Benihana is one of the biggest Japanese cuisine restaurant chains in America. The company’s restaurants range from the flagship Benihana Teppanyaki to RA Sushi and Haru restaurants. Started in 1964, the company quickly found an upward trend and currently owns 116 restaurants worldwide.
As the vegan revolution has gained global pace, many people have ditched animal-based food and products for their plant-based alternatives. Benihana is not a company to allow their vegan customers to leave their restaurants on an empty stomach. Therefore, the company’s restaurants offer a wide range of vegan-friendly or accidentally vegan options on the menu.
Benihana is known not only for its spectacular food choices but also for its restaurants’ eating experience. The chefs cook food at your tableside, allowing you to choose whether or not you want certain ingredients in your food. Let’s explore many Benihana vegan options that you must try!
What Can I Order At Benihana As A Vegan?
Finding vegan options at Benihana is not easy because the company is not transparent regarding its ingredients. However, going by the menu and logic regarding what things are generally cooked with or without meat, we have figured a few vegan options at Benihana.
Since Benihana restaurants serve in hibachi style, you do not need to restrict yourself to these options. You can go ahead and have a chat with your chef. Explore the particular restaurant’s menu further to catch hold of some other vegan options as well.
The best thing about ordering vegan at Benihana is that you do not have to restrict yourself to a particular category. The company offers vegan options across meal courses. Let’s look at the vegan appetizer options at Benihana.
Edamame is a go-to appetizer or side for many people because of its taste and nutritional value. Edamame is soybeans that are still in the pod. They are salted and served warm. Benihana also offers a spicy edamame option which is vegan as well.
One of the most delicious options to try at Benihana is the seaweed salad. Other than being lip-smacking delicious, it is also very nutritional. The salad consists of soy, lemon, and sesame. You can ask your server to cook the salad according to your preference.
Just like the seaweed salad, the Benihana salad is also incredibly delicious and nutritious. The portion size of the Benihana salad is quite bigger than the seaweed salad. Therefore, we suggest you order according to your server’s portion advice.
The salad is a delicious mix of red cabbage, carrots, crisp greens, and grape tomatoes. All these ingredients are well-mixed and served with a homemade dressing of tangy ginger. You can get the vegetables as crispy as you like by asking the server to cook a specific way. Moreover, you can get added dressing or extra veggies according to your liking.
The imperial salad is a new entry into the menu. It is a combination of vegetables such as grape tomatoes, cucumber, edamame, yellow pepper, and other assorted veggies. You can get your imperial salad custom made by placing a special request to your server to add or subtract certain veggies.
Rice is an integral part of Japanese cuisine and culture. You can be a part of that shared culture through the vegan rice options you have at Benihana.
Steamed rice is an apparent vegan option at Benihana. You can order a plate of white or brown steamed rice and enjoy it with your edamame. You can also ask the server to add some vegan sauces for extra flavor.
Benihana offers fried white or brown rice. As a vegan, you can enjoy a dish of fried rice as long as you ask your server to get your rice cooked without egg. Other than the egg, all the other ingredients used in Benihana fried rice are vegan.
Custom Rice Dish
Your server should be happy to help you get a dish of custom-made vegan rice for you. You can ask them to combine the rice of your choice with some veggies and one of the vegan sauces and dressings they have.
California rolls is sushi with white rice on the outside. Most California rolls are vegan because, by definition, they are vegetables wrapped in sushi and white rice. As a Japanese restaurant, Benihana offers a wide range of sushi, and the best thing is that they also have two vegan options.
Cucumber roll is a basic option of California rolls offered at Benihana. They are pieces of cucumber wrapped in sushi and white rice.
A vegetable roll is stuffed with avocado, green leaves, cabbage, yamagobo, and other green leaves. You can ask your server to add or subtract a few veggies from the roll. However, the classic-made vegetable roll at Benihana is delicious.
As a hibachi restaurant, Benihana should not cause issues for you to get vegan food. That is because you can simply ask your chef or server to cook a delicious side of vegetables cooked in hibachi style.
We suggest you inform the chef of your dietary restrictions. That way, they will make your meal mindfully and only add veggies and sauces that go by vegan standards.
You can garnish your rice or salads with any of the following vegan dressings at Benihana.
- Wasabi dressing
- Balsamic vinegar and oil
- Ginger dressing
Smoothies And Beverages
Say goodbye to thirst with the following vegan beverages and smoothies offered at Benihana:
- Iced tea (green tea, peach, and hibiscus)
- Ginger ale
- Dr Pepper
- Diet Pepsi
- IBC Root Beer
- Sierra Mist
- Red Bull
- San Pellegrino sparkling mineral water
- Banana berry smoothie (ask if milk is added)
- Mango colada (ask if milk is added)
- Strawberry passion delight (ask if milk is added)
Options That Can Be Made Vegan
Since Benihana is a hibachi restaurant chain, there’s enormous scope for customization. Moreover, due to the lack of resources on their ingredients, we have some options listed for you that might be vegan.
Spicy Tofu Steak
Benihana offers an excellent spicy tofu steak laced with massive flavors and ingredients, all of which are vegan. It is best to ask your server if the steak is vegan and, if not, what can be removed to make it so.
It would be best if you declined the accompanying shrimp appetizer. You can talk to the server and probably get a vegan appetizer instead.
Whether or not you can consume a custom version of vegetable tempura will be your server’s call. More likely than not, the food will have some cross-contamination risk. However, other than that, you can order vegetable tempura made without milk and egg.
Just like the vegetable tempura, it is hard to say if Benihana uses dairy in this dish. You must ask your server for accurate information. If the option is vegan, you will get a dessert made of deep-friend banana.
Since Benihana is not open about their ingredients on the Internet, it’s hard to tell whether their miso soup is vegan or not. The confusion arises because some places serve vegan miso soup, while others choose to add meat.
You will have to ask your server if Benihana’s miso soup contains fish oil or other non-vegan ingredients.
Yakisoba noodles can be made vegan if you ask the chef to cook them that way. The only non-vegan ingredient in yakisoba noodles is an egg. Therefore, you can ask your chef if your serving can be made without them.
Can Hibachi Be Vegan?
Hibachi is a fun dining experience offered by several restaurants across the world. Benihana is one of the best restaurants to offer the Hibachi experience in the United States. Hibachi restaurants are fun and more trustworthy to eat at as a vegan since everything is cooked right in front of you.
Chefs clean the grill after every customer leaves. Therefore, even if the person they cooked for before you consumed meat, your food can be vegan. However, if you’re eating with someone who eats meat and your food will be cooked with them, you can risk cross-contamination.
Even though Japanese cuisine is deeply rooted in seafood, you can find specific vegan options at every Japanese restaurant. As long as you choose vegan options from the menu and do not get non-vegan food cooked alongside, you don’t run the risk of breaking your dietary restrictions.
Associating Japanese food with only seafood is a common mistake. Ordering as a vegan at Benihana is fun because you can find several Benihana vegan options.
Benihana restaurants have made several vegan additions to their menu as the vegan movement has gained pace. Therefore, any Benihana restaurant can be considered a complete, fun, and inclusive dining place.