaspoons fish sauce, to taste

2 tablespoons black peppercorns, coarsely ground

8 cilantro plants, roots included, washed, drained and finely chopped

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Zest of 1 lemon

FOR THE CHICKEN:

4 pounds chicken wings

Combine the marinade ingredients in a food processor or blender and process to a fine consistancy. Toss the chicken wings in the marinade and leave at room temperature 3 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.

Drain the wings, reserving the marinade, and grill over a moderate fire, basting with the reserved marinade until the pieces are tender and the skin is crisp. Use a grilling basket if you have one. CHA SHAO (Chinese Roast Pork) (6 servings)

This delicious pork is not only wonderful as an entree hot off the grill, but the leftovers also enliven fried rice, can be sliced and added to noodle dishes or sliced and served cold with Chinese mustard as an appetizer. The same marinade/basting sauce is good on ribs.

FOR THE MARINADE:

2 teaspoons garlic, minced

2 teaspoons ginger, grated

1/4 cup hoisin sauce

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 tablespoon oyster sauce

Salt to taste

FOR THE PORK:

2 pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed of all fat and connective tissue

Combine the marinade ingredients and soak the pork for 2 or 3 hours at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator.

Grill the meat over a moderate fire, turning often and brushing with any remaining marinade until the meat is done but still faintly pink and juicy in the center. Internal temperature should be about 160 degrees.

Note: In the United States, pork is usually considered unsafe to eat unless it has reached the internal temperature of 180 degrees because of the remote possibility that it could contain the parasite trichina. Unfortunately, at this point the meat is overcooked and dried out. In truth, trichina is killed at 138 farenheit, and pork reaches its juicy peak of flavor and texture at about 160.

Bear in mind that meat continues to cook for several minutes after it is removed from the grill, so for optimal flavor and texture, remove the pork while it is still faintly pink in the center. KALBI (Korean Barbequed Short Ribs) (6 servings)

The occasion of grilling these ribs is the perfect opportunity to introduce yourself and your friends to the glorious but controversial kim chee, Korea's ever-present hot and pungent pickled cabbage, available in the refrigerator container in Asian food stores. Add a bowl of fresh steaming rice and a crisp salad for an informal supper menu.

FOR THE MARINADE/BASTING SAUCE:

1 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup sesame seeds, toasted in and crushed in a mortar and pestle or blender

3 tablespoons garlic, minced

3 tablespoons ginger root, grated

1/4 cup oriental sesame oil

3/4 cup scallions, finely chopped

FOR THE BEEF:

4 pounds lean beef short ribs, cut crosswise in 1/4-inch slices

Combine the marinade ingredients and marinate the beef for at least 1/2 hour or overnight. Grill the ribs about 5 inches above glowing coals, turning and basting frequently with the marinade/basting sauce, for 8 to 10 minutes. DOW SEE PAI QUAT (Twice-Cooked Cantonese Spareribs in Black Bean Sauce) (4 servings)

These bite-size morsels are first steamed in a spicy sauce to tenderize them and render out excess fat. They are then grilled over hot coals to crisp the outside with their own sauce.

For this recipe, a grilling basket is needed to make turning easier and to prevent the small pieces from falling into the fire.

2 pounds pork baby back ribs, trimmed and cut crosswise in 1-inch pieces and separated into single rib sections

1/2 cup chicken stock

1 cup onion, chopped

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup rice wine or dry sherry

2 tablespoons fermented black beans

1 tablespoon ginger root, grated

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

2 teaspoons chili sauce with black beans

Salt to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a heat-proof bowl and marinate 1/2 hour. Place the bowl inside a steamer and steam 1 hour.

Drain off the liquid and skim off the fat. Correct seasonings and keep the sauce warm.

Grill the ribs in a grilling basket over a hot fire, shaking often, for 5 to 10 minutes. Baste often with the reserved sauce. When the ribs are brown and crisp, serve with the warmed sauce. REMPAH REMPAH (Indonesian Lamb and Coconut Patties) (4 servings)

These succulent patties can be tucked into pita bread, topped with a dollop of chutney and served with a colorful fresh fruit salad for a light meal, or offer a nice texture contrast in a grilled buffet.

1 pound lean ground lamb

1 cup freshly grated coconut or unsweetened desiccated coconut

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped

2 cloves garlic crushed

1 1/2 teaspoons coriander

1/2 teaspoon trassi, or anchovy paste

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Salt to taste

Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish

Combine all the ingredients except the mint sprigs and mix thoroughly. Shape into oval patties about 2-by-1-by- 1/2-inch and grill over a moderate fire, turning to brown on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Take care not to overcook. Serve garnished with the mint sprigs. GRILLED DUCK BREAST WITH LIME AND CORIANDER (2 servings)

This light treatment for duck will please flavor seekers who avoid fat. Serve with a stir-fry of a variety of colorful vegetables and a Thai-style fried rice.

