With the rise in popularity of Japanese cuisine, you may have heard of teppanyaki. This delicious style of cooking is an authentic Japanese method that produces some very tasty dishes. Let’s explore what exactly teppanyaki is and where you can find these dishes.
What is teppanyaki?
The word teppanyaki explains exactly what it is – ‘teppan’ means iron plate and ‘yaki’ means grilled or griddled. So, teppanyaki is food that’s cooked on a hot plate, it’s a traditional Japanese method of cooking that produces some very tasty dishes. Many different types of ingredients can be cooked using the teppanyaki method and it’s a way for chefs to put on a performance for customers, sometimes they might even carry out some impressive tricks like cracking an egg in the air!
Entire dishes can be created using a teppanyaki grill, from searing meat to heating up broth and even cooking rice, it’s fascinating to watch.
When did teppanyaki become popular?
Whilst teppanyaki cooking began around 200 years ago in Japan, it really gained popularity just after World War II in 1945 when Americans began eating at teppanyaki restaurants as they were notoriously difficult to find before then. The first teppanyaki restaurant chain, Benihana, opened in New York in 1964. Restaurants that practised teppanyaki-style cooking were known as “Japanese steakhouses”.
What are the most common teppanyaki dishes?
Common teppanyaki dishes are made from fresh and flavourful ingredients. Some of the most popular dishes include:
- Zensai — an appetiser of light items such as tuna, sea urchins, fruits, vegetables, soup and salad, all made on the teppanyaki grill.
- Okonomiyaki — a savoury pancake combined with vegetables, meats, sauces and oils on the teppanyaki.
- Seafood — grilled prawns and scallops are commonly cooked on the teppanyaki along with crabs, lobsters, oysters and other kinds of shellfish. Tuna, salmon, mackerel and eel also taste delicious from the teppanyaki grill.
- Meat — beef is the most common meat cooked on a teppanyaki. Premium beef such as wagyu or Omi is cooked perfectly on the grill with a rich sweetness from the grease, oil and fat. Teppanyaki cooked beef produces flavours you’ll struggle to find elsewhere other than in Japan!
- Rice and noodles — noodles can be fried on the teppanyaki, becoming the delicious yakisoba. Rice is often cooked with an egg cracked on top, with teppanyaki chefs showing off their skills by flipping, tossing and breaking the yolk.
Which restaurants serve teppanyaki?
Teppanyaki food is very common in plenty of Japanese restaurants all over the world. Whilst Japanese cooking is becoming more popular, these restaurants still aren’t in every town or city. This is why all you can eat buffet restaurants are a great option. Authentic world cuisine served at these restaurants includes Japanese food, in which chefs perform live cooking on teppanyaki grills.
Teppanyaki is a delicious way to experience true Japanese cuisine with it being quite the performance thanks to live cooking stations.