Monday, December 21, 2015

Teppanyaki Steak and Scallops

The cooking process of teppanyaki is lightning quick so your kitchen prep and timing are extremely important. Like my previous post about the typical teppanyaki appetizers, this isn't one of my regular recipe posts.  It's more just notes about what I do for the process of making a Japanese steakhouse style steak and scallops dinner.

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There are just a few basic seasonings and liquids that are used through the cooking process and should be easily accessible.  I like to keep the liquids in squirt bottles.

blackstone griddle review, how to cook japanese steakhouse

  • kosher or sea salt
  • coarse grind black pepper
  • granulated garlic
  • oil - 1 cup of a high temp oil like peanut or canola seasoned with a teaspoon of sesame oil
  • salty baste - 3:1 ratio of beef stock to soy sauce
  • sweet baste - 1:1 ratio of terriyaki and chicken stock
  • water
The condiments you can make in advance are
  • Golden Shrimp Sauce
  • Ginger Dipping Sauce - In a blender, mix 1/4 cup onion, 1/4 cup beef stock, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1.5 tablespoon rice wine vinegar, and two quarter size pieces of fresh peeled ginger.
Griddle Set Up
You want multiple temperature zones, which is why I said that just using a griddle plate on a charcoal grill or an electric skillet isn't ideal. A large griddle on a multiple burner gas grill could work.  I like to use three zones as shown below. 

how to cook teppanyaki steak, flattop griddle, steak and scallop recipe
I set the left burner on low so I can cook foods here without paying too much attention to them. The middle two are where the most cooking happens and I keep it around medium high. The far right burner is off but will stay hot enough from the burner next to it to work as a "keep warm" zone.

Leveling the flattop is important.  The drain channel for my griddle is at the front and the collection bin is on the right, so the front right side needs to be slightly lower than the rest.  If not, liquids won't drain off and will just pool up.  On the other hand, if you tilt it too much, all of your liquids will run off too fast.

I preheat my griddle with all burners on low for about 15 minutes while I get my food set up and then adjust the controls to the low-med high-med high-off settings for about 5 minutes before cooking.

Fried Rice
Prep ahead:
Cook 1 1/2 cups of Jasmine rice and chill (chill the rice...not telling you to calm down).  It's important to quickly cool the rice to avoid food safety concerns with bacillus cereus. Just sticking a pot of hot rice in the fridge can let the rice stay warm long enough to become contaminated.  Instead spread the rice out on a baking sheet and put in the fridge to cool quickly.

  • 3 cups of cooked jasmine rice
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas and carrots
  • 2 eggs
Squirt oil in the center and spread it around with the spatula until the griddle has a thin, shimmering coat of oil.   Add the rice and veggies, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic, and then toss around with the spatula.  Squirt some salty baste on the rice and toss around a few times.  Push rice off to the "keep warm" zone and scramble the eggs in the center, seasoning with a little salt and pepper.  Bring the rice back in, squirt with some of the sweet baste, toss all together, breaking the egg up into pieces.  Push it all back to the keep warm zone.

japanese steakhouse fried rice, how to cook fried rice on griddle
This picture shows the type of spatula that I like to use, it's also called a "turner".  Notice how you can see spots where there was soy sauce and then most spots are still plain white.  Flip this around until the color is even and light brown like shown in the first picture.  I usually do several small squirts of the salty baste until I get the color I want and then finish with the sweet baste.

scrambled egg on griddle
You don't have a lot of time to mess around when cooking the egg, it should only take about 30-45 seconds and you have to keep it moving.

Teppanyaki Vegetables
Prep ahead:
Cut 2 zucchini into 1/2" x 3" pieces. 
Cut 2 onions into 1/2 inch slices. 
Cut 8 ounces of button mushrooms into quarters.

Scrape griddle clean (from fried rice) and reapply a squirt or two of oil. Place zucchini and onions in orderly fashion on the low burner side.  Place mushrooms on the medium high section and season with salt, pepper, and garlic.  Skip to steak section.

Once the steak and scallops are cooked, shift the zucchini and onion to the medium high burner.  Cut the onions into quarters (you can cut directly on a flattop like this).  Season with salt, pepper, and garlic.  Squirt with some of the salty baste.  Toss to coat.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds if you like and serve.

how to cook vegetables like japanese steakhouse, griddle vegetables
Since the veggies have been cooking on low, it should only take a few minutes to finish these off once everything else is done.

