Benihana, Inc. owns and licenses restaurants in the Benihana and Benihana Grill chain of Japanese dinnerhouses. The restaurants specialize in an exhibition-style of Japanese cooking called teppanyaki. Customers sit around a communal table at which a Benihana chef slices their seafood, steak, chicken, and vegetables with lightning speed, grills their meal right in front of them, and then tosses it accurately onto their plates. The restaurants are decorated with Samurai armor and valuable art, and Shoji rice paper screens partition the dining areas.



Friut Punch

Benihana's signature punch, special blend of rum, peach and strawberry liqueurs, and pineapple and orange juice shown in geisha souvenir glass.

Benihana Punch Bowl
Copycat Recipe

Serves 3-4

8 oz Rum (like Myer’s Platinum)
3 oz Hiram Walker Peach Brandy
3 oz Leroux Strawberry Liqueur
3 oz Rose’s Grenadine Syrup
10 oz Island Oasis Sour Mix
15 oz Dole Pineapple Juice
22 oz Tropicana Orange Juice

This fruity rum punch is the perfect drink to share with friends. Combine all ingredients and shake well, then serve in a 60 oz punch bowl over ice. Garnish with 2 orange slices, 4 maraschino cherries, and throw in a decorative parasol or two for good measure.

Mandarin Orange Cheesecake

Benihana Mandarin Orange Cheesecake
Copycat Recipe

Serves 8

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch salt
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg

Cream Cheese Layer
1 (1/4 ounce) envelope unflavored gelatin
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup boiling water
1 (1 1/4 ounce) envelope Dream Whip
1/2 cup low-fat milk
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon orange extract
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
5 drops yellow food coloring
1 drop red food coloring

2 (15 ounce) cans mandarin oranges (in light syrup)
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin

Nut Crust
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts (2.25 oz bag)

1/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1/8 teaspoon vanilla

To make cake layer, combine flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.Cream together butter and sugar with an electric mixer in a medium bowl. Add dry ingredients to the butter and mix well. Mix in milk, vanilla and 1 egg. Pour into a well-greased 9" spring form pan (or line it with parchment paper). Slam pan down on the counter a few times to even out the batter.Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 15 minutes or until the cake is light brown on top.
For the cream cheese layer, combine gelatin with 3/4 cup sugar in a medium bowl. Add boiling water and stir until gelatin is dissolved. Set this aside.  Prepare Dream Whip by whipping together 1 envelope of Dream Whip and 1/2 cup milk with an electric mixer in another medium bowl. Whip it good until the topping makes stiff peaks.  In another bowl, whip the cream cheese with vanilla, orange extract, lemon juice and food coloring in a large bowl until smooth. Slowly add the gelatin mixture while beating. Add half (about 1 cup) of the Dream Whip to the cream cheese mixture and beat until smooth. Pour this mixture over the cake layer in the spring form pan. Chill for 2 hours or until firm.Pour all liquid except 1/2 cup from the cans of mandarin oranges wedges. Heat the 1/2 cup liquid in the microwave on high for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or until hot. Dissolve 1 tsp unflavored gelatin in the liquid. Combine liquid with orange wedges and pour over the top of the firmed-up cheesecake that's still in the spring form pan. Chill the cake for at least 2 more hours.
For the crunchy nut crust, combine 1 Tbs water with 2 Tbs sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. When sugar is dissolved and liquid begins to boil, add the hazelnuts and stir until nuts are well coated. Stir often until the water has cooked off, then continue to stir until the sugar begins to caramelize and turn light brown. Be careful not to burn the nuts. The nuts are done when they are light brown and glazed with candied sugar. Pour the nuts onto a plate and let them cool completely. When the candied nuts are cool, chop them up in a food processor until they are the consistency of crumbs.
Make the icing by combining shortening with powdered sugar, milk and vanilla.
When mandarin orange gelatin has firmed up on top of the cake, remove the cake from the spring form pan. Use a spatula to spread the icing around the edge of the cake. Press the hazelnut crumbs onto the icing around the edge of the cake (you've got more than enough hazelnut crumbs and much of it will fall off as you press it on the sides). Chill the cake for at least another hour before serving. To serve, cut cake into 8 slices.

Sushi Platter

I don't do sushi so you are on your own trying to make this at home.

Teriyaki Chicken and Steak

Benihana Teriyaki Chicken and Steak
Copycat Recipe

Serves 4 

Teriyaki Sauce
1/4 cup sake
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup mirin
2 tablespoons sugar

Saute Mix
3/4 lb boneless beef top loin steaks, sliced thin or 3/4 lb boneless chicken, cut into bite size pieces
4 spring onions, roughly chopped

Pour all Teriyaki Sauce ingredients in a pan. Stir the mixture well.
Put the pan on low heat and simmer for a couple of minutes.
Remove from the heat and cool the mixture.
Heat the oil in a frying pan or flat grill until very hot and stir-fry the meat for 2 minutes.
Add spring onions and stir-fry for 2 minutes.
Add Teriyaki Sauce and stir-fry for 1 minute.

Hibachi Lemon Chicken

Chicken breast grilled and finished with fresh lemon.

Benihana Hibachi Chicken with Mushrooms and Zucchini
Copycat Recipe

Serves 4

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, sliced into bite sized pieces
2 medium zucchini, sliced in bite-sized pieces [I sliced them into half-moons, about 1/2-inch thick]
2 cups sliced mushrooms
vegetable oil
soy sauce
salt, pepper to taste
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Pour 1 Tbs oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken breasts and cook on one side until browned. Flip, then add 1 Tbs butter, 1 Tbs soy sauce, and a dash of salt and pepper. Cook until no longer pink in the middle and browned on both sides. Add lemon juice, give pan a swirl, then remove chicken from pan and cover with foil. Add 1 Tbs butter to empty pan, then add zucchini and 1 Tbs soy sauce (or more to taste), and a dash of salt and pepper. Saute zucchini, stirring frequently, until crisp-tender (or softer, if that's how you like them). Remove from pan, cover with foil. Then add 1 more Tbs butter (or less, if you are so inclined—this recipe is forgiving) to pan, add mushrooms, and sprinkle the tiniest bit of soy sauce over them. Add a dash of salt and pepper, then saute until golden (but still moist). On large serving plate, pile chicken, mushrooms, and zucchini separately and decoratively. Serve with Fried Rice.

Tempura Bananas

This is the Asian version of a banana split.

Benihana Tempura Bananas
Copycat Recipe

Serves 6-8

2 firm bananas (the peel can even be a bit green)
2/3 cup flour
1/3 cup cornstarch

Cut bananas in half lengthwise, and then split in half down the middle.Mix the flour and cornstarch together. Add just enough water to make a very thick, pancake-like batter.
Heat oil in a wok or deep fryer until very hot.
Using a fork or tongs, dip a banana slice in the batter, and make sure it well covered on all sides. Gently put the batter-covered banana slice in the hot oil. Fry for about 1 minute per side or until golden brown.
Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel to drain off excess oil. 
Serve the fried banana with cold ice cream and your favorite sundae toppings.