Teppanyaki is grilled meat and vegetables prepared on a flat Teppanyaki iron grill. The meat used in this dish is usually beef although not exclusively, and it is similar to or sometimes interchangeable with Yakiniku, grilled beef often cooked on a slotted grill. Most often Teppanyaki is eaten with a garlicky spicy dipping sauce or simple salt. Teppanyaki can be enjoyed as a regular dinner for a family but it’s also great as a party food for bigger crowds.
Teppanyaki is well known in the US because of famous chain restaurants, which were more popular in 70s and 80s. Cooks at the restaurants cook meat and vegetables and even rice on a large iron grill in front of customers. The customers can enjoy watching the cooking process with chefs’ fun performance as an entertainment show along with dinner. Teppanyaki restaurants in Japan, though have a quite different feel from those in the US. Food is still cooked in front of customers but in a more elegant way. Cooks try to show the smooth and skillful movement of preparing and serving food to customers. Teppanyaki restaurants in Japan are generally pricier and nicer restaurants compared to their American counterparts due to the price of beef there. While restaurants both in the US and Japan serve mainly larger steak cuts of beef, beef slices are used when cooking at home using a portable electric grill. You cook meat as you eat, at the speed you eat. (Or sometimes the Mom of a family may have to turn meat over for the whole family instead of her eating.)
If there are Japanese grocery stores near you, it is easy to find sliced beef for Teppanyaki or Yakiniku. It is thicker than the paper-thin sliced meat for Sukiyaki, such as 1/6-1/8″ (or 3-4mm). Even if there is not a Japanese supermarket near you, you can slice your own beef from a lump of chuck eye roll or boneless short ribs. There is the dipping sauce you can buy in a bottle at the stores, but it is very easy to make at home. The sweet, not overly, and salty, garlicky flavor sauce goes perfectly with grilled beef. The vegetables for the dish could be your favorite ones, but we used the usual suspects such as Kabocha pumpkin, brown onions, peppers, and Shiitake mushrooms. Sweet potatoes, carrots, and zucchini also work well. If you don’t have a portable electric or gas grill to use at the table, cooking in a frying pan can also work.
Teppanyaki can be great for special occasions as well as regular dinner. Get all the ingredients ready and start cooking at the dinner table. It truly is a fun meal!
- 1lb beef, sliced for Yakiniku
- 1 onion
- 1 pepper
- 1 zucchini
- 1/4 Kabocha pumpkin
- 8 Shiitake Mushrooms
- 2 dried chilli peppers
- 1/4 cup Soy Sauce
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 2 Tbsp Mirin
- 1 tsp ginger, grated
- 1 tsp garlic, grated
- 1/2 Tbsp sesame seeds
- 1/2 Tbsp sesame seeds, grounded
- 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
- Make Yakiniku Sauce. Slice dried chilli pepper to thin small rounds. Add all the ingredients for the sauce except sesame oil in a pot. Stir and cook until it starts to boil. Add sesame oil and stir.
- Cut Onions in a half, then slice 1/2" thick. Cut pepper into 1/2" width. Slice zucchini and Kabocha pumpkin into 1/2" thick. Cut the stems out from Shiitake mushrooms.
- Heat the electric grill at high heat with cooking oil. Start grilling vegetables that takes longer than meat. Then cook sliced meat as you eat along with the dipping sauce.