Teppanyaki Steak
Prep ahead:  
Marinate 1+ lb sirloin steak in 1/2 cup beef stock, 1/4 cup ponzu sauce, 1/4 cup oil, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper for 4-6 hours.

  • Remove steak from marinade and wide dry.  Place steak down, season top with salt, pepper, and garlic, and cook for 4 minutes. Toss the mushrooms around and squirt with some of the salty baste. Flip the zucchini and onions. 
  • Flip steak, season with salt, pepper, and garlic, and cook for another 4 minutes. 
  • Cut the steak into bite size pieces, toss with the mushrooms, season lightly again with salt, pepper, and garlic, and squirt with  some of the sweet baste. Cook until desired doneness, another 1-2 minutes.  Push to the keep warm side to hold.
griddle mushrooms, mushrooms for steak
I quarter the mushrooms instead of slicing them because the flat ones stick to the skillet.

hibachi steak, teppanyaki steak
"Steak" on a teppanyaki menu generally refers to sirloin.  If it is ribeye or filet, it will usually say it by name.  Quality of beef matters here.  I did the recipe twice, once with select and once with CAB choice.  There was a noticeable difference in texture and taste.

The steak should be about 110-120 when you slice it so it will only take another minute to hit medium rare.  Keep in mind that since you are slicing it on the flat top, that carry over cooking will be much less than you are used to.

japanese steakhouse steak and scallop recipe
Finish off the plated steak with some scallions if you like.

Teppanyaki Scallop
Prep ahead:
Melt 4 tablespoons of butter, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and mix with 1 minced garlic clove and 1/4 teaspoon minced fresh ginger.

Keep very cold until ready to cook them.  Dab the surfaces of the scallops dry with a towel (for best browning).  Place on a clean, oiled part of the medium high section and cook for 3 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Flip and cook one minute.  Pour the butter mixture over and cook until done, about another 2 minutes.  Remove to the keep warm section of the griddle.

japanese style scallop

how to cook scallops on the griddle

Go back to the vegetable section and finish cooking the zucchini and onion.

Remove all and serve with Golden Shrimp Sauce and ginger dipping sauce.

This may sound like a ton of steps but it really is all about the prep.  If you have watched a teppanyaki cook at a restaurant, they roll their cart of supplies out and the cook only takes a total of about 20 minutes tops.  It's all about the timing.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Teppanyaki or Japanese Steakhouse Appetizers

We got our flattop griddle out of storage recently so we've been doing teppanyaki style cooking.

Blackstone flattop griddle, teppanyaki cooking
The 4 burners let you have 4 different temp zones, I set up 3 for this type of cooking.

Teppanyaki is a Japanese method of cooking on an iron plate griddle.  Americans mostly associate teppanyaki with the Japanese steakhouses like Benihana.  One of our long term friends is half Japanese and told us that no one in Japan goes to anything like that, just tourists. It's not "traditional" but that didn't stop her from loving to go with us to Shogun (the now defunct, local Benihana knock off).  She enjoyed the food and entertaining chefs as much as we did. 

You don't have to have a flattop griddle to do teppanyaki but it sure helps.  You can use a griddle like the Sizzle Q on top of a grill or an electric griddle, but you will lose capacity and variable temperature control.  Plus you can't use metal utensils on most electric griddles because they have non-stick coating on them. 

The particular model that we have is a Blackstone 36", four burner flattop.  We have had ours for about 16 months and have used it for work functions, onsite cooking events, and at home.  It's somewhat portable (legs fold up and the arms come off) and it's well made.  The griddle top is very thick and weighs more than the rest of the griddle combined.  It's durable and is going to last eons.  I know several grillers that have bought one as well as our favorite local cafe and all of them seem very happy with theirs too.  

So this particular evening, we were making steak and scallops but the teppanyaki style restaurants typically start off every meal with the same three appetizers - ginger dressing salad, mushroom broth, and shrimp.  Here's how we do ours.

