BETHESDA, MD  April 2:  
Bonnie Benwick catches a shrimp tail in her chef's hat as she demonstrates her Benihana cooking skills at the Bethesda branch of the restaurant. Photographed on April 2, 2014 in Bethesda, MD.  (Photo by Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Food - News

The Secret Ingredient In Benihana's Fried Rice

Benihana's chicken fried rice is so good due to these two ingredients that make about anything better: butter and garlic. But there's another secret ingredient Benihana uses in their famous fried rice: Safflower oil.

Safflower is crucial to the chain’s fried rice, and it's not just because it inspired the restaurant's name (via Benihana). Safflower oil has a particularly high smoke point, between 440 and 520 degrees Fahrenheit, which teppanyaki chefs can use to achieve crispier sears and more concentrated flavors.

As per Serious eats, unrefined oils contain plenty of minerals, enzymes, and compounds that give bold flavors to food, but when heated at high temps it gives the food burnt, acrid flavors. Oils like safflower are commonly refined and can be heated to much higher temperatures (via VeryWell Fit).