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Q: What is the history of TEPPANYAKI? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: What is the history of TEPPANYAKI?
Category: Family and Home > Food and Cooking
Asked by: teppanyaki-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 29 Apr 2006 01:10 PDT
Expires: 29 May 2006 01:10 PDT
Question ID: 723886
What is the history of teppanyaki cooking?  Where and when did it
originate?  How did it start?

I am searching for as much information on teppanyaki as possible.  I
have already looked at Wikipedia and the common sources of
information, so please do not answer with only those links.  I am
searching for a detailed explanation of Teppanyaki and anything that
connects to it.  Thanks!

Request for Question Clarification by easterangel-ga on 29 Apr 2006 01:48 PDT

Can you please tell us besides wikipedia what are the "common sources"
of information that you have gone to?  This would really help us
research and also won't waste your time and money.

Subject: Re: What is the history of TEPPANYAKI?
Answered By: boquinha-ga on 29 Apr 2006 20:42 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello teppanyaki-ga!

I love Japanese food, so what a great question for me to research!
I?ll admit, when we go to our local Japanese restaurant, we bypass the
teppanyaki and head straight for the sushi, but now maybe we?ll have
to try the teppanyaki!

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As you probably know, teppanyaki is a word meaning ?iron griddle?
(teppan) and ?fry? (yaki). Over 50 years ago, in the port town of
Kobe, customers would select whatever fresh ingredients were available
that day, and a cook would cook these ingredients in plain view of the
customer. There was no flair or ?show??just good cooking. This
represented a fusion of two types of Japanese cooking, however:
?robatayaki? (Japanese barbecue, also cooked in front of customers)
and sushi restaurants (which have a large fresh ingredients case).

In an article, Chef Koji Kanega from the Grand Hyatt Fukuoka, Japan
describes teppanyaki and discusses its origins. He says that
ultimately this type of cooking started 200 years ago. "Traditionally,
these meals were prepared on a small grill by families, now it has
developed into a highly refined and beautiful form of expression,
characterized by an intricate combination of presentation and knife
skills." The article goes on to explain the cooking style and what
types of foods you can expect to see during a meal.

In an excerpt from a past issue of ?Nipponia,? an online ?magazine?
about life in Japan, it discusses the ancient Japanese custom of
eating out of a communal pot while the food is cooking. There are
actually other dishes, like shabu-shabu and sukiyaki, that involve
preparing food as you are eating it.

Here is a short explanation of teppanyaki:

Here is a short excerpt from an article discussing teppanyaki?s origins:

?When and where did it begin? According to Omaha?s Kobe Steakhouse,
the ?art of Teppanyaki cooking has been performed since the 1900s.?
Benihana declares it to have a 200 year history: ?Traditionally, these
meals were prepared on a small grill by families, however it has
developed into a highly refined and beautiful form of expression,
characterized by an intricate combination of presentation and knife

You said that you?ve already seen the Wikipedia site, so other than
including the link I won?t comment further on that.

Okay, one more Wikipedia site. This one discusses hibachi-style
cooking, a term sometimes used in the U.S. to mean teppanyaki.

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Misono Restaurant in Kyoto claims to have invented teppanyaki cooking
in its current form in 1945. A number of sites cite Misono?s ?claims,?
but I could not find a single source that authoritatively stated that
it is the one ?originator? of the teppanyaki-style restaurant.

Here is Misono?s site. It is all in Japanese, but you can clearly see
their claim to being the ?originator.?

Here is an excerpt from the Frommer?s guide about Misono Restaurant:

Directions to the restaurant and other info can be found on this
restaurant listing page:

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Benihana is by far the most recognizable teppanyaki-style restaurant
in the United States, and possibly the world. Its founder, Yunosuke
?Rocky? Aoki came to the U.S. in the late 1950s, searching for
opportunities for success. He had run a full-service restaurant in
Tokyo with some success. He had a theatrical background and felt that
entertaining diners would pay big dividends. It was out of these
thoughts that he conceptualized Benihana as it exists today. I haven?t
found any indication that he borrowed this idea from Misono?s
restaurant. It seems that he conceptualized it himself. In 1964, he
opened the first Benihana restaurant in New York City. Interestingly,
he started with four tables and few customers, but six months after
opening his doors, a favorable restaurant review sent diners to
Benihana in droves and it grew from there. For a more detailed history
see this site:

To get an idea of what types of foods are served, see their menu at:

Rocky Aoki is an interesting individual with varied hobbies. See a
?timeline? about his life here:

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Top Secret Recipes is a site that clones recipes from famous
restaurants. You can get two free Benihana recipes here:

Here is a recipe for beef teppanyaki:

Here is a page with a number of pictures of Japanese cuisine. My
husband (who lived in Japan for 2 years) says that he frequented a
?yakiniku? (or ?do-it-yourself? teppanyaki restaurant) and it did seem
to be a great place for students to eat.

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So, there it is! What a delicious question! I was amazed at how many
teppanyaki restaurants there are around the world. If you search for
?teppanyaki restaurant? you will be treated to literally hundreds of
them. Take your pick! I hope you?ve found this information to be
useful. If you have need of clarification please let me know I can
help. And in the meantime, like they say in Japan: Itadakimasu! (Bon


Search terms:

history teppanyaki
origin teppanyaki
Rocky Aoki
teppanyaki restaurant
teppanyaki-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Excellent resaerch!  The information you have helped provide will be
used for my father's reference.  He was recently selected among 3
other chefs in the US to perform Teppanyaki in Hawaii this month for
the Food Network Teppanyaki Challenge!  Keep an eye on the Food
Network in August/September for the airing.

Subject: Re: What is the history of TEPPANYAKI?
From: boquinha-ga on 01 May 2006 19:13 PDT
Hello teppanyaki-ga!

Wow! That's fascinating! It's so exciting to find out what a customer
is doing with some of my research!! I had no idea when preparing this
that it would be used for something like that--that's very exciting! I
really appreciate the kind words and the 5-star rating. And thank you
for filling me in. I'm happy to be a part! I wish your father much
success! Again, thank you!


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