Salad with Ginger Dressing
This is very basic.  It's just iceberg lettuce, a little shredded carrot, and ginger dressing.  If they are really feeling fancy, they might shred a tiny bit of radicchio in there too.  The key is the ginger dressing since that is where all of the flavor comes from.  It's slightly sweet on the front followed by a pungent tang on the backside.  We have tried many but I haven't found a bottled ginger dressing that tastes like what they serve in restaurants.  We make our own Ginger Salad Dressing.

teppanyaki appetizer, japanese steakhouse dressing,
You can have any dressing you like, just as long as it is ginger.

Mushroom Soup
The soup is almost invariably mushrooms and scallions in a clear broth.  If you're lucky, there's some fried tempura batter in there too.  I found this recipe a while back and it works very well.  With such a simple soup, quality fresh ingredients is the key.  Slice your own mushrooms, razor thin is best.  Broth from bullion or base comes out a little cloudy so I like using either homemade or Progresso broths for this.

Shrimp Appetizer
This is another simple but flavorful appetizer where quality counts. I used wild caught Carolina shrimp (21-25 count/lb), plan on 2 to 3 shrimp per guest.  You have to make the Golden Shrimp Sauce to go along with this, it tastes so good.
  1. Preheat griddle to medium high heat. Squirt a bit of oil (canola oil with a few drops of sesame oil mixed in) onto the hot griddle and spread around with your spatula.
  2. Melt 4 tablespoons of butter and mix with a minced clove of garlic, 1/4 teaspoon of fresh grated ginger, and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.
  3. Put the shrimp down, sprinkle with kosher salt, black pepper, and granulated garlic, cooking for 3 minutes.  No measurements, I just sprinkled it on.
  4. Flip, season again with salt, pepper, and garlic, then cook 1 minute.
  5. Pour the butter mixture over the shrimp and cook until done, another 1-2 minutes.
  6. Remove and serve with the sauce.

Keeping them lined up like this makes it easy to flip with your spatula in one swoop for each row.

japanese steakhouse sauce, yum yum sauce, benihana sauce
The Golden Shimp Sauce ends up going on just about everything for me except the beef. Especially on leftover fried rice the next day, so much goodness!

So that's our first three courses for any teppanyaki meal that we create. Pretty basic stuff but just remember - don't take any quality shortcuts.

Coming up in my next post - Teppanyaki Steak and Scallop Dinner.

[FTC Standard Disclaimer]  We have no affiliation with Blackstone, received no compensation for this post, and paid full price for our griddle. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Grilled Ribeye Steaks with Chorizo and Potato Au Gratin

I ran into the local grocery store to buy a sirloin steak but I got caught by the Siren's song of these beautiful Certified Angus Beef Prime ribeyes.

Deep red color, abundant marbling, and a nice hunk of the cap muscle, I couldn't pass these up.

Quality beef doesn't need much help other than some salt, pepper, garlic, and "coal therapy". But we ordered some Obie-Cue Steakmaker accidentally when doing our last competition supply order and I decided to try it out with these gorgeous steaks. It has a boatload of flavor going on with your typical salt and pepper with strong notes of Worcestershire and lemon. 

We had near record warm temperatures in East Tennessee this past weekend which made it perfect for being out on the deck grilling.  It was too nice to be inside so I did the whole meal on the Grill Dome kamado grill, including a side of fire roasted asparagus and this kicking Chorizo and Potato Au Gratin.

Certified Angus Beef, how to grill steak, ribeye steak recipe, Big Green Egg steak, Kamado steak

Chorizo and Potato Au Gratin

Published 12/09/2015


  • 8 ounces Mexican chorizo (raw, not cured)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, unsalted
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups shredded Colby jack cheese - divided
  • 2 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup French fried onions 


  1. Preheat your grill to 350°f and set up for indirect heat.  
  2. In a medium sized pot, brown the chorizo (removed from casing) over medium heat, about 5 minutes.  Remove and set aside.  
  3. Add the butter to the pot and saute the onion for 4 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook another 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in the flour and stir continuously until a light roux is formed, about 1-2 minutes.  Slowly add the half and half in small batches (about 1/4 cup) and whisk each time until combined.  It will seize up on you at first, just keep adding and whisking until all the liquid is combined. Whisk in 1 1/2 cups of the cheese in small batches.
  5. In a greased 1 1/2 quart casserole dish, layer potato slices, top with about 1/4th of the browned chorizo and a spoonful or two of the cream sauce.  Repeat for 3 more layers.  Top with one more layer of potatoes and the rest of the cream sauce. 
  6. Place casserole in the grill, shut the dome, and allow to cook for 1 hour.
  7. Mix the French fried onions and remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.  Top on the casserole and put back into the grill, dome closed, until the top is golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.
Yield: 6-8 servings

It was so nice out that I even did all of my food prep outside, I love nights like this.

