Teppanyaki is a form of Japanese cuisine that is cooked on a flat topped grill. There are many restaurants around the world that make cuisine in this manner. Hibachi is another term that is commonly used to describe any Teppanyaki cooking. Any food can be cooked on these flat grills. Japanese people are known for using flat grills for cooking most of their foods. The true definition of Teppanyaki comes out as Teppan: the type of grill used, the metal plate and yaki: grilled, boiled or pan fried.
These flat grills are generally propane utilized, and also built with counters and stools around them so that customers are able to watch the amazing cooking skills of the Japanese chefs. The actual Hibachi grill has an open grill design. It is that difference between the Teppanyaki and Hibachi styles. In the United States, Benihana is the restaurant chain that has made Teppanyaki cooking popular. They call it Hibachi, incorrectly, but in the United States it is known as the same.
The first Teppanyaki house restaurant was opened by Shigeji Fujiyoka, the chain restaurant was called Misono, in 1945. They claim to be the first to use the Teppan for cooking in public. They utilized the talent of the chefs to draw in the clients when the food was not a big draw during harsh times.
The main ingredients used for Teppanyaki include beef, scallops, shrimp, lobster, chicken and a wide variety of vegetables. They do use a little oil, this is a Soybean oil for cooking the foods. The Japanese style teppanyaki includes noodles, which are called Yokisoba. They will also use cabbage, bean sprouts, zucchini, garlic chips and of course Japanese rice.
They do have a selection of sauces that can be used that do include Soy Sauce. As stated it has become a show of sorts for the chef to have all the needed ingredients lined up on the side of the grill, then with an amazing speed and ability, will create the foods ordered right in front of the customer. These Chef’s will sometimes throw in some amazing tricks for the delight of the customer.
While there is no recipe for Teppanyaki, there are many different cuisines that are created on the Teppan. You can be assured that one of the main items is steak. The restaurants are known as Japanese steakhouses. Generally, while the meat and main vegetables are being cooked, the customer is generally served rice or noodles to eat while they watch and wait for their food.
Japanese Teppanyaki has everything one needs to enjoy a meal and be comfortable. Except that it is in public. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to have that same cuisine at home? To be relaxed and comfortable when you are eating, like in sweats and pajamas? Well, I can give you three tips that will help you to make your favorites from any Japanese Teppanyaki. Of course, this means you need to provide your own talent when cooking.
No matter how hard you try, your homemade cuisine will not be the same unless you find and use a flat top griddle. These are what those talented Chef’s use at Benihana and all the best Japanese locations.
Use vegetables and other toppings that are in season. Fresh will always taste the best. The produce department at your local supermarket will always have a wide variety of vegetables and spices that you can use when making cuisine on your Teppanyaki. Look for bean sprouts, cabbage, spinach and whichever vegetables you enjoy. It is not just the vegetables you should find that are fresh and in season. Find fresh fish, not frozen, and use a variety of beef, including Wagyu beef. You also want noodles, Yakisoba, rice and other dough based items. Experiment with different types of protein such as tofu, a variety of meats and even eggs. Do not forget to add in the shrimp, scallops and lobster.
Using a flat top grill indoors may cause your home to get smoky. Be sure to have a good air flow circulating. You can also place a fan to draw the smoke out from the kitchen window.
One additional piece of advice is to have all your ingredients prepped and ready for you. I know that I, for one, like to prepare as I go along cooking. However, that is not a good plan when you are performing Teppanyaki cooking. The bowls can sit alongside your flat top where they are in easy reach. Keep in mind that much of the Japanese cooking does not take very long to cook. For instance Okonomiyaki is a couple of minutes per side and it is virtually completed except for drizzling the sauce over the top.
Below you will find two of the highly rated Teppanyaki Recipes, with corresponding directions. Experiment with these and then begin a fun adventure of mixing things up and creating your own Teppanyaki recipes.
Homemade Teppanyaki Recipe
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 pound meat, chicken, beef, tofu or pork. Sliced about ¼ inch thick
1 pound mushrooms, your choice shiitake or maitake work great, cut into pieces
1 cup bean sprouts, mung type
4 baby bok choy, sliced lengthwise
1 Japanese eggplant, diagonally cut into bite size pieces
Sesame seeds for garnish
- Prepare and arrange all food items in separate dishes close enough to the cooking area
- Place a small bowl of Tare sauce, one with sesame seeds, one for grated ginger and one for grated garlic, near each place setting so the guests can serve themselves
- Heat the Teppanyaki to 375* and add a little oil to the flat top griddle
- Place the first layer of ingredients down to cook
- Season lightly with the kosher salt and white pepper
- Flip the Okonomiyaki, if making, and place the additional items on the Okonomiyaki.
