Thursday, October 24, 2019

Strip Steak with Zucchini and Onion - Japanese Steakhouse Style

[FTC Standard Disclosure]  This post is sponsored by the Certified Angus Beef® Brand in conjunction with a social media campaign through Sunday Supper LLC.  All opinions are my own.

I have always been fascinated with the Japanese-style steakhouses, also known as hibachi or teppanyaki restaurants.  I enjoy the live-cooking entertainment as much as the food.  I am in awe of the chef's ability to cook eight variations of their steak-shrimp-scallop-chicken combinations at once and nail the timing.  On top of that, you have to add the vaudeville schtick of jokes, flinging shrimp tails, building onion volcanos, and the cling-clang-bing-bang of the swirling utensils.  

Those chefs are true multi-taskers, and I lack their ability to keep track of so much.  At our house, a kitchen timer goes off, Alexis asks what it was for, and I'm likely to reply, "I had a timer set?" 

This past weekend, Food City had some gorgeous Certified Angus Beef® Brand, USDA Prime grade NY Strip Steaks and I couldn't resist them. Usually, I like a simple grilled steak.  But I wanted something different, so I channeled my inner teppanyaki chef and came up with this Strip Steak with Sweet Soy Butter, Zucchini and Onions, and Jasmine rice.  

I departed from my usual teppanyaki steak dinner process (Japanese Steakhouse Appetizers, Teppanyaki Steak and Scallops) a few ways:

  • I cooked the steak whole, instead of cutting it up during the cook and finishing it by cooking the individual pieces.
  • I skipped the usual ginger dipping sauce for a Sweet Soy-Garlic-Ginger butter.

Teppanyaki Seasoning

Teppanyaki chefs typically use salt and pepper for the primary seasoning.  I wanted to come up with an all-purpose seasoning to use for teppanyaki dishes, and after a few trial runs, I have settled on this winner.  It is salty, has a bright pop from the lemon peel, and finishes with a little heat.  I grind it in a coffee grinder to make it into a powder that quickly dissolves into the food during cooking and as a finishing seasoning.

NMT Teppanyaki Seasoning
Published 10/24/2019
Sprinkle liberally on steaks, chicken, seafood, and vegetables on the griddle.


  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1.5 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground lemon peel
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • Mix ingredients in a small bowl.
  • (optional but preferred)  Finely grind seasoning in a coffee bean grinder to a dust or powder consistency.
  • Use a fine shaker for applying to foods while cooking on the griddle and as a finishing seasoning.
Yield: 2 tablespoons
Prep Time: 0 hrs. 10 mins.
Cook time: 0 hrs. 00 mins.
Total time: 0 hrs. 10 mins.
Tags: Japanese, seafood, steak, teppanyaki

Like wok cooking, teppanyaki cooking goes quickly, so you need to have everything ready.  Chefs call this mise en place, which I believe is French for "get your [bleep] together." 

My weapon of choice for this battle is a 17" Blackstone propane-powered griddle.  I have the large 4-burner, 36" model, but I find I use this one much more often due to convenience.  You could also use a grill-top griddle, a plancha, or even a large cast-iron skillet.   

I preheated the griddle on high for 10 minutes and then seared my steaks for about 3 1/2 minutes per side.  I seasoned both sides while the steaks cooked.  At teppanyaki restaurants, typically "steak" means sirloin, unless you upgrade to "ribeye" or "strip."  I did the ultimate upgrade with USDA Prime, Certified Angus Beef® Brand.

Know your equipment.  When griddle cooking, you need to know where your hotspots and cooler spots are.  For my large griddle, I have one burner on low, one on medium, and two on high so I can shift my foods around to keep warm, speed up cooking, etc.  For a single burner unit like this one, the center is hottest, and the sides are cooler.  
The tasty thing about griddle cooking is that crust you get on your steaks.

As soon as the steaks flip, I top them with some of the sweet soy-garlic-ginger butter.  I forgot to take the butter out of the fridge ahead of time to let it temper.  It melts quicker that way.  

Sweet Soy Sauce - Garlic - Ginger Butter

This is a work in progress.  It is good, but I'm still tweaking it.  This is where I'm at after a couple of cooks.

  • Half stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon sweet soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flake
Heat a small skillet to medium-high heat.  Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and saute the garlic and ginger just long enough for it to cook through and become fragrant - about 30 seconds.  Remove from heat, scrape contents into a small food processor.  Add the rest of the softened butter, sweet soy sauce, and red pepper flake.  Process until well combined.  Refrigerate until 1 hour before use.

Sweet soy sauce, or kecap manis, is NOT like soy sauce.  It's more like a thick, less sweet teriyaki sauce.  If you can't get sweet soy sauce, you can try this homemade version or just use teriyaki.

While the steaks rest, I griddled the veggies.  I seasoned them generously with the NMT Teppanyaki Seasoning and added a couple pieces of butter.  I cook them until tender, about 6-8 minutes on the onion about 5-6 on the zucchini.  I just put the onion on a minute or two before the zucchini, and it all finishes at the same time.  When almost finished, I squirt them with a 2:1 mix of water to regular soy sauce.

Before putting the steak on the plate, I put a hefty schmear of the compound butter on the plate.  The heat from the steak melts that and combined with the juices from cutting up the steak, the result is a mouth-watering dipping or dragging sauce for the bites of steak. 

I might not be able to flip a shrimp into your mouth from 6 feet away, but I can make one heck of a teppanyaki steak dinner!

I know I go on about Certified Angus Beef® Brand, but there are 10 good reasons for that.

I hope everyone is having a great week.  This weekend I am headed to the Jack Daniels World Championship Barbecue Invitational as a judge.  It will be my first time judging this exclusive event, and I am stoked!