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Behind the Recipes

In the Library with Toni Tipton-Martin:​ Hiroaki Aoki and Benihana

In this video, Toni Tipton-Martin tells the story of the man behind the iconic Benihana restaurants.

Published May 19, 2023.

Have you sat at a Japanese steakhouse and been enthralled with the egg cracking tricks, twirling knives, and onion volcanoes? Hiroaki Aoki is the man who brought these teppanyaki-style restaurants to the United States.  

Known by his nickname, Rocky, Aoki dreamed of opening a Japanese restaurant in New York. He did so with money saved from an ice cream truck business and support from his father. He went on to open Benihana, the iconic Japanese steakhouse chain that has now served more than 100 million meals.  

In this video, Cook’s Country Editor in Chief Toni Tipton-Martin tells Aoki’s story, explaining some of the highs and lows of his life.  

Our recipe for Japanese Steakhouse Steak and Vegetables is a tribute to the dish made popular at Rocky’s iconic restaurants. 


Japanese Steakhouse Steak and Vegetables

Our recipe delivers all the savory-sweet appeal of this restaurant favorite—no knife juggling or flaming onion volcano required.
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