Japanese cooking has a reputation for being difficult and un-approachable. Perhaps it’s the documentaries on aged sushi masters, or the film convention that only the most skilled blade masters can cut out the edible parts of unusual looking fishes. However, this is not necessarily true. A lot of Japanese cuisine is simple enough to prepare – being focused more on quality ingredients than difficult techniques. For the home cook, one of the easiest starts in Japanese cooking is the Teppanyaki Grill.
What is a Teppanyaki Plate?
A Teppanyaki Grill is a kind of flat-top grill from Japan. A teppan (鉄板) is simply a grill or a hot plate in Japanese, and Yaki (焼き) means grilled or toasted. In Japan, most teppanyaki cooking is done over propane or charcoal. However, in the west, most Teppanyaki plates are either self heated through an electric element, or heated on a hob or under the grill.
How do I use a Teppanyaki Grill?
Part of the fun in using a Teppanyaki Grill – or in going to a Teppanyaki restaurant – is in the communal nature of it. You cook the food quickly on a very hot plate in front of the diners. While at a restaurant, you might be served by a single skilled Teppanyaki chef (you may have seen this in movies), at home you can share the responsibilities.
You use a teppanyaki grill by cooking things quickly over a high heat. The key to ensuring things are cooked properly is to cut them into small and thin pieces. Use the highest quality ingredients you are able to, and a neutral tasting oil to ensure that they keep their flavour.
The BergHOFF Teppanyaki Plate
The BergHOFF Teppanyaki Plate is a highly versatile example of a Teppanyaki Grill. It is very lightweight, particularly in comparison to the competition. Due to it’s quality design and build, it is usable on the hob, under the grill, in the oven – or even on the BBQ. This means that you can use it not just for Japanese cooking, but also as a quality grill plate for all sorts of cooking.
What to Cook on a Teppanyaki
The most common things to cook on a Teppanyaki Plate are:
• Meat, like beef and chicken. Many Japanese restaurants use Kobe or Wagyu Beef.
• Seafood, like shrimp, scallops and lobster
• Vegetables and Noodles
Teppanyaki cooking is fundamentally quite simple. Like most Japanese cuisine, it does not use a huge variety of flavourings or spices. However, a rich sauce is often served with Teppanyaki, to add a depth of flavour.
Mix the sake and mirin in a small saucepan, and warm at a medium heat until the alcohol evaporates.
Whisk in the sugar until it combines.
Add the soy sauce.
Peel and grate the ginger and garlic, and add.
Add sesame oil and seeds, and whisk together.
Turn off the heat and allow to cool, before it is ready to use.