- What is teppanyaki?
- What is the difference between hibachi and teppanyaki?
- Types of teppanyaki
- How to make teppanyaki
- How many calories in teppanyaki?
- Is teppanyaki healthy?
- Teppanyaki restaurants
- What is the origin of teppanyaki?
- Why is teppanyaki popular?
- Trivia about teppanyaki
What is teppanyaki?
Teppanyaki is a Japanese cooking style based on the use of iron griddles to fry and roasted food. It is a relatively modern method that started after World War II on streets markets in Japan. The word Teppanyaki is compose of two parts: “Teppan” which is the japanese name for the traditional iron griddle associated to this style and “yaki” coming from the verb “yaku” that means “fry” or “cook over a hot plate”.
Under this definition, any food cooked fried or roasted using a teppan could be considered teppanyaki. Some traditional Japanese dishes like Yakisoba or Monjayaki are completely based on this cooking technique
What is the difference between hibachi and teppanyaki?
Actually this question comes from a word misconception that happened when teppanyaki was exported to other countries. The right question will be “what is the difference between hibachi and teppan?”. Let’s define properly this two word and then we will explain the origin of this confusion.
Hibachi or shichirin is the Japanese name for a heating device based on charcoal. Hibachi has a box or cylinder shape opened on the top and is made from heat proof materials. Hot charcoal is introduced inside and by the use of a grill mat in the top, different ingredients can be grilled and smoked.
On the other side teppan is a iron plate that is warmed up and is used to cook different ingredients and traditional japanese dishes. Teppan do not need necessarily to work with charcoal, actually most of them nowadays work with gas. Teppan is used to fry and roast ingredients.
Therefore Hibachi and Teppan are devices to warm up food, while hibachi is meant to prepare ingredient in a barbecue style in which the smoke from the charcoal plays an important role, teppan is meant to fry or roast ingredients.
When teppanyaki (the art of cooking using teppan) was exported to North America, hibachi was used to refer to the iron plate instead of teppan. For those reasons, people going to teppanyaki restaurants started confusing both terms.
Types of teppanyaki
Teppanyaki is more a cooking style than a Japanese dish. For that reason any ingredients cooked over the teppan will be considered teppanyaki. However, there are some traditional dishes from Japanese cuisine that are entirely prepared using teppanyaki style. In this section we will show you on the one hand those ingredients most commonly used for teppanyaki and also some traditional dishes made using this method
Okonomiyaki consist of a stir-fried dish containing mainly batter and cabbage. However, its common to include any ingredients that you like, meat, seafood, cheese, nuts,… there are no rules when it comes to okonomiyaki. Traditional okonomiyaki is topped with a special sauce, mayonnaise and bonito flakes.
Monjayaki is very similar to okonomiyaki, main ingredients are the same and there is also freedom about the extra ingredients you want to include. However, in order to prepare the batter, additional dashi or water in added making its final consistency similar to melted cheese.
Yakisoba is a relatively modern but very traditional dish from Japanese cuisine consisting on stir fried noodles mixed with vegetables, tofu and/or small pieces of meat. In addition, these noodles are flavored with a condiment similar to dense oyster sauce.
(If you want more details check out post to know everything about yakisoba)
Typical ingredients prepared using teppanyaki are vegetables, meat and seafood. Popular meats are beef, pork and chicken. It is also very common to see shrimp teppanyaki.
Both meat and seafood are commonly cooked individually. In this case, teppanyaki works just as a fancy way of cooking making your beef of shrimp ready to eat.
Although vegetables can be fried also individually, usually they are cutted and mixed together before cooking them. It is common to include minced meat and other ingredients on the vegetable teppanyaki.
How to make teppanyaki
As we saw in the previous section, there are many dishes we can prepare by the teppanyaki method. In this section we will focus on a basic steak teppanyaki garnished with vegetables. In the following video you can follow a step-by-step steak teppanyaki recipe.
How many calories in teppanyaki?
