Teppan is a flat iron grill, yaki is grilling – and eating teppanyaki is a special Japanese treat! If you’ve been to Benihana or Gasho’s, you’ve had teppanyaki – but it gets pretty fancy in Japan. Today we are having the Teppan Hamburger Lunch special at XEX – one of Chef Masaharu Morimoto-san’s (of Iron Chef fame) acclaimed Tokyo restaurants.
Our very polite, pleasant and skilled Chef Hiroaki Ikoma started with fresh, house ground Wagyu beef, about 65% lean. It appeared to have minced negi or onion and just a hint of salt and pepper. He expertly grilled the patties to a perfect medium well on the hot teppan under a copper cover – nice and brown on the outside, wonderfully juicy on the inside.
It’s amazing how much care Ikoma-san took in making our burgers. He seared them on the hot teppan for a couple minutes, removed from the heat as he scooped away all the fat and then returned to the teppan to cook a little more – he repeated this about three times and let them rest as he prepared our vegetables.
He also meticulously cut and cooked us Shanghai boy choy and bean sprouts – both lightly seasoned as to not overwhelm the delicate flavors.
The dish was paired with homemade daikon and cucumber pickles, shredded seaweed and scallions, rice, miso soup and an amazing apple almond sauce – sea salt and pepper on the side so we could complete the seasoning just the way we liked it.
I’ve had my share of hamburgers, but this was the most memorable! Ground Wagyu (Kobe) beef is amazingly tender and juicy, and with the great care Ikoma-san took, I felt I was being served a filet mignon in a 4 star restaurant! What else should one expect from a Zagat rated Morimoto restaurant!?
XEX is located just across from the prestigious Tokyo Station, with stunning views and a variety of cuisines and dining atmospheres, it’s an outstanding example of Japanese dining. Our meal, which came with homemade sorbet and one of the finest cups of coffee I’ve ever had, was a lunch special and a mere 1800 yen – about $20. A value indeed!
We proudly grind Wagyu (Kobe) beef fresh daily from whole chucks in each of our markets. I suggest grilling them slowly over medium heat, watching closely for flare up – and resting for five minutes before serving. The grilled patties are particularly delicious with one of my seasoning blends – I suggest the Euro-Crust, Tuscan Grill or Z Blend. Personally I love to serve my Wagyu patties with cheese and a sunny-side up egg on top. They’re great on top of a salad or over rice with a salad on the side – or on a whole wheat bun stacked with shredded lettuce and sliced tomato.
Hamburger patties are a very popular family meal here in Japan – here is a recipe for a Japanese style ‘hambaagu’ patty – enjoy!
Only a few days left here in Japan – back to normal recipe blogs soon!