Teppanyaki – Food, Flavour, Fun!

Teppanyaki at home: food, flavour, fun!

Teppanyaki has become an integral part of modern Japanese cuisine and a highly recognisable part of Japanese-American culture. Footage of teppanyaki chefs launching food into the mouths of excited diners has been included in Hollywood movies and television shows and the cuisine led to the success of the Japanese-American restaurant chain Benihana. But the best thing about teppanyaki style food is that you can now enjoy it in your own home. You might hold off flicking food at your guests until you’ve tried it a few times, but the incredible range of foods you can make on a teppanyaki grill means you’ll have that experience in no time!

What is teppanyaki style food and what makes it special?

Japanese cuisine includes a range of foods cooked on different types of grills using different cooking techniques. From flat iron plates over gas burners to open grills over coals. The hot plates used in teppanyaki restaurants are generally flat with gas burners underneath. They are usually rectangular or square, though smaller round plates are not unusual where space is a factor.

In a restaurant, teppanyaki is special because it is usually associated with live cooking and the theatre of food presented as entertainment. At most restaurants, including other Japanese restaurants, food is prepared by chefs in a kitchen and then brought to your table. In a teppanyaki restaurant, food is made at the table, or at a central hot plate on a table shared with guests. Diners can see what is being cooked, make special requests, and understand exactly when their food will be ready.

Teppanyaki makes for an exciting dining experience and a great way to enjoy Japanese food. The UltraDine Teppanyaki Grill brings that experience home, and allows you to enjoy the Japanese steakhouse culinary experience with friends and family. It’s indoor grilling at its best and a unique way to enjoy Japanese style food in a new way.

What is the “teppanyaki experience”?

Beyond providing a great Japanese meal, many teppanyaki restaurants go one step further to enhance the teppanyaki experience. Food is cooked and then launched toward the open mouths of hungry diners directly from the hot plate. A teppanyaki chef with good aim should find his mark most of the time. But a diner who flinches at the last minute can end up with a face full of beef or rice, much to the amusement of fellow diners. It’s all good fun though! You won’t go hungry if you can’t catch your food; bowls and chopsticks are still commonplace for those who like to eat the old fashioned way.

Recreating that experience at home can mean extra cleaning, at least the first few times. But if you have a teppanyaki grill at home, don’t be afraid to give your guests the “full teppanyaki experience”… if you’re brave enough!

Part of the experience is the use of fresh ingredients in creative ways. The “onion volcano”, for example, consists of stacked, thick-cut onion rings doused with flammable liquid and set alight to look like a tiny, edible volcano. While flambe is a technique borrowed from French cuisine, teppanyaki’s creative application in the form of onion ring volcanoes gives it a unique spin. It’s a style of cooking that is exciting and entertaining, which is why the teppanyaki cooking style has become so popular.

What is the origin and history of teppanyaki?

The term teppanyaki comes from the Japanese words teppan (which is the metal plate on which food is cooked) and yaki (which means grilled or pan-fried). The teppan grill has been a popular cooking tool in Japanese cuisine for a long time, though its exact origins are unclear. What is more clear is that the tradition of teppanyaki is a relatively new one, having been developed by Japanese restaurant chain Misono in the period immediately following World War II. American soldiers stationed in Japan after the war saw Japanese teppanyaki as Western-influenced food that combined common ingredients they already knew with a unique and interesting cooking technique.

It would be an understatement to say that teppanyaki became popular following its development. Japanese-style teppanyaki restaurants started appearing across the world, especially in the United States where larger-than-life personality Rocky Aoki launched the Benihana chain of restaurants. Soon, the interactive dining experience of teppanyaki was being featured in movies and on television shows as the world discovered just how fun teppanyaki could be. Teppanyaki-style steakhouses became more and more common with new restaurants in Europe and Australia.

Modern-day teppanyaki has lost none of the fun, but isn’t limited to Japanese-American steakhouses or Japanese teppanyaki restaurants anymore. Those installing a new kitchen or renovating their existing kitchen now have access to the amazing UltraDine® Plus range of teppanyaki grills. UltraDine® Plus is the only single-plate cooker in the world with ThermoFlex® technology. This allows the cooking plate to bend and flex toward the heat, offering a whole new dimension in flavoursome single plate teppanyaki cooking.

What ingredients are used in teppanyaki style cooking?
teppanyaki recipe ideas

Teppanyaki makes use of a range of ingredients common to Japanese cuisine, as well as a number of ingredients more common to other international cuisines.

