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.




Haystack Tempura

Haystack Tempura

Food Service Recipe

Yield: 12 Appetizer Portions

Ginger Lime Ponzu Sauce:
3 cups Kikkoman Lime Ponzu Citrus Seasoned Dressing
fresh ginger, finely minced to taste
fresh lime juice to taste

Tempura Batter:
4 cups Kikkoman Japanese Style Tempura Batter Mix
4 cups ice cold water

3 cups Yellow Onions, 1/4" Slices
3 cups Carrots, cut in 1/2" x 1" Ribbons
2 cups Green Beans, Cut on the Bias, 1/2"
2 cups Kabocha Squash (or Butternut Squash), cut in 1/2" x 1" Ribbons
1 cup Fresh Shiitake Mushrooms, Cut in Ribbons
1 cup Corn, Fresh Cut off the Cob
Kikkoman Japanese Style Tempura Batter Mix as needed

Ginger Lime Ponzu Sauce:  Combine ingredients and blend together using a whisk or an immersion blender. Transfer to a plastic container with a snap on lid. Sauce will hold for several days and can be scaled to desired quantity for production.

Tempura Batter:  In a large mixing bowl, combine tempura batter mix with ice-cold water. Refrigerate batter until ready to use. Prepared batter will last for several hours, but it is not advised to keep overnight. If batter has been sitting for more than a few minutes, whisk to combine. If batter thickens over time, dilute with ice cubes and allow to melt before using.

Haystacks:  Combine cut vegetables in a mixing bowl and add dry tempura mix to coat. This should be done on a per order basis; otherwise moisture from vegetables will cause the batter mix to clump.

Submerge dredged vegetables into prepared tempura batter; stir to ensure they are completely coated with batter. Pinch desired portion of vegetables, per haystack, between tongs, tap tongs gently to shake off any extra batter and slowly submerge into 350°F oil. Hold haystack together with tongs for 15 to 20 seconds or until batter is set. Release tongs and repeat process as needed. Fry hay stacks for about two minutes, turn over and fry another 2 minutes, or until golden brown. Fry times will vary based on oil temperature and number of haystacks in the fryer.

When haystacks are golden brown, pull from fryer with a spider and drain on paper towels.

To Order:  Stack five haystacks on a plate and serve with Ginger Lime Ponzu Sauce.

Note: Vegetables for haystacks can be substituted based on cost and season.