2 whole duck breasts, skinned

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon brandy

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon bean sauce

1 teaspoon garlic, minced

1/4 cup fresh coriander leaf, chopped, for garnish

Combine the duck with the oil, lime juice, brandy, soy sauce, bean sauce and garlic and marinate 1 hour. Grill over moderate coals, until medium, basting with any remaining marinade. To serve, slice thinly across the grain and sprinkle with chopped coriander leaf. SKEWERED SEA SCALLOPS WITH SESAME BUTTER (2 servings)

Sesame butter goes well with fresh salmon and monkfish as well.

12 ounces sea scallops

1 teaspoon ginger root minced

2 tablespoons rice wine or sherry

Salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 tablespoon sesame oil

3 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, crushed

Toasted sesame seeds for garnish

Lemon wedges for garnish

Combine the scallops with the ginger root, wine, salt, pepper and sesame oil. Marinate 1/2 hour. Melt the butter and add the crushed sesame seeds. Thread the scallops on skewers and grill over a moderate fire. Baste with the sesame butter. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve with lemon wedges and remaining sesame butter.

Note: If using bamboo skewers, be sure to soak them in cold water for at least 1/2 hour to retard burning. SUMATRAN PRAWN SATAY (6 servings)

This is the recipe that justifies paying an outrageous price for those jumbo prawns. Serve them with a pilaf and a cooling fruit salad, and you will find you made a worthwhile investment.

FOR THE MARINADE:

LI,2 1 1/2 cups thick coconut milk

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tablespoons fish sauce

2 teaspoons sambal olek

2 tenderize them and render out excess fat. They are then grilled over hot coals to crisp the outside with their own sauce.

For this recipe, a grilling basket is needed to make turning easier and to prevent the small pieces from falling into the fire.

2 pounds pork baby back ribs, trimmed and cut crosswise in 1-inch pieces and separated into single rib sections

1/2 cup chicken stock

1 cup onion, chopped

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup rice wine or dry sherry

2 tablespoons fermented black beans

1 tablespoon ginger root, grated

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

2 teaspoons chili sauce with black beans

Salt to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a heat-proof bowl and marinate 1/2 hour. Place the bowl inside a steamer and steam 1 hour.

Drain off the liquid and skim off the fat. Correct seasonings and keep the sauce warm.

Grill the ribs in a grilling basket over a hot fire, shaking often, for 5 to 10 minutes. Baste often with the reserved sauce. When the ribs are brown and crisp, serve with the warmed sauce. REMPAH REMPAH (Indonesian Lamb and Coconut Patties) (4 servings)

These succulent patties can be tucked into pita bread, topped with a dollop of chutney and served with a colorful fresh fruit salad for a light meal, or offer a nice texture contrast in a grilled buffet.

1 pound lean ground lamb

1 cup freshly grated coconut or unsweetened desiccated coconut

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped

2 cloves garlic crushed

1 1/2 teaspoons coriander

1/2 teaspoon trassi, or anchovy paste

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Salt to taste

Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish

Combine all the ingredients except the mint sprigs and mix thoroughly. Shape into oval patties about 2-by-1-by- 1/2-inch and grill over a moderate fire, turning to brown on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Take care not to overcook. Serve garnished with the mint sprigs. GRILLED DUCK BREAST WITH LIME AND CORIANDER (2 servings)

This light treatment for duck will please flavor seekers who avoid fat. Serve with a stir-fry of a variety of colorful vegetables and a Thai-style fried rice.

2 whole duck breasts, skinned

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon brandy

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon bean sauce

1 teaspoon garlic, minced

1/4 cup fresh coriander leaf, chopped, for garnish

Combine the duck with the oil, lime juice, brandy, soy sauce, bean sauce and garlic and marinate 1 hour. Grill over moderate coals, until medium, basting with any remaining marinade. To serve, slice thinly across the grain and sprinkle with chopped coriander leaf. SKEWERED SEA SCALLOPS WITH SESAME BUTTER (2 servings)

Sesame butter goes well with fresh salmon and monkfish as well.