Johnsonville Chorizo, Jimmy Dean chorizo
Mexican chorizo is a highly seasoned RAW pork sausage and has to be cooked compared to Spanish or Portuguese chorizo which is cured and ready to eat.  It used to be hard to find but now major producers like Johnsonville and Jimmy Dean offer chorizo sausages.

If you can almost see through the potato slices, you sliced them right. I do them on a mandolin but you could do by hand if you have a sharp knife and the patience of Job.

Char-Broil Commercial Grill
I love the side burner of my Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Commercial grill, it comes in so handy.

side burner grill, Char-Broil Commercial grill
Don't dump all of the cheese in at once or it will cool it down too quickly.  Small batches.  You could also use any cheese you like, Colby jack is just a good middle of the road cheese for just about anything.  Pepper jack would be good here or a blend of cheeses.  I'd stay away from smoked cheese because the dish will get enough smokiness from the burning lump coals.

grill side dishes, potato side dish,
Layer and repeat, layer and repeat, layer and get the picture.

Grill Dome kamado grills
The beauty of using a ceramic kamado grill like the Grill Dome Infinity Series is that they hold steady temperatures incredibly well.

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The indirect set up that I used this time was the Grill Dome indirect rack, a 13" pizza stone, and a Craycort cast iron grill grate. You could also use a spider and stone or a plate setter. Set your timer and prep the rest of your meal while this cooks.

Big Green Egg side dish, Grill Dome side dish, Primo side dish, kamado joe side dish
Cook until golden brown.  I added bread crumbs to the topping but I didn't list them in the ingredients because they were not needed, the fried onions and cheese are the perfect topping on their own.
For timing, I did the casserole first and stuck it in the microwave (off of course) just to keep it warm while I made the rest of dinner. 

kamado steak, how to cook steak on Big Green Egg, ribeye kamado joe
Once the casserole comes off, change the set up to direct heat.  Open up the lower vent some to raise the cooking temp to 500°f, it should only take a few minutes.

Grill Dome steak, kamado steak, how to grill steak
At 500°f, I ran it at 4 minutes per side to get medium rare.  Normally I temp check it but this time I just went by touch only.

kamado side dish, easy grilled side dish
I hit the asparagus with a little oil and Meat Church All Purpose Seasoning (it's become my favorite general purpose seasoning).  I grilled a lemon and squirted the juice from one half over the asparagus in the last minute.

The Chorizo and Potato Au Gratin came out just about perfect.

beef ribeye, ribeye steak, grill lemon asparagus, cheesy casserole
Everything turned out wonderfully. I went light on the beef seasoning because it tasted so powerful straight out of the jar.  Next time I'd go with a heavier hand, it was a very good beef rub. I just didn't want to over season.

And how did the steak turn out?  Perfect medium rare.
Grilling a steak on a warm night in the middle of December?  Pretty damn awesome.  

[Standard FTC Disclaimer]  I received no compensation for this post; however, Grill Dome is the official kamado sponsor and Char-Broil is a sponsor of Nibble Me This. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Fire Roasted Poblano and Corn Casserole

Corn casserole is a frequent dish at your typical Southern covered dish suppers. 

Whether it is a wake, office covered dish luncheon, or holiday meal - someone always brings a corn casserole. Some are more gooey like corn pudding, whereas some have a texture more like cake.  For the record, I lean toward the "cakey" ones.  But they are all pretty much the same when it comes to flavor profile.

I wanted to boost the flavors for the corn casserole that we did so I started with Show Me The Yummy's Creamy Corn Casserole and gave it a Tex-Mex kink.  I substituted Mexican crema for the sour cream, used charred corn instead of canned, and added fire roasted poblano's for a slight kick.  Of course, I cooked it in the Grill Dome kamado grill to get even more flavor than from the oven.

