Traditionally in Japan, Kobe beef was eaten in very thin slices, the exact opposite of the thick cut steak that we’re used to in the West. This doesn’t mean that our Japanese friends in the past never enjoyed thicker cuts. They did, and through the Kobe Steak House chain and similar restaurants, this style of cooking Kobe beef is known to nearly all of us: teppanyaki.
The word “teppanyaki” can simply be translated as “grittle grilling.” If you haven’t been to a restaurant where a Japanese chef grills the food table side, along with jokes and juggling, then you’ve seen pictures. In many ways, Teppanyaki is a stir-fry methods but on a flat surface instead of a wok.
First, all of these ingredients are cut into bit-sized pieces. (Note: much Asian food is cut into bit-sized pieces before cooking to decrease the cooking time, and hence, to save fuel. Enough cooking fuel has always been a problem in Asia from antiquity to the present.)
Here are the ingredients:
You’ll also have some Yakiniku sauce. You can buy this or find many simple recipes on-line
Heat a stove-top or gas-grill grittle very hot. Remember, this is a stir fry method, so the hotter the better. Generously oil the grittle and then put the carrots on first, since they take the longest to cook. Continuously stir. With the grittle so hot, the food will burn easily if left to sit. When the carrots begin to soften, at the remaining items, including the shrimp, but not the Kobe steak. The entire cooking process from carrots to the end should be no longer than five minutes of constant stirring.
Finally, take the cooked side ingredients off and wipe the grittle clean. Add another generous amount of oil and add the cubed Kobe steak loin. Here, we’re looking at one to two minutes top of constant stirring. You want to brown the meat, but not cook it through, just like you would a Kobe steak.
Remove the Kobe beef, plate the steak along with the side ingredients, and serve with the Yakiniku sauce. Round out this traditional Japanese meal with warm sake and eat Kobe steak like the Japanese do.
How did your attempt to cook Kobe steak teppanyaki style go? Did you try other cuts of Kobe beef? Other side items?