Most teppanyaki dishes include some kind of protein like beef, or prawns, or chicken. Any protein that can be cooked quickly on a teppanyaki grill is a viable choice. Beef steak is a popular choice given teppanyaki steak is a staple at both Japanese and American-style teppanyaki restaurants. Chicken is popular because teppanyaki grills can be used to replicate dishes people often associate with fast and easy street foods.

Oils for cooking include sesame oil, peanut oil and soybean oil. Common vegetables include spring onions (green onions), mung bean sprouts, capsicum (green peppers), Japanese shishito peppers, cabbage, carrot, peas and onion. In fact, most vegetables can be used in teppanyaki cooking if you’re keen to experiment and find the best way to cook them.

One of the keys to good homemade teppanyaki is the many different sauces designed to compliment different dishes. In Australia, a number of food manufacturers have produced teppanyaki sauce that combines the well-known flavours of teppanyaki cooking. There are also traditional Japanese sauces including soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, oyster sauce and okonomiyaki sauce. There are also a range of dipping sauces available with a range of unique flavour combinations. Australian supermarkets stock most of these sauces by default and they are very easy to find and use.

Simple teppanyaki recipe ideas for home

You don’t need to be a Japanese chef to make Japanese dishes at home. In fact, many Japanese teppanyaki dishes are already simple versions of traditional dishes that have found popularity in American-style Japanese restaurants.

Teppanyaki Fried Rice

Teppanyaki fried rice is a popular Japanese dish that features a combination of stir-fried rice, vegetables, and protein such as chicken, beef, prawns, or tofu.


3 cups cooked and cooled Japanese short-grain rice (preferably day-old rice)
1 cup diced vegetables (carrots, peas, corn, capsicum, onions, etc.)
1 cup cooked protein (chicken, beef, prawns, tofu, etc.), diced
2-3 tablespoons cooking oil (vegetable, canola, or sesame oil)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped spring onions for garnish


  1. Turn your teppanyaki grill on to medium-high heat. Add about a tablespoon of oil to the grill and spread it evenly.
  2. Add the diced vegetables to your teppanyaki grill and stir-fry them until they’re slightly softened but still crisp. Push the vegetables to the side of the griddle to create space for the rice.
  3. Add a bit more oil to the empty space and add the minced garlic. Stir-fry for a brief moment until fragrant, being careful not to burn it.
  4. Push the garlic to the side and pour the beaten eggs into the space. Quickly scramble the eggs and then mix them with the vegetables.
  5. Add the diced protein to the grill and cook it briefly until heated through.
  6. Add the cooked rice to the grill. Use spatulas to break up any clumps of rice and spread it evenly across the grill.
  7. Drizzle the soy sauce and oyster sauce (if using) over the rice. Mix everything together, ensuring that the sauces are distributed evenly and the rice is heated through.
  8. Season the fried rice with salt and pepper according to your taste. Continue to stir-fry everything together for a few more minutes until the rice is well-coated and slightly crispy.
  9. Once the fried rice is thoroughly heated and evenly cooked, turn the hot plate off.
  10. Garnish the teppanyaki fried rice with chopped spring onions for a fresh and flavorful finish.
  11. Serve the teppanyaki fried rice hot as a main dish or as a side to other Japanese-inspired dishes.


Teppanyaki okonomiyaki is a variation of the traditional Japanese okonomiyaki, which is often referred to as a Japanese savoury or cabbage pancake.


For the batter:

2 cups shredded cabbage
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup dashi stock (Japanese soup stock) or water
2 eggs
1 teaspoon soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

For the filling (choose your favourites):

  • Cooked and diced bacon, prawns, squid, or any other protein
  • Chopped spring onions
  • Tempura scraps (tenkasu)


  • Okonomiyaki sauce (a sweet and savoury sauce, similar to Worcestershire sauce)
  • Kewpie mayonnaise (Japanese mayonnaise)
  • Aonori (dried seaweed flakes)
  • Katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes)


