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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 5 Interesting Facts about Teppanyaki - Culinary Performance on an Iron Plate
Joanna James Joanna James
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5 Interesting Facts about Teppanyaki - Culinary Performance on an Iron Plate

Teppanyaki is a Japanese word for a type of cooking, where eastern and western flavours are fused into delectable dishes on an iron plate which acts as the stove.


Teppanyaki has a History of Two Centuries

This style of cooking which has taken the world by storm is believed to have been practised in mediocre ways in Japanese homes. A grill or griddle had been used by Japanese families to prepare yakisoba or stir-fried noodles, fish and seafood and soon the types and sorts of food that were being tossed on this iron plate started to expand. Probably it was in the early part of the 20th century that people started to serve and enjoy Teppanyaki at a commercial level, but the tradition had been handed down a few generations.


Teppanyaki has a Stronger Foreign Following than a Local Following

Ever since Teppanyaki cooking started at a commercial level in Japan, restaurant owners have found that more foreigners enjoy the live cooking than the locals. This created avenues for western types of food such as shrimp, beef, scallops, vegetables and lobster to be included in the ingredients that are thrown on to the iron plate. Most chefs are skilful enough to craft dishes and mains as per the requirements of the guests who sit around him and this makes it interesting for the guest and challenging for the chef.


Teppanyaki Ingredients are Always Fresh

The chef keeps getting freshly cut vegetables, meat and seafood from the kitchen. Since it is live cooking there is no opportunity for any of the ingredients to be old or dry. You even get to choose some of the ingredients from a fresh platter. Either you choose your favourite vegetables from an assortment or choose your preferred seafood item. This style of cooking also allows guests to choose how much of oil, spice and flavouring they wish to have in their cooking as they get to interact with the chef in person. Japanese restaurants usually use soy sauce liberally and if you are not particularly a fan, you should inform the chef as you place the order.


Teppanyaki is a Performance Art

A typical Teppanyaki chef's culinary skills are sky high; he or she not only should be an ace cook, he or she must also be a great performer with plenty of interpersonal skills. Some can throw an egg up and split it in mid-air with a spatula; there is no error tolerance percentage as the patrons would be barely two feet away from the chef. There are others who toss shrimp tails into their shirt pockets and others who more conservatively build volcanoes from onion rings. Japanese restaurants in Bangkok where there are such master craftsmen are able to attract more guests at any given time.


Teppanyaki Restaurants as Steakhouses

When Teppanyaki restaurants started becoming popular elsewhere in the world with the introduction of restaurants such as Benihana Thailand, people started comparing them to steakhouses. They are still affectionately referred to as Japanese steakhouses by westerners who want to make Teppanyaki a phenomenon closer to their heart.

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