I assume that you are all familiar with garlic and butter. Not many dishes nowadays can survive without using at least one of these kitchen staples.
But what about Benihana? Those of you who are more into food, especially Asian cuisine, certainly know what I am talking about.
Benihana is a famous Japanese steakhouse-inspired restaurant chain with recognizable teppanyaki-style chefs that prepare all of those Asian culinary classics in front of your eyes.
Besides making all of those theatrical-made foods, they also create one of their trademark foods, known asBenihana garlic butter, a food item that calls many Americans to visit this popular restaurant.
But do you want to know how to enjoy your own flavorful Japanese butter? If you do, this article is for you.
How To Make Benihana Garlic Butter At Home
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional, adjust to taste)
- 1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped (optional, for garnish)
- In a mixing bowl, add the softened butter. Allow it to reach room temperature first for easier mixing.
- Add the minced garlic to the bowl.
- Pour in the soy sauce and add the freshly ground black pepper. If desired, sprinkle a pinch of salt for added seasoning.
- Using a fork or a spatula, mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Alternatively, you can use an electric mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment for faster mixing.
- Mix until the garlic and seasonings are evenly distributed throughout the butter, and the mixture becomes smooth and creamy.
- Taste the garlic butter and adjust the seasoning according to your preference. Add more salt, pepper, or soy sauce if desired.
- Transfer the garlic butter to a small serving dish or shape it into a log using plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to infuse and the butter to set.
- Before serving, you can garnish the garlic butter with finely chopped parsley for a pop of color and freshness.
- Serve the Benihana garlic butter with grilled meats, seafood, vegetables, or as a delicious spread on bread or rolls.
The recipe can be customized based on personal preferences. You can experiment with additional herbs like chives or thyme, or adjust the garlic and seasoning quantities to suit your taste.
Nutrition Information:Serving Size: 1 tablespoon
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 102Total Fat: 11 ggSaturated Fat: 7 ggTrans Fat: 0 ggCholesterol: 30 mgmgSodium: 82 gmgCarbohydrates: 0.5 ggFiber: 0 ggSugar: 0 ggProtein: 0.2 gg
Main Ingredients And Ways To Use Them
You now have the recipe, but I am sure that you are interested in ways of using these main ingredients and how they influence your dish. So, let’s start with the three ingredients that are irreplaceable.
Butter: The Core Ingredient
There are various types of butter, including unsalted, salted, and grass-fed butter, as well as sweet cream butter or butter. It is very important to choose the right one for the perfect Benihana garlic butter.
In this recipe, I used whipped butter, and, indeed, that is the best version you can use when making this condiment. At Benihana, they use “European style whipped butter blend margarine”.
If you do not have pre-packed whipped butter, you can always make your own. If your butter has been in the fridge, first let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes to soften.
Once it is soft, take 1 cup of the butter and transfer it to a bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of milk (room-temperature) and beat with an electric mixer. Add the butter gradually in small amounts, instead of all at once.
The end result will be almost the same as the store-bought version.
Finally, I have to emphasize that it is best to use unsalted butter because one of the ingredients in Benihana garlic butter is soy sauce, which is very salty. So if you are not a hardcore fan of saltiness, do this.
First, choose the freshest garlic bulb out there if you want the final result to be perfect.
Look for garlic bulbs that have tight, firm, and plump cloves. Fresh garlic should also have a strong and pungent aroma, and it should feel heavy.
Finally, check for green shoots emerging from the top of the bulb. While small sprouts are harmless and can be removed, extensive sprouting indicates that the garlic is past its prime and may have a more bitter taste.
If you are more into a toasted taste, you can use toasted garlic. On the other hand, mashed garlic will give you a more intensified garlic flavor.
When preparing your garlic, take note that one clove of garlic equals a little less than one teaspoon of minced garlic
I already mentioned that soy sauce influences the choice of using unsalted butter in the recipe.
It is therefore not difficult to conclude that soy sauce’s main role is to provide your garlic butter with the right amount of saltiness.
Aside from that, soy sauce is rich in umami, the savory and deeply satisfying fifth taste. It adds depth and complexity to the garlic butter sauce, elevating its overall flavor.
Finally, soy sauce imparts a dark brown color to garlic butter, giving it an appealing visual appearance that is characteristic of the sauce served at Benihana.
The two most common additional ingredients in Benihana garlic butter are lemon juice and black pepper. So, let’s take a look at their role in the recipe.
• Lemon Juice: If you want balance, a slight tanginess, and that umami taste to really thrive, a few drops of lemon juice will do the trick. However, I would suggest you use freshly-squeezed lemon juice if you want the best results.
Also, do not add too much because it can easily overpower the butter flavor.
