Japan has been experiencing a so-called “meat boom” the past few years. There have been lots of new meat specialty restaurants that welcomes only members, and there are all kinds of meat-related events at different restaurants every month on the 29th, the “Day of Meat.” “Meat” can include a variety of meat. There are fish meat, pork, chicken, horse meat, and game meat (Meat from wild animals that has been caught by hunting). However, in Japan, “meat” can refer to only beef, depending on the context of the conversation.
When you crave for meat, do you ever wonder whether you should eat steak or teppanyaki in Japan? If you know the differences between the two, it will not be so embarrassing when you want to invite someone special. Today, we are going to dive into the world of Japanese steak and teppanyaki.
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1. There is so Much to Steak and Teppanyaki Than Just “Meat”
Steak and teppanyaki serve a lot of food other than just meat. If we were to definite the two, steak “grills thick ingredients” while teppanyaki “grills ingredients on an iron plate.”
The shape of the ingredients is important for steak, and teppanyaki is all about the cooking utensils, like the iron plate. There are a huge difference.
2. Steak Can Be Something Other Than Meat
In Japan, there are lots of “steak” other than meat. For example, grill thick tofu and you have “tofu steak.” The reasonable and nutritious soy bean product suddenly becomes a flavorful steak.
For example, a pork steak is called “tonteki” in Japan. There is even a specialty restaurant for tonteki.
Bifuteki Is Not an Abbreviation For “Beef Steak”
There is a dish called “bifuteki” in Japan which may sound like an abbreviation of “beef steak,” but it is actually not. “Bifuteki” is said to have emerged from the French word for steak, “biftech.”
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3. How Well Do You Want Your Steak to Be Cooked?
There are recently more restaurant that serve lightly grilled steak as a standard, which might be because there are more placing serving fresh meat. But it is always best to choose for yourself how well you want it cooked.
Let’s take a look what kind of options we have, starting from rare steak.
Raw steak is raw meat. It is not even steak.
The surface of the meat is lightly cooked. There are no burnt planes for the most part. Instead, the surface has turned to a light brown color. The middle part of the meat remains almost raw.
As the name shows, it is in between “blue” and “rare.” Although there are some burn places, the middle part of the meat is still closer to raw.
The surface is cooked well. Cut into the meat with a knife, and you are able to enjoy different layers and colors of the meat, including a layer that is well cooked, a layer that has been cooked but has not turned brown, and a layer that is closer to raw.
The raw part in the middle of the meat decreases significantly. Most of the color of the meat is pink, showing that the meat has been cooked, instead of the red color showing the meat is raw.
The surface is well cooked, the part that has been cooked well that is light brown, and the pink color part increases for medium steak.
The flavor unique to raw meat almost disappears for medium well steak.
The pink color decreases significantly, an the inside of the meat is well cooked.
80 – 90% of the meat is cooked well.
Almost the whole meat other than the burn part of the surface is a light brown color.
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4. Anything Cooked on the Iron Plate Becomes Teppanyaki
Any kind of food cooked over an iron plate (teppan in Japanese) can be “teppanyaki.” You can cook vegetables and fish other than meat, carbohydrate-rich foods like yakisoba, “konamon” (food using flour) like okonomiyaki and monjyayaki is also teppanyaki. Even BBQ can be a teppanyaki if you cook it over an iron plate instead of a grill.
This means that steak cooked over an iron plate can be called steak or teppanyaki. Cooking different kinds of ingredients over an iron plate reminds people of the festival and is just pure fun! A lot of teppanyaki restaurants allows you to cook food live. There is an aspect of entertainment for teppanyaki.
5. Choose Freely Depending on What You Want to Eat and the Atmosphere You Want
As you now know, steak and teppanyaki are not completely different cuisines.
We recommend choosing a restaurant depending on the food and cooking method you want and how you want to enjoy your time. Both cuisines have affordable to high-class restaurants.
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