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Learn About Teppanyaki Cooking by Jesse Bluma

Learn About Teppanyaki Cooking

A friend's birthday was held at a Japanese restaurant specializing in teppanyaki.  This is a form of Japanese cooking utilizing a hot iron griddle, often referred to as Japanese steakhouses in America.  Common ingredients are meat (beef), seafood (shrimp, scallops, lobster), and vegetables cut into bite size pieces.  Dishes are typically made with these ingredients that are more common to the Americas and cooked using soybean oil.  

The frying, flipping, knife work, and fire may be intimidating for some.  A good place to start your culinary dive into teppanyaki may be dessert.  The unique "fruit cake" is something anyone can create at home for a birthday or other celebration:  grilled grapefruit, a cherry on top, with sliced melon.  

The roots of teppanyaki were forged in the 1900s, as the Japanese became an imperial force throughout Asia and into the West.  Notably, the immense Japanese military influenced the diets of the Japanese populace.  Japanese military bases outside of the county put military personnel in contact with other cultures, ingredients, and created a diet dependent on curry rice, pasta, soups, stews, and large portions of meat.  

The dishes from these bases outside of Japan were brought back to the country.  After the defeat of the Imperial Japanese Army in 1945 by United States troops, American ingredients and cookery influenced the island.  As international cultures blended in Japan, “[l]arge amounts of meat cooked on a steel griddle became the now-standard dish teppanyaki”. (Victoria Lyon Bestor and Theodore C. Bestor)

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