There’s something about food cooked ‘tataki’ that really gets me excited. The Japanese word refers to meat or seafood prepared by marinading, searing on a hot grill, then sliced thinly. If prepared correctly the meat should be lighted seared on the outside, tender, raw and melt in your mouth on the inside.
Sam’s best friend has just returned from a short holiday to Japan, and being the food lover she is, packed her suitcases full of Japanese grocery products for us to play around in the kitchen with. Keen to get our kombu on, a Japanese ‘themed’ dinner night was born and with responsibilities to deliver first course, I decided to make a Beef Tataki.
In Sydney we have an amazing restaurant called Wasavie in Paddington. The beef tataki there is my benchmark – deliciously tender with the perfect balance of tart, sweet and umami. Research to find a recipe to replicate Wasavie’s version of the dish wasn’t all together successful so instead I took inspiration from an amazing Sydney food blogger Whisky Green Tea.
Beef tataki, dashi poached enoki, ponzu sauce
Recipe adapted from Whisky Green Tea
- 500g Beef fillet
- 1/2 cup Japanese light soy sauce
- 1/4 cup mirin
- 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 2 inch section of daikon, finely grated
- Ice cubes, cling film
- 1 packet of Enoki mushrooms
- 500ml dashi broth
- 2 part citrus juice (lemon or lime juice)
- 2 parts light soy sauce
- 1 part mirin
- 1 part unseasoned rice wine vinegar
Marinade the trimmed beef fillet in soy sauce, mirin, rice vinegar for at least 20 minutes prior to cooking.
In the meantime, combine the ingredients for the ponzu sauce and set aside until plating.
Heat the dashi broth over the stove and lightly poach the enoki mushrooms in the broth until just cooked. Strain the mushrooms (you can reserve the dashi broth for soup, noodles etc) and set aside.
Prepare an ice water bath large enough to place your beef fillet in.
Heat a fry pan on high heat and add a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Sear the beef fillet on high heat for at least 1 minute per side, or until there is a nice char seal on the beef. If you are cooking with a thinner piece of meat, reduce the cooking time.
Take the beef off the heat and wrap tightly in cling film. Place immediately in the water bath to stop the beef from cooking. The cling wrap will ensure the flavours aren’t diluted.
Using a very sharp knife, slice the beef against the grain as thinly as possible. Lightly tap each slice a few times with the knife to score the beef, being careful not to cut through the beef. Scoring the beef will make the beef easier to eat.
Lay the enoki mushrooms on the serving plate, then place the slices of beef on top, overlapping slightly. Garnish with spring onions, and grated daikon. Drizzle some ponzu sauce on top and serve.
NB: Make sure you have a really sharp knife to slice the beef as the thinness of the beef is really what makes this dish. If you are struggling to slice the beef, freeze the cooked beef for 30 minutes before slicing.
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