Teppanyaki Cuisine: Japanese Flat-Top Grilling

There is something intoxicating about grilled food — the aroma of seared meats and charred vegetables is enough to make one drool.

In Japanese cuisine there is a style of grilling called teppanyaki, where an iron grill is used to cook food. The word teppanyaki comes from teppan which means iron plate, and yaki which means grilled or pan fried. Typical ingredients cooked on an iron plate are steak, shrimp, scallops, and chicken, or an assortment of vegetables such as onions, mung bean sprouts, and zucchini.

In North America, hibachi grilling is commonly confused with teppanyaki grilling. Hibachi, however, is a small, portable grill heated by charcoal with an open grate. In traditional Japanese cooking, hibachi (fire-grill) is a small open-topped (usually porcelain) container designed to hold charcoal. Teppanyaki grills are typically propane-heated flat surfaces and designed to grill small, finely chopped, bite-sized pieces of meat, seafood, and vegetables.

served right off the grill

In teppanyaki cuisine, the chef is both creator and entertainer. Positioned in front of the guest, the meal is prepared and eaten on the spot. With lightning speed, teppanyaki chefs have become known for their excellent knife skills and almost acrobatic flair while they slice dice, flip, and grill foods to perfection. It’s dinner and a show — guests enjoy a front row seat while a dynamic chef cooks. Another advantage of this style of dining is being able to directly communicate with the chef — diners can determine how much seasoning or spice they want, or tell the chef exactly how they would like their meat or seafood cooked.

In Victoria, one place to experience teppanyaki is Japanese Village Teppan Steakhouse. Here they offer a complete teppan-grill dining experience. Skilled chefs work their magic on searing grills to create a variety of menu items from filet mignon, to New York steak, to chicken and salmon teriyaki. If you’ve never had the chance to experience this type of dining, I would highly recommend doing so. It’s an excellent idea for special occasions, including birthdays, anniversaries, or a night out with friends. The teppanyaki lunch, priced from $10.75-19.50, comes with Shabu Shabu soup or salad, hibachi vegetables, and rice. The dinner menu offers a wider selection, including butter-yaki halibut, scallops, steak, seafood combos, and a shrimp appetizer along with each meal.

Teppanyaki grill

Japanese Village Restaurant

734 Broughton Street, Victoria B.C.

(250) 382-5165


Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Monday thru Friday from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm
Dinner: Every night starting at 5:00 pm (excluding some holidays)

You can easily organize a teppan-grill party at home with a few simple ingredients (assuming you have a flat-top iron grill or a non-stick table-top grill). The main idea is that the grill goes in the center of the table. Everyone can have a turn being chef by placing sliced meats and veggies on the grill. As the food cooks, each person takes a piece or two off at a time and the grilling continues. Provide a variety of dipping sauces such as soy sauce, ponzu and Japanese steak sauce, and side dishes of either fried rice or yakisoba noodles. The key is to make sure that all your ingredients are thinly sliced to ensure quick and thorough cooking.


Follow these easy steps and enjoy!


Step 1

Preheat your teppanyaki grill or griddle to medium high, 375 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2

Lightly coat the cooking surface with oil.

Step 3

Dip meat in soy sauce and place on the grill. Cook for three to four minutes.

Step 4

Turn meat over and cook for another three to four minutes or until cooked through.

Step 5

While meat is cooking, place vegetables on the hot grill. Cook for three to five minutes, stirring often with the spatula. Popular teppanyaki vegetables are carrots, onion, bean sprout, zucchini, and mushrooms.

Step 6

Portion onto individual plates and serve.

Step 7

Each person adds their own sauces and condiments to taste. Serve plum sauce, hot bean sauce or chili sauce along with soy sauce to enhance the flavor of your teppanyaki.

Step 8

Use your grill to fry up your side dishes, like fried rice or soba noodles, alongside your meat and veggies.


Written By:

Holly Brooke is a true B.C. gal. Having lived on the west coast most of her life, except for several years in the Kootenay's where she canoed and fished and lived in a tipi, she's very much at home outdoors and in the kitchen. ...

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