12 ounces sea scallops

1 teaspoon ginger root minced

2 tablespoons rice wine or sherry

Salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 tablespoon sesame oil

3 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, crushed

Toasted sesame seeds for garnish

Lemon wedges for garnish

Combine the scallops with the ginger root, wine, salt, pepper and sesame oil. Marinate 1/2 hour. Melt the butter and add the crushed sesame seeds. Thread the scallops on skewers and grill over a moderate fire. Baste with the sesame butter. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve with lemon wedges and remaining sesame butter.

Note: If using bamboo skewers, be sure to soak them in cold water for at least 1/2 hour to retard burning. SUMATRAN PRAWN SATAY (6 servings)

This is the recipe that justifies paying an outrageous price for those jumbo prawns. Serve them with a pilaf and a cooling fruit salad, and you will find you made a worthwhile investment.

FOR THE MARINADE:

LI,2 1 1/2 cups thick coconut milk

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tablespoons fish sauce

2 teaspoons sambal olek

2 teaspoons sugar

4 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon salad oil

FOR THE PRAWNS:

2 pounds jumbo prawns, shelled but with the tail section left on

Cilantro and mint leaves for garnish

Combine the marinade ingredients and soak the prawns in it for at least 1 hour. Arrange the prawns in a grilling basket in a single layer and baste with the marinade. Grill over a hot fire, basting and turning often and taking care not to burn the tails.

Grill until barely done. Remove the prawns from the basket and arrange on a heated platter and garnish with mint and cilantro. Reheat the basting sauce and pass it on the side. SINGAPORE PORK WITH CHILI PINEAPPLE SAUCE (6 servings)

2 pounds lean pork, cut in 1-inch tubes

2 tablespoons tamarind liquid

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon ginger root, minced

1 tablespoon lemon grass, minced

2 teaspoons sambal badjak

2 teaspoons fish sauce

2 cups canned pineapple chunks

1 cup pineapple juice

2 teaspoons sweet chili sauce, to taste

Fish sauce to taste

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

2 teaspoons cornstarch

Fresh mint leaves and/or cilantro for garnish

Combine pork with the next 6 ingredients and marinate 2 hours. Thread pork and pineapple chunks on skewers and grill, basting with the marinade.

Make a sauce by combining the pineapple juice with the sweet chili sauce, fish sauce, lemon juice and zest and cornstarch. Bring to a boil and cook until thickened.

To serve, arrange skewers on a heated plate and mask with some of the sauce. Garnish with fresh mint and/or cilantro and pass remaining sauce on the side.

Note: If using bamboo skewers, be sure to soak them in cold water for at least 1/2 hour to retard burning. BEIJING LAMB WITH BLACK BEAN SAUCE (4 servings)

Succulent and tangy, this lamb can be served on its own as an entree with fried rice and a steamed vegetable, or try slipping it off the skewers and rolling it up in mandarin pancakes with a scallion brush like moo shi pork.

1 1/2 pounds lean boneless lamb, cut in 1/8-by-1-by-2-inch strips

2 tablespoons scallions, minced

2 tablespoon rice wine

1 tablespoon hoisin sauce

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 tablespoon dark rice vinegar

2 teaspoons chili paste with black beans

1 teaspoon garlic, minced

Shredded scallions for garnish

Combine the lamb with the next seven ingredients and marinate 1 hour. Thread on skewers and grill until barely done. Serve on a heated plate, garnish with shredded scallions.

Note: If using bamboo skewers, be sure to soak them in cold water for at least 1/2 hour to retard burning. IKAN PANGGANG (Malaysian Grilled Whole Fish)

(2 servings)

1 whole fish, snapper or grouper, about 2 pounds, cleaned and scaled but head and tail left on

1 medium onion, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

2 teaspoons ginger root, grated

2 stalks lemon grass, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon sambal olek

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup thick coconut milk

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1 fresh makrut lime leaf, minced, or substitute the grated zest of 1 lime

1 lemon and lime scored and thinly sliced, for garnish

Clean and scale the fish. Process the onion, garlic, ginger, lemon grass and sambal olek in a blender or food processor until pulverized. Rub about 1/3 of this mixture over fish, inside and out and leave while preparing the sauce.

Heat the oil and gently fry the remaining onion mixture over moderate heat for about 5 minutes. Add the coconut milk and all the other ingredients and stir constantly for 2 or 3 minutes, until the mixture thickens.

Place the fish in an oiled grilling basket and grill over a charcoal fire, turning and basting often with the sauce. Serve the fish on a platter garnished with lemon and lime slices. Mask with the sauce and serve any remaining sauce on the side.

agcrdt3 Adapted from Singapore Food, by Wendy Hutton, published by Ure Smith, Sydney, Australia, 1979.