If you enjoy dining at Japanese restaurants, you’ve probably come across the terms hibachi, teppanyaki, and teriyaki on a menu. Japanese steakhouses have different ways of preparing and cooking meat, and understanding these terms will help you out the next time you order Japanese food.
A traditional hibachi in Japan was a container made of wood or ceramic, lined with metal, that was either built into a piece of furniture, or created as a portable device. Hibachis were used to burn charcoal and wood for cooking. In America, the Hibachi grills that are seen in Japanese restaurants are small, open-hearth grills, usually with seating around them, on which a chef prepares your meal. These grills can be charcoal or electric, and can have a flat iron or ridged grill top for different cooking styles.
Hibachi or Teppanyaki Cooking
Teppanyaki, or Tappan, cooking encompasses any Japanese food that is cooked on an iron grill, like a Hibachi grill. Hibachi dishes typically consist of thinly sliced meat, vegetables, rice, and soy sauce. Vegetables are grilled on a Hibachi grill, and the meat is seasoned with soy sauce, and occasionally ginger, then cooked very quickly on a very hot grill. The meat and vegetables are then served over rice.
Teriyaki translates from Japanese to English as “glossy grilled.” This style of preparing meat involves the use of Teriyaki sauce to coat or “gloss” the meat before cooking. Traditional Teriyaki sauce is a light, sweet glaze made of soy sauce, sugar, sake, and mirin. Additional spices are added to taste. Marinated meat is cut into small pieces and grilled on skewers. Teriyaki sauce is added to the meat continuously as it cooks, giving the meat its glossy look.
At House of Genji, we serve delicious, authentic Japanese food to the San Jose area. Our cocktail lounge and sushi bar are a great place to spend happy hour, or you can enjoy a teppanyaki -style lunch or dinner at our hibachi grill. Call us today at (408) 453-8120 to make a reservation.