Japanese Restaurant Chains Key Terms
Learn some key terms important to Japanese restaurant chainsThere are many different types of Japanese restaurants that are internationally popular. A Benihana-style restaurant, where chefs provide entertainment for customers while cooking teppanyaki style on a grill, is one type of chain. Other Japanese restaurant chains feature sushi and sashimi, prepared by trained chefs. Like most chains, the choice of a stand-alone building or a location in a mall is a consideration of the franchisee and the corporate decision-makers.
Street front or food court
Teppanyaki and hibachiTeppanyaki and hibachi each refer to a Japanese steakhouse style of cooking that was originally popularized in the US by the Benihana chain, where chefs put on a show by cooking on a metal griddle in front of customers and juggling cooking utensils. In Japanese, "teppan" means iron grill, and "yaki" refers to something grilled. Hibachi is actually a small Japanese grill, but the term "hibachi-style" is applied in the US to teppanyaki cooking.
Sushi and sashimiBoth sushi and sashimi usually use very fresh, uncooked, saltwater fish. Sashimi is used to describe the pieces of raw fish, while sushi refers to rectangular pieces of rice flavored with rice vinegar and topped with slices of raw fish. Sushi also refers to wraps and rolls. Certain Japanese restaurant chains specialize in these items.
ShochuWhile sake (rice wine) may be more famous as Japanese alcohol, shochu is a popular drink in Japan that is becoming known gradually in the US. Shochu is a clear alcohol spirit with about 25% alcohol content. It can be made from corn, rice, sweet potato or buckwheat. The liquid can be mixed into cocktails or consumed by itself.
Sushi Chef InstituteThe Sushi Chef Institute trains chefs in the traditional way of preparing sushi. The goal is to create dishes that provide a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. In addition, students are taught the proper handling of raw fish.
RiceRice is a staple of Japanese cooking, used in many different ways. It can be a side dish to a meal, or used to make mochi (soft rice cakes). Other uses are senbei (rice cracker), sake (rice wine), or in combination with soybeans to make a type of miso.
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