Benihana Garlic Butter: Easy Homemade Recipe

Last modified on September 4th, 2021 at 7:26 pm

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I’ve visited Chicago twice now, and the city still never ceases to amaze me every time. One gem of a discovery is this wonderful Japanese restaurant called Benihana. Our time was grand, with all the chefs preparing our food right in front of us.

Teppanyaki is also something that I’ve tried in Japan, and while nothing beats being in the country itself, Benihana offers diners in the US a dining experience as close to the original as it could get. I’ve recently heard that our favorite Chicago branch has been sending lunches and care packages to doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel at a local hospital.

Imagine, having your business endure a pandemic (they’ve endured some losses, for sure), but still have a grand heart to help out? Kudos to the folks behind Benihana!

Introducing The Benihana Garlic Butter

The main reason for me to write this post stems from my unforgettable dining experience, and that single element I saw the chefs use a lot of back then: their infamous garlic butter. It is like a magic ingredient that elevates the taste of all the dishes. Or was it just me eagerly watching the preparations right on the grill and consuming everything freshly-cooked? Maybe both.

Butter ingredient with tools

Benihana garlic butter is added to their meals, enhancing the taste. Food quality combined with a dining experience that is one of a kind – this is why the name of Benihana has skyrocketed and has made its presence felt across the States. The restaurant chain is relentless in their success, and has catered millions and millions of meals in the last 20 years.

My Take On The Famous Benihana Garlic Butter Recipe

When garlic and butter come together, you know it will be something great! Escargots, anyone?

If you are a fan of food in general, you would know that this pairing is like a match made in heaven. Garlic and butter on bread, with shrimps, grains, and even buttered vegetables – the flavor of butter blends so well with the enhanced aroma of garlic when cooked.

Yes, that day at Benihana with all the food smothered with this special butter? Happy, happy tummy.

And so, the quest begins for the closest recipe copycat to the famous Benihana garlic butter combo. I’ve come across several good ones, and I would agree that we might all end up as “copycats” because really, the recipe is so simple and does not require any further tweaking.

The recipe that I am sharing is for making a big batch, so you can have more to store for later (believe me, you’ll want more). However, if you just would like to prepare a small batch, just scale down the quantities of the ingredients, and you will still end up with the right amounts.

This recipe uses unsalted butter, and has no other addition of salt. I believe this prevents any over-seasoning of the dish you’ll be preparing with this butter mix, since the soy sauce already has a saltiness to it.

Yield: 1 cup

Benihana Garlic Butter Recipe

Garlic butter on bread

This Benihana-style garlic butter is a wonderful ingredient that you may also use in many meal preparations.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 6 large bulbs of garlic
  • Virgin olive oil to drizzle the garlic bulbs with
  • 3 sticks of softened, unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons of soy sauce, any brand
  • 2 teaspoons of black pepper, ground


  1. Preheat your oven to 350F, and prepare the garlic bulbs for some good roasting.

  2. Slice off about ¼ inch of the tops of the garlic bulbs, just enough to expose the meat inside the cloves. Place the bulbs on a cookie sheet or baking tray. You may also utilize muffin tins, if you have them. Just put one bulb per muffin slot. Drizzle them with some olive oil, and cover with an aluminum foil. Place in the oven and set your timer for 30 minutes.

  3. After taking the bulbs out of the oven, leave them out to cool a bit. Then, separate the cloves and squeeze out each piece into a bowl.

  4. Use a fork to mash the clove meat, until you get a pasty, smooth texture for the mashed garlic.

  5. In another mixing bowl, beat the butter. Again, the butter should be softened, and not totally melted. Once the butter is fluffy and lighter in color, add the mashed garlic, and continue beating until combined. Add in the soy sauce and black pepper, and mix well.

    Now you have your very own Benihana garlic butter!


This recipe uses unsalted butter, and has no other addition of salt. I believe this prevents any over-seasoning of the dish you’ll be preparing with this butter mix, since the soy sauce already has a saltiness to it. 

Some Tips For Blending Your Garlic And Butter

I definitely would recommend using a hand mixer in preparing your garlic butter. The beating strength of the mixer attachments will add more air to your butter compared to a spatula or whisk. The result, when using a hand mixer, will be a fluffy, light, aerated garlic butter that is packed with flavor.

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Last update on 2021-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How And Where Can You Best Use Benihana Garlic Butter?

The good news is that you can match anything, and transform any dish or side into a delightful savory treat with Benihana’s garlic butter. Check out my Benihana fried rice recipe, which you can perfectly pair with any meat, or even eaten on its own.

Garlic Rice

And no, we don’t end with fried rice!

Turn your dinner or snack into a heartier, tastier meal in a flash. There’s nothing easier than whipping up a quick meal – even when you’re lacking in inspiration. These two ingredients can make a whole lot of difference.

This Benihana-style garlic butter is a wonderful ingredient that you may also use in many meal preparations. Warning: it is highly addictive – I had to prepare my own version myself!

Try on everything, from pork, to stir-fried rice, and even clubs and sandwiches. The combination of flavors works great with anything, even with raw vegetables as dipping, to intricate confections.

But do you know what it’s really best for? Seafood! My apologies in advance if you are allergic to seafood ☹ This butter is perfect for sautéing shrimps, mussels, and even squid. Try making buttered chicken with it, too. Just heavenly!

You might also want to check out our recommendations on the best woks that can help you in making savory meals and other stir-fried dishes.

Frequently Asked Questions

How To Best Store Benihana Garlic Butter?

You can use jars with an airtight seal to store extra Benihana garlic butter, such as mason jars. You may also roll up your butter like cute little burritos using a baking sheet, and store them in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to cook, simply cut off portions as needed.

Another option is to put your garlic butter portions in ice cube trays, and just take a few cubes whenever a recipe calls for it.

What Kind Of Cooking Oil Does Benihana Use?

Benihana utilizes safflower oil, which also is the exact meaning of the restaurant’s name.

safflower oil with seeds and flowers

What Butter Do Hibachi Chefs Use?

Teppanyaki chefs use butter – especially this garlic butter – in substantial amounts while preparing food on broad teppanyaki tables.

What Kind Of Butter Does Japanese Steakhouse Use?

The only thing you need is unsalted or simple butter, because such steakhouses employ many more spices and sauces, including mirin and sesame, to balance out the flavor. Garlic butter can be found in some restaurants’ recipes as well.

What Is The Brown Sauce Used In Hibachi?

At Hibachi restaurants, diners have so many options when it comes to dipping sauces. You will usually see sesame, fruit, and miso being used. Ginger sauce is well-known for its brownish color and rich flavor, which is often made with ginger, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, and rice wine with additional ingredients such as sugar and spices.

Try Making Your Own Benihana Garlic Butter

Will you be giving this recipe a shot? I hope you do! Please tell me about your experience making your very own garlic butter. You might have a bit of difficulty deciding between oil and garlic butter in your future meals, after you try this.

I am so excited to see you guys again in our next post. Thanks!

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