  1. In a large bowl, combine the shredded cabbage, flour, dashi stock or water, eggs, soy sauce, salt, and pepper. Mix until you have a thick batter. Adjust the consistency by adding more liquid if needed.
  2. Add your chosen filling ingredients, such as diced bacon, prawns, and chopped spring onions, to the batter. Mix well to distribute the ingredients evenly.
  3. Heat your teppanyaki grill to a medium heat. Grease the surface with a little oil.
  4. Pour a portion of the batter onto the teppanyaki grill, forming a round pancake about 2-3 cm thick.
  5. Use a spatula to shape and flatten the pancake, making sure it’s evenly spread.
  6. Cook the okonomiyaki for about 4-5 minutes on one side until it’s golden brown and the edges are crispy.
  7. Carefully flip the okonomiyaki using spatulas and cook the other side for an additional 4-5 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
  8. Once both sides are cooked, you can start adding toppings. First, drizzle okonomiyaki sauce in a crisscross pattern over the top of the pancake.
  9. Next, squeeze kewpie mayonnaise over the okonomiyaki in a similar crisscross pattern.
  10. Sprinkle aonori over the top for colour and flavour.
  11. Finally, add katsuobushi on top. The heat of the okonomiyaki will make the bonito flakes “dance,” adding a unique visual element to the dish.
  12. Serve your teppanyaki okonomiyaki hot, either by slicing it directly on the griddle or transferring it to a serving plate.

Yaki Udon

Yaki Udon is a popular teppanyaki dish made with stir-fried udon noodles and a variety of vegetables, protein, and flavourful sauces.


2 portions of pre-cooked udon noodles (fresh or dried)
1 cup sliced vegetables (cabbage, capsicum, carrots, mushrooms, etc.)
1/2 cup sliced protein (chicken, beef, pork, prawns, tofu, etc.)
2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
Salt and pepper to taste


  • Sliced spring onions
  • Bonito flakes
  • Sesame seeds


  1. If you’re using dried udon noodles, cook them according to the package instructions until they’re al dente. Drain and rinse them with cold water to prevent sticking. If you’re using fresh udon, they may just need a quick rinse in warm water to separate.
  2. Heat your teppanyaki grill to a medium-high heat. Add 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
  3. Add the minced garlic to the hot oil and sauté for a moment until fragrant.
  4. Add the sliced protein to your teppanyaki grill. Stir-fry until the protein is cooked through and slightly browned. Move the protein to a cooler area of your teppanyaki grill (or set it aside).
  5. On a hot area of your teppanyaki grill add a bit more oil if needed. Add the sliced vegetables and stir-fry them until they’re slightly softened but still crisp.
  6. Move the vegetables aside and add the pre-cooked udon noodles to the empty space. Use tongs or spatulas to separate and loosen the noodles.
  7. In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, oyster sauce, and mirin. Pour the sauce over the udon noodles and toss everything together to evenly distribute the sauce.
  8. Add the cooked protein back to your teppanyaki grill with the udon noodles and vegetables.
  9. Continue to stir-fry everything together for a few more minutes until the udon noodles are heated through and coated with the sauce.
  10. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.
  11. Once everything is well combined and heated, serve the yaki udon hot in bowls, and if desired, garnish with sliced spring onions, bonito flakes, and sesame seeds.

Things you’ll need

To make a full range of Japanese teppanyaki dishes you need a few key tools. Most of these are basics and some of them you might have in your kitchen already.

  • UltraDine® Teppanyaki Grill: with built-in, portable and whole-table options, the UltraDine Teppanyaki Grill is a great way to bring the fun and entertainment of teppanyaki cooking home. And its versatility means you can use it to cook a wide variety of other cuisines.
  • Spatulas: dividing, mixing and stirring are all key components of the teppanyaki grilling process and a couple of high quality spatulas should be top of your list when you start your teppanyaki cooking journey. We recommend the Super Duty Spatula Set designed specifically for teppanyaki cooking.
  • Sharp knife: teppanyaki dishes require a lot of mixing and stirring. But you can’t do that if your ingredients aren’t chopped finely. Everyone has their preferences for cooking knives, but if you want a super sharp knife that retains its edge in everyday use try the Chef’s Knife, Santoku Knife or Carving Knife from Cook N Dine.
  • Tongs: even in cooking, safety should always be a priority, so you should always have a pair of tongs with which to pick up hot food. The extra long and extra strong BBQ tongs from Cook N Dine are consistently our pick.

Bring teppanyaki home

The UltraDine® Teppanyaki Grill and accessories from Cook N Dine make it possible to enjoy the excitement and fun of teppanyaki style cooking at home. Entertain your friends, learn new skills, and cook delicious food in the comfort of your own home.

And if you think the UltraDine® Teppanyaki Grill is a one-trick pony, think again. It’s a great option for outdoor or indoor grilling with its flat plate providing an even-temperature cooking surface that’s perfect for meat, seafood, and vegetables. 

The UltraDine® Teppanyaki Grill is the perfect addition to any Australian outdoor kitchen!