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.
Benihana Copycat Recipe
3 teaspoons canola oil, divided
1 1/2 pound uncooked scallop, about 20 sea scallops (pat dry with a paper towel)
1 medium uncooked onion, cut in half and then thinly sliced
1/2 pound dried shiitake mushroom, stems discarded, caps sliced
1 tablespoon ginger root, freshly grated
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/4 cup shredded carrot, divided
1 cup mung bean sprouts
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 medium uncooked scallion, sliced
Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add scallops in a single layer and cook until bottoms are browned, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook until browned on both sides and scallops are just cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes more; remove to a plate.
Heat remaining teaspoon of oil in same skillet. Add onion and stir fry until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and stir fry until mushrooms and onion are almost tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in ginger and garlic; stir fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in 1 cup of carrots, bean sprouts and any juices that have accumulated on scallop plate; stir-fry until carrots and sprouts have softened slightly, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in soy sauce and lemon juice.
To serve, spoon 1/2 cup of vegetable mixture onto each of 4 plates. Top each with 5 scallops. Garnish with remaining carrots and scallion.
Notes: The secret to perfectly browned scallops is to pat them dry before sauteing. For variety, try this recipe with shrimp instead of scallops or use both.