Fire Roasted Poblano and Corn Casserole

adapted from Show Me The Yummy
Published 12/09/2015


  • 3 ears yellow corn
  • 1 poblano chile
  • 1 can cream style corn
  • 1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
  • 1 cup Mexican crema
  • 1/2 teaspoon Meat Church All Purpose Seasoning


  1. Preheat your grill to 350°f.  Roast the poblano chile directly over flame until heavily charred on all 3 sides.  Remove from grill and place in a zip top or paper bag for 5 minutes.  Meanwhile roast the corn until slightly charred, about 8 minutes, turning every 2-3 minutes.  
  2. Slice the large end of the chile off, slice the chile lengthwise to open like a book and scrape out all of the seeds.  Flip and scrape off most of the charred skin.  Discard the skin, seeds, and large end.  Finely chop the chile.
  3. Holding the corn upright by the base, place the tip on a cutting board as shown and cut off the kernels by running a sharp chef's knife down the sides.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together the poblano, roasted corn, cream style corn, corn muffin mix, creama, and all purpose seasoning.  Spoon into a greased grill safe pan or a half steam pan.
  5. Change grill to indirect heat (see pictures for examples), still at 350°f.  Place the pan on the grill, close the lid and cook until the top is golden brown but still a little jiggly, about 45 minutes.
Yield: 6-8 servings

fire roast chile, craycort grate, fire roasted corn
The char from the chile and in the corn adds another layer of flavor that you don't find in most corn casseroles.

charred corn, grilled side dish, corn casserole
Make sure to press the knife blade against the corn cob in order to get all of the good stuff off and into your casserole.

indirect Grill Dome, indirect kamado joe, indirect Big Green Egg
To switch the Grill Dome to indirect, I just put in the indirect rack and a 13" pizza stone on top of that and then just use the normal grate.

Char-Broil Kettleman indirect, kettle grill indirect, weber indirect
Indirect set up done on a Char-Broil Kettleman grill, but the grill grate is off to show the set up.  Your casserole would go on the grill grate, right above the steam pan.

gas grill indirect, Char-Broil
Finally, if you a gas grill, you can put the dish on the right side where the steam pan is shown.  Notice that only the far left burner is on and of course, the lid would be closed.

I used a deep, large pie pan, but you can use a half steam pan, small casserole dish or any 1.5 quart grill safe container.  Pretty sure we got this one at World Market last year.

ham, corn casserole, side dish grilling
We were cooking ours at the same time a ham was finishing up but the Grill Dome has plenty of room.  I just used a raised grate like this.

corn casserole on Grill Dome
If you like yours more jiggly, take it out around 35 to 40 minutes later.  I let mine go to 45 minutes.  You don't want it all the way firm, that's just cornbread at that point. 

This has instantly become our favorite corn casserole recipe, the smokiness and mild heat from the poblano makes it perfect for me.  Give it a shot, I think you'll like it too.

[FTC Standard Disclaimer]  Grill Dome is our official kamado grill sponsor.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Kamado Grill Table Maintenance

A few weeks back, I was pushing one of our kamado tables and all of a sudden it ground to a halt. I figured that it must have hit a stray piece of smoking wood or lump coal.  Nope, one of the wheel casings just fell apart.

This was a stock BGE short table that is about 5 years old.  I suppose that's a reasonable life expectancy for rubber outdoors.  

After our last BBQ contest, I decided to go ahead and replace the wheels before putting a 200 pound grill back in it.  Unless I could find the exact wheel, I couldn't replace just one wheel.  Turns out it didn't matter - all four wheels were cracked.

I decided to upgrade them while I was at it.  I was surprised with how many caster wheel options the big box hardware store had in stock.

I went with 4' instead of the 3' stock wheels.  The new wheels were also locking casters and had double the weight load rating.  They were about $9 each.

As you can see from the above picture, the base of the older wheels was smaller and they had them mounted cockeyed.  I think that was just because the way the three boards line up.  I wanted mine straight so I added a 1" x 3" strip with 2" deck screws and then mounted the wheels into that strip.

I'll have to stain the new piece later but I'll be doing cosmetic work on both tables this Spring.

Once we got them all installed, we loaded the Grill Dome into the table.  

The larger wheels and the strip that I added raises the table about 1 1/2", which is actually better for me.

In the Spring I am thinking about replacing the tile tops.  My other table is going on 8 years old and it is showing the wear.  I like the tile but even with a backer board, the different expansion rates cause a lot of cracks in tile and grout during the winter.  I am thinking about either poured concrete tops (would rather avoid the weight) or stainless counter tops.