An evening at Benihana is an experience, not just a meal, and a Benihana chef is an entertainer, not just a cook. That chef will cook everyone’s food on the large heated surface built into your table as you watch— this is called teppanyaki, and is a variation of a cooking style popular in Japan. (It probably won’t surprise you to learn that the Benihana experience is a very, very American phenomenon).
You may also be familiar with the word “hibachi,” which refers to a smaller grill. One of their most popular dishes is their Benihana fried rice recipe that I’m delighted to say I have a copycat recipe for you.
What is Benihana?
Benihana is a well-known American restaurant chain that specializes in Japanese cuisine. A unique feature of this restaurant is their use of a teppanyaki cooking style, where food is prepared and cooked right in front of the customers. The brand operates in 24 different countries and is renowned for its theatrical dining experience.
How to Make Benihana Fried Rice at Home
The theater is what brings people to the restaurant, of course, but their fried rice with chicken is also just really, really great. It’s easy to make this buttery, indulgent Benihana fried rice copycat recipe at home, no knife tricks or egg-and-spatula balancing required, just a little advance planning to cook the rice a day ahead of time.
8 servings per container
- Amount Per ServingCalories370
- % Daily Value *
- Total Fat 16.5g 25%
- Saturated Fat 6.7g 30%
- Cholesterol 131.5mg 44%
- Sodium 462mg 20%
- Total Carbohydrate 41.7g 14%
- Dietary Fiber 1.9g 4%
- Sugars 2.5g
- Protein 13.6g 26%
* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
See Also: Japanese Hibachi Fried Rice
Tips & Tricks
Below are some tips and tricks that will help make your Benihana fried rice delicious while also keeping it safe and healthy:
- Soy Sauce & Salt: Be cautious with both. You want just enough soy sauce to give the rice a golden brown color, not a dark one. Similarly, salt can easily overpower the dish so taste the cooked rice before seasoning.
- Rinsing the Rice: Remember to rinse your rice thoroughly before cooking. This prevents your cooked rice from becoming starchy and gluey.
- Preparation Time: The rice should be prepared a day before and left overnight. Fresh, soft rice might lose its texture under the heat and butter.
- Using Up Leftovers: This recipe presents an excellent opportunity to use up leftover rice and vegetables from other meals.
- Storage: Benihana fried rice can be kept in the refrigerator for a few days. However, it should be transferred from heat to fridge as soon as possible to avoid the potential for contamination. Store the rice in small containers to help it cool down more rapidly.
- Cooking Process: You might find everything fries quickly once you start cooking. If you’re not confident about timing the vegetables and chicken together, don’t hesitate to cook them separately, keeping them aside until combining.
Making the Recipe Your Own
There’s plenty of scope for customizing and adjusting this recipe to your liking:
- Change the Rice: Swap white rice for brown rice. Just be aware that brown rice will require extra cooking time to soften and absorb the flavors.
- Substitute the Protein: You can replace the chicken with protein of your choice — shrimp, which is Benihana’s second most popular option, pork, beef, or even tofu can work well. It’s also simple to divide up the rice before adding the meat if you’re catering to different preferences.
- Switch the Oil: You can substitute the neutral-tasting oil for sesame oil or add a teaspoon of oyster sauce for a more complex flavor.
- Introduce More Vegetables: Feel free to include any vegetables you prefer or have in hand — be it chopped broccoli, green peas or leftover veggies.
Finally, mastering the skill of balancing an egg on the edge of your spatula? That’s totally up to you and your adventurous cooking spirit!
Why is Benihana rice so good?
Benihana’s fried rice is loved for several reasons. It has a delicious flavor because of the garlic butter, which adds a savory taste. The rice is cooked with fresh ingredients like onions, zucchinis, mushrooms, and green onions, which brings out their flavors. Sesame seeds are also added for a nice textural contrast. Finally, the experience of watching chefs cook the rice on a hibachi grill adds to its appeal. The combination of quality ingredients, skilled cooking, and an engaging presentation makes Benihana’s rice truly special.
What kind of oil does Benihana use?
Benihana, a renowned teppanyaki-style restaurant chain, uses safflower oil for their dishes. Safflower oil is chosen due to its neutral flavor, ability to withstand high cooking temperatures, and health benefits. This helps provide a dining experience that balances taste, quality, and health. Therefore, the primary oil you’ll find in use at a Benihana stove is safflower oil.