The History of Teppanyaki

Fast-paced teppanyaki cooking provides customers with an exciting dining and entertainment experience. Like sushi chefs, tea ceremony hosts, and practitioners of other cultural disciplines with roots in Japan, teppanyaki chefs train to develop precise skills. Unlike these other disciplines, little is known about the history of teppanyaki. Before 1945, there is little record of the origins of this style of cooking. To find out some facts about the history of teppanyaki, read on.

Scotch fillets on the hot plate

Legendary Origins
Though there is scant documentation, some oral traditions trace teppanyaki back to family dining habits in feudal Japan. Commoners in some rural areas would gather around central cooking fires in their homes to keep warm and prepare simple meals of grilled fish, meats, or vegetables. This is one possible antecedent of the communal dining style of teppanyaki. Other folk tales trace teppanyaki to early 20th century Kobe, where fishmonger chefs would grill the catch of the day in front of waiting customers.

Japan s First Modern Teppanyaki
Misono, the first modern teppanyaki steakhouse, opened in Kobe in 1945. At this famous restaurant, the chefs first juggled knives, tossed delicious morsels onto customers’ plates, and debuted many of the other dazzling tricks that today are  the hallmarks of Japanese steakhouse dining. The fresh and delicious grilled steak, prawns, and vegetables at Misono proved very popular with foreign visitors.

Teppanyaki Comes to America
In 1964, a young Japanese wrestler opened the U.S.A.’s first teppanyaki restaurant in Manhattan. The immersive dining experience quickly captivated New Yorkers, and over the next decade teppanyaki spread from coast to coast. Americans love watching the skilled chefs perform juggling feats and enjoy sampling the delectable foods prepared on the tabletop grill. Because teppanyaki uses ingredients that are very familiar to Westerners, such as mushrooms, onions, steak, chicken, and fresh seafood, it is very accessible to the American palate.

House of Genji brings authentic teppanyaki cooking to San Jose. Visit us to savor the taste and enjoy the showmanship of this  Japanese culinary tradition. To make your reservation, call (408) 453-8120 today.

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