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Family and Friends is my everyday journal. Captain's Log is where I pontificate on religion and politics.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

WC 042022


Today's challenge is one meal everyone should try.

Teppan Yaki.

You are seated at a table with a stainless-steel cooking area. There are spaces for eight people. They seat eight people most will be strangers. It is communal dining. You can choose to ignore them or engage them in conversation. The experience is best if you get to chat with people while dining.

There's a large plate and cloth napkin with silver ware and you can ask for chopsticks. There's the option for alcohol or soft drinks and tea, hot or iced.

The menu has appetizers, I prefer sea food tempura: shrimp, crab meat, scallops, and Calimarie fried in a light batter. It comes with a ginger sauce for dipping. You can also order sushi if you're into that.

Entres consist of chicken (some places use breast others use thigh meat, I prefer thigh meat it's not as dry), steak (sirloin, filet mignon, New York strip), shrimp, sea food and oriental vegetables either as tempan yaki (only soy sauce) or teriyaki, a tasty saki flavored sauce. You can mix the chicken and steak or sea food.

It comes with fried rice, or you can opt for a bowl of rice or if diabetic skip from the meal.

After your drinks arrive you get a salad with a soy dressing that's quite tasty, then a bowl of soup with slivers of mushroom and chopped chives.

The cook comes out with a tray and all the food. He (I've never seen a female cook at any of the places I've tried.) usually comes out drips oil and lighter fluid on the cooking top and then lights it sending a whoosh of flame. Small children will either laugh or cry. He then prepares the rice by cracking a couple of eggs, dollops of butter and mixed vegetables. While that's cooking, he'll lay out the chicken, steak, and sea food on the side, he'll ask those who chose steak how they want it cooked.

He mixes up the rice until it browned and then with a spatula measures out a portion and places it on the large plate in front of everyone. Next, he'll take an onion and form a volcano out of it and fill it with lighter fluid then light it on fire. He might then take out wooden paddles that resemble large salt and pepper shakers and do a routine of drumming on the cooking top, twirling them around and going around his back and over his head.

Tackling the entre he spreads out the chicken to cook, then the steaks and with shrimp he'll place them in a line on their sides then cut off the tails, slice them down the middle and cut them in half, he might even flip one of the tails onto his high white chef's hat. He cuts the meat into bite size portions separates the servings that are tempan yaki and places them on the plates, then he pours teriyaki on those servings and places them on the plate.

Next comes onion, zucchini, and bean sprouts which are cooked up and delivered.

After cleaning the cooking top he'll bow to the customers, who usually give tips and leaves.

This is not just a meal, but an experience meant to be as savored as the food, which is always excellent.

Japanese Kitchen was the first teppan yaki restaurant in Albuquerque nearly forty years ago, now there are a number of other places. The only disagreeable experience I had was when the cook mixed soy sauce and teriyaki sauce in the rice. They do not mix well. I think the place got the message and they didn't do that the next time we went.  

There's a fast-food place in town called Teriyaki Chicken Bowl, that sells bowls of fried rice with chicken in teriyaki sauce. It doesn't have the experience of tepan yaki, but is quite tasty.


Lydia said...

This sounds incredible!

Shari Elder said...

That sounds both delicious and a lot of fun. Thanks for sharing it.

Tanith Davenport said...

Ah yes, I haven't had teppanyaki for a while but I do enjoy the experience.