Calories in teppanyaki may vary widely depending on the ingredients used. In the following table we provide a table with the nutritional values of a standard meat and vegetable teppanyaki as well as other Japanese dishes fried using teppan (table show nutrition values per ration).
|Calories||Fat (g)||Carb (g)||Prot (g)|
|Vegetables and Steak||470||15||30||35|
Is teppanyaki food healthy?
There are many teppanyaki meals and, therefore, some of them are healthier than others.
Meals like yakisoba and okonomiyaki slightly less healthy is we use too much oils during the preparation or if it is not a vegetable oil.
However, ingredients used for teppanyaki are fresh and the iron grill distributes slowly and evenly the heat among them. As long as we choose a balanced combination of ingredients for our teppanyaki dishes, we can enjoy this cooking style within any diet. Traditional meat and vegetables or seafood and vegetables teppanyaki is very healthy and balanced.
Teppanyaki Akasaka is a place with wonderful views and exquisite food, you can get a set menu for a reasonable price. A personal chef will cook your meal in front of you using the teppanyaki iron grill.
Teppanyaki Dante is a bit hidden in Asakasa but they offer a nice wine menu to enjoy together with your teppanyaki food. Garlic rice is also a popular dish on this restaurant. They offer set menus for reasonable prices (1500-2000 yens) . For those with big appetite, a deluxe 6000 yens menu is also available.
This place has excellent service and exquisite food. Menu includes many varieties of food and ingredients are fresh and well prepared. If you want a real teppanyaki experience you should try this restaurant. However, be ready to spend some money.
Very traditional restaurant, if you go for dinner you will probable experience a real Japanese experience with many company men drinking and having fun. If you don’t care about noisy places, we really recommend to try the delicious teppanyaki prepared in Teppanyaki Ten
What is the origin of teppanyaki?
Barbecues and grilled food has been popular in Japan from long time ago. During the Edo period, the use of hibachi was generalized all over the country to warm up and cook food. Before the appearance of the first gas stoves, it was not possible to heat iron plates efficiently to used them for cooking. Moreover, iron was rare and valuable material
After world war II, the technological advances made iron inexpensive and the first iron grill (teppan) appeared in Japan. They were popularized in the blacks markets that popped up after the war providing cheap and accessible food to a recovering country.
Nowadays the use of iron grills is completely generalized and many people like to take them out for camping and barbecuing. Specialized restaurants used them to prepare delicious food at the same time as they entertain clients with this cooking method so visually attractive.
Why is teppanyaki popular?
Teppanyaki food is based on fresh ingredients that you can prepare and combine to get a healthy, balanced and delicious meal. However, there are two extra reasons why teppanyaki style is so popular in Japan.
Cook with friends! Nowadays teppan (iron grills) are accessible for everyone. Many groups of friends and families like to organize social events and cook together using their own teppan. Everyone can cook their preferred ingredients at the same time while drinking and enjoying time with others.
Espectacular cooking! On specialized restaurants you can see professional chef using skillfully the iron grills, cooking food with big fires and making delicious meals with artistic combination of ingredients.
For all these reasons, teppanyaki is highly appreciated in Japan and it is always a good plan to impress your friends with a espectacular and healthy dinner.
Trivia about teppanyaki
Benihana Teppanyaki Cooking Competition
Benihana is a very popular teppanyaki restaurant, interestingly it was founded in 1964 in America by Hiroaki Aoki, a young Japanese guy that travelled to the U.S. following his dream of opening a restaurant. After saving money by selling ice creams Hiroaki opened a teppanyaki restaurant that won popularity very soon. Nowadays Benihana counts with more than 80 restaurants across the states and four international restaurants on Aruba, San Salvador, Panama and Brazil.
Benihana sells itself not only as a restaurant but also as an experience. They organize all kind of events and espectacles related to teppanyaki cooking to entertain their clients during meals. On 2014, for the 50th anniversary of Benihana restaurant, a big teppanyaki competition was organized. Many teppanyaki professionals with years of experience battled in front their customers for the first price.