I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with the hibachi Japanese steakhouse in America. I remember when I was a kid, going out to dinner at an authentic Japanese restaurant. As we walked through the large wooden doors and into the quiet dinning space, I remember turning to my parents and saying, ‘why don’t we go to the Japanese steakhouse’?
My dad, of Japanese decent, said something to the effect, ‘because Japanese people don’t eat there.’
To this day, whenever I’m walking through Japantown (any Japantown), I notice that the izakaya and ramen shops are packed with Japanese. While the hibachi steakhouse right across the street is filled with anyone but Japanese. So I guess I can understand my fathers aversion.
A few years later, the childhood lure of twirling knives and fling food was just too much to bear. So I finally convinced my parents to take my brother and I to the hibachi steakhouse down the road. But before I get to that, just a little side note… the flat-top griddle we know as a hibachi used in Japanese steakhouses across America, is actually teppanyaki. Hibachi (meaning fire bowl) is a bowl containing burning charcoal and it was originally used to heat a room in your home. They have since become the method for cooking yakitori, but the term shichirin or konro are preferred when referring to the charcoal cooking device.
Ok now that we’re all straight on what hibachi really is, let’s get back to the family’s first ‘hibachi’ steakhouse outing. Speaking from a kids perspective, I loved it! I mean come on, what kid wouldn’t love spinning cutlery and catching shrimp in their mouth? I even think my dad liked it. After all, when it comes down to it, he’s a steak and potatoes kinda guy so of course he’s going to love a steakhouse in whatever form it comes.
I haven’t eaten at a Japanese steakhouse since I was a kid (I can’t help but think of my dad’s words whenever I walk by one), but I can still remember how tasty it was – hence my love/hate relationship.
Enter this Japanese Steak Sandwich with Hibachi Steak Sauce. It’s a bit of Japanese steakhouse meets a Philly cheese steak. And yes, it’s as awesome as it sounds! This is like shovel into your mouth, don’t care who see’s you dripping steak juice all over, kind of awesome!
The hibachi steak sauce is what is commonly known as ‘yum yum sauce’. But for the life of me I couldn’t bring myself to name it so. To me, yum yum sauce sounds like something you would find in an Ewok village. The best way I could convey the undeniably delicious sauce that I want to put on everything, was to name it ‘hibachi steak sauce’ – I figured people would know what I was getting at… even if it’s not really ‘hibachi’ steak sauce 😉
- Hibachi Steak Sauce
- 2 cups mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon ketchup
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon hot sauce
- ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
- pinch of white pepper
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- ¼ cup water
- Steak Sandwich
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce, divided
- 1 medium white onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 2 large zucchinis, quartered lengthwise, then sliced ¼ inch thick
- 8 ounces white button mushrooms, thinly sliced
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 ½ pound rib eye steak, cut into cubes
- 6 slices provolone
- 4 hoagie rolls
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- Combine all of the ingredients for the hibachi steak sauce in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Add 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of soy sauce to a large skillet set over medium high heat. Once the butter has completely melted, add the onion, zucchini, mushrooms, and season with salt and pepper - cook until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed. Using a slotted spoon removed the veggies and place in a bowl. Set aside.
- Poor off any liquid in the pan and wipe dry. Set the pan back over medium high heat and add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon butter, and 1 tablespoon soy sauce to the hot pan. Once the butter has completely melted, add the steak and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until browned, about 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the veggies back to the pan with the steak, quickly toss, and then top with cheese. Lower the heat to medium-low and cover with a lid and allow the cheese to melt, about a 1 minute.
- Using a spatula, scoop up the steak and veggie mix and place inside a hoagie roll. Drizzle with the hibachi sauce, sprinkle with scallions, and sever immediately.
Even though hibachi steakhouse may not be real Japanese food, we love going there! It is always fun to see the chefs cooking in front of you. I’m loving this sandwich! Bryan sure would love this too! 😉
seriously craving a steak sandwich right now – i love these photos and all that sauce looks amazing!
CulinaryGinger (@culinaryginger) says
One of my favorite meals is a steak sandwich and I have to have melted cheese. I am dying to try this with that Hibachi sauce. Yum!
Kathy @ Beyond the Chicken Coop says
That’s a tough struggle….delicious food….listening to your father! This looks so amazingly delicious to me. No wonder you can’t get it out of your mind!
Miriam @londonkitchendiaries says
Japanese food is absolutely amazing – completely fell in love with Japanese cuisine on my trip to Japan! Never been to a Hibachi Japanese Steakhouse – so lovely that your dad took you there after all. The picture of your Japanese Steak Sandwich makes me really hungry! ♡
I can say I don’t think I’ve been to an “authentic” Japanese restaurant yet! Love this post, so informative! I can definitely make this sandwich and the sauce!
Marissa (@pinchandswirl) says
I always learn something from your posts, Kathleen. I had no idea that hibachi meant ‘fire bowl’ – how fun is that? And these sandwiches look mouthwatering!! That stretchy cheese shot at the end….slurp…
In Good Flavor (@InGoodFlavor) says
These steak sandwiches look absolutely divine, and I can easily devour both! The hibachi steak sauce sounds delicious and worthy of being put it on everything! I have a feeling your Dad would give these sandwiches his solid seal of approval.
I think so too! In fact, I know my dad would love these 🙂
Dawn @ Girl Heart Food says
That ‘yum yum’ sauce sounds so good! Recipes like this are right up my alley…total comfort food! I know hubby would LOVE this too. We both love Philly cheesesteak sandwiches so love this twist on it. I agree…what kid wouldn’t love those ‘hibachi’ steak houses? It’s entertainment and food all in one! But I do think that this sandwich is a million times better than anything you would get there. Pinning, of course, and looking forward to trying this soon 🙂
Thanks Dawn! My hubby thought so too because he absolutely scarfed it down! 🙂
Anu - My Ginger Garlic Kitchen says
Wow! I love naan sandwiches, Kathleen – they are so easy and so good. But I have never tasted that hibachi steak sauce in my life. That hibachi steak sauce looks and sounds absolutely wonderful, that’s an inspiration idea! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!
Oh the sauce is great! Perfect on steak, shrimp, scallops, chicken, grilled veggies, mixed in with your rice – sky’s the limit!
Rachelle @ Beer Girl Cooks says
I loved those dang steakhouses with the flying shrimp and onion volcanoes! Now that I’m all grown up, the food usually isn’t all that great. Your Japanese steak sauce meets Philly cheesesteak is a total win!
I know! I haven’t been back since I was a kid! Homemade is way better anyway 🙂
Helen @ Scrummy Lane says
I learnt so much from this post, Kathleen – thank you! I didn’t know what hibachi or yakitori was, and I’ve certainly never seen (let alone been to!) a Japanese steak house.
But they all sound AMAZING to me, and so does this mother of all steak sandwiches. That sauce – wow!!
Oh my, no Japanese Steakhouse your way? You could open up your own teppanyaki joint and make some cash! 😉
Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary says
So true that Japanese steak houses aren’t even close to traditional Japanese… I wonder why that is??? Either way, they sure are entertaining! I love how you look at yum yum sauce, I was totally laughing at your remark. 😉 Anyways, this steak sandwich is off the hook, girlfriend!! Seriously, I want to shovel this in my mouth and say screw the napkins! SO MUCH YUM going on here (<- pun intended). Pinned! Cheers! <3
Seriously though… can’t you picture little Ewoks offering Luck Skywalker a cup of yum yum? Lol!