- Drizzle with the Tare Sauce and garnish
Easy To Make Beef Yakiniku
1 pound of good quality beef
2 large white onions, sliced thin
1 green bell pepper, sliced thin
1 small zucchini, sliced into thin strips
16 mushrooms sliced
1 japanese pumpkin, (or winter squash)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
- Start by making the Yakiniku Sauce.
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 dried chili peppers
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp mirin
- 1 tbsp grated garlic
- 1 tbsp grated ginger
- ½ tbsp ground sesame seeds
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 handful chopped cilantro
- 2 eggs boiled and peeled
- Add the sliced chili pepper and all other items, minus the sesame oil. Place in a pot and cook until it boils. Add the sesame oil and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
- Slice the onions and the pepper ½ inch thick. Slice the Japanese pumpkin and zucchini into ½ inch pieces.
- Slice the stems off the mushrooms and then cut in thirds
- Boil the eggs for 5 minutes and run under cold water, peel and set aside
- Heat the vegetable oil on the griddle at high heat
- Start with the vegetables, since they take longer to cook.
- Cook the meat on the grill next to the vegetables.
- The vegetables will take about 12 minutes to cook, while the meat only takes about 8 minutes.
- Using a short ended spatula, move and flip the vegetables around to ensure even cooking. Stir the meat a few times also.
- Serve the meat with the vegetables, along with one of the boiled eggs on top of noodles or steamed rice.
- Add some sauce in a diagonal pattern and then use the Japanese mayonnaise in the opposing diagonal.
Teppanyaki cuisine is no longer just about the food. Although the food is delicious and well worth the trip to a Teppanyaki Grill Restaurant, what seems to stand out the most is the art form that cooking has become.
The Japanese have a knack for creativity and turning nothing into something extravagant. When it comes to cooking it is no different.
There are also many great positives when it comes to Teppanyaki cooking. No matter what is ordered, you can bet your life that it is low in fat. These Teppanyaki restaurants do for the most part, give the customer a choice of how they want their food cooked. This means, they can choose to have it done on a grill in front of them, or they can let the food be cooked in the kitchen and brought out to their tables.
With the fresh vegetables and choice of fresh protein, it is a popular cuisine for the health conscious people. The portion sizes may appear to be small in quantity, but they are more than adequate in nutrition and the ability to fill you up.
When you sit grill side to watch your food being cooked, even in the midst of a conversation, your attention will be drawn to the musical drumming of the utensils used by the chef. You will then witness the chef slicing, chopping, and dicing of the ingredients so that they are ready when it is time. By the time he has finished prepping the meat and vegetables, the flat grill is heated, sometimes it is aflame and ready for those vegetables to be tossed on.
If you are some of the lucky folks with what would be considered a 5* Chef, there may be some cooking tricks that you will witness. These will include:
Throwing the egg up and catching it with a hat.
You may witness the Chef flip a shrimp tail into a pocket with little to no effort.
You may get lucky enough to have some of your food casually and perfectly flipped into your mouth.
You will witness how the Chef is able to split an egg perfectly in half while it is in mid-air.
You can locate all the Chef utensils you have seen used, along with a Teppanyaki grill online at various providers.
Teppanyaki Fried Rice
- 2 cups Japanese short grain rice, cooked
- 3 tbsp Butter
- 1 tsp Garlic powder
- 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
- 2 Eggs, scrambled well
- Optional Ingredients you can add:
- Chicken, diced
- Carrots, diced
- Yellow Onion, diced
- Green onion, 3 stalks, sliced for garnish
- Preheat the grill to 375*
- If adding any vegetables to the fried rice, begin cooking them on the grill first, using 1 tsp vegetable oil per half cup of vegetables
- If adding chicken, dice the chicken into bite size pieces, pat dry with a paper towel and then sprinkle with kosher salt and white pepper
- Next to the vegetables on the grill, add 1 tbsp of vegetable oil and place the chicken pieces down. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on all sides to be sure it is cooked thoroughly.
- Set the chicken in a dish on the side
- Scramble two large eggs in a bowl, really well
- Cook the eggs on a lightly oiled grill
- Season the eggs with salt and pepper. Stir the eggs often to cook through, set to the side when done
- Melt butter on the grill and add the rice, stir to mix the rice with the butter
- Drizzle Soy Sauce over the rice, add garlic salt and mix well
- Add in the scrambled eggs, chicken and vegetables if chosen and stir well
There you have it! Although it is more relaxing and enjoyable to go sit at the counter and watch the chef work his magic, you can now make your own Japanese foods at home on your own Teppanyaki. It is not difficult and it does taste phenomenal.
Japanese cuisine has unique ingredients and thanks to the creative minds of the Japanese, there are so many innovative ways these ingredients can be put together. Rest your fears, dig out your electric grill hiding in the back of the cupboard, prep your ingredients, follow the recipe and prepare to make your own magical cuisine. The more you cook in this fashion, the better your tricks will become.