Before you do anything with the lemon, roll it on a hard, firm surface and apply pressure, as this will make it much easier to extract when you cut the lemon and squeeze it.
Finally, avoid buying pre-packed lemons in cartons, as they tend to have a sweet taste, which is not a good combination with whipped butter.
• Black Pepper: Black pepper, at first sight, plays a minor role in Benihana garlic butter, but it can be very important in terms of flavor.
Namely, its pungent and slightly spicy taste complements the rich and savory notes of the garlic, enhancing the overall flavor profile.
Aside from that, it also adds depth and complexity and balances the butter’s richness and the garlic’s intensity. Also, black pepper contributes to the aromatic qualities of the garlic butter sauce.
Some other ingredients that can contribute to the overall flavor profile of Benihana garlic butter include:
• Yum yum sauce: A delectable combination of mayonnaise, ketchup, and spices that add unique flavor to the dish.
• Accent seasoning: For the extra umami taste.
• Green onion: Adds a depth of flavor and a hint of sweetness.
• Olive oil: Adds richness to the sauce while also providing additional health benefits.
Right Equipment For Making
The right ingredients are the main parts of making a perfect dish, but the right tools with which you mix those ingredients are also essential. And there are 3 main kitchen tools you’ll be needing to make Benihana garlic butter:
• A Bowl: A large enough bowl is essential for all of the ingredients that you will use in the process.
Any type of bowl will work when it comes to the final result, but for easier cleaning, I would recommend using stainless steel or ceramic. There is nothing wrong with a plastic bowl, but the cleaning process might be difficult.
• A Spatula: A good quality spatula is essential for making garlic butter, as it is the perfect kitchen tool for mixing ingredients.
Mixing is the main part of this process, and a spatula makes it easier to scrape every morsel off the sides of the bowl, as garlic butter mixture loves to stick to the sides.
A small plastic spatula is everything you need, as it is able to do the job perfectly.
• A Container (for storage): When it comes to the container, the keyword is “airtight”. There are two main benefits of airtight containers for Benihana garlic butter.
First, it will prevent it from losing its core flavors, as well as cross-contamination.
Besides that, it will protect other foods in the fridge from infusing the strong odor of the garlic butter, especially those that come from the garlic itself.
How To Properly Store Benihana Garlic Butter?
As I already said, the best place for Benihana garlic butter is in an airtight container. Not only that it will prevent it from losing its flavor, texture, and aroma, but it will prolong its shelf life by protecting it from air and moisture.
You can put your garlic butter in the airtight container as it is, and you can also roll it into a sausage shape and wrap it like a piece of candy. By doing this, you can always unwrap it and cut off the amount you want when your cravings arise.
Although Benihana garlic butter can stay in the fridge for up to one week, or sometimes even longer, I would recommend consuming it within a few days for the best quality, especially in terms of texture.
Namely, if kept in the fridge for longer, the butter can easily take on a grainy texture. However, even if that happens, there is a solution.
Just add 1-2 tbsp of whipped butter and whip it all again. This will make your garlic butter smooth once again.
Although I wouldn’t recommend it because of the deterioration of flavor and texture, you can also freeze it to extend the storage life further. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or place it in a freezer-safe container, and it will stay good for several months.
When you decide to use it again, just thaw it in the refrigerator.
How To Enjoy This Delicious Japanese Butter?
If I had to invent a new name for Benihana garlic butter, it would be “versatility”. This Japanese food item truly pairs well with almost anything. However, since the list is so long, I will show you some of my favorite ways to enjoy this garlic butter.
• Steak Topping: Melt a dollop of garlic butter on top of grilled or seared steaks just before serving, and it will add richness and enhance the flavors of your favorite meat.
• Bread Spread: One of my favorite ways to enjoy garlic butter is to simply spread it on slices of bread or rolls, and then toast them until golden brown.
It creates a truly unique combination of creaminess, crunchiness, and that recognizable garlic flavor.
• Seafood Enhancer: Hints of umami are there to make garlic butter a good option for seafood. So, it is best to use it as a finishing touch for grilled or sautéed seafood such as shrimp, lobster, or scallops.
To enjoy it, simply drizzle the melted garlic butter over the seafood or dip the seafood directly into the butter.
• Stir-Fry Seasoning: If you want to add a rich and savory note to your stir-fried dishes, add a spoonful of garlic butter to a hot skillet or wok when stir-frying veggies, meats, or rice.
One of the most popular dishes with garlic butter is Benihana fried rice. • Vegetable Seasoning: Toss steamed or roasted vegetables with melted garlic butter to give them a burst of flavor. It works well with vegetables like asparagus, green beans, broccoli, or roasted potatoes.