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This colourful twist on Japanese "Beef Tataki" makes a perfect and surprisingly affordable dinner for two. This traditional Japanese cooking method involves preparing beef that is lightly seared, marinated, sliced thinly similar to sashimi and served with a citrus-soy dressing. High in flavour, this rich and delicious dish makes the perfect dinner party starter or main course. It is easy yet impressive, Beef Tataki is a light way to enjoy red meat and may be served simply or on a bed of vegetables as is suggested here. I served the thin slices of Tataki on a bed of grated sweet potato and pan-fried tender stem broccoli, and topped off with a sprinkling of soy roasted pumpkin seeds and finely chopped chill, it really packed a punch!
Good quality beef is a must when it comes to serving it bleu, but buying a super expensive fillet from a super expensive butcher is by no means necessary. I used a large Sirloin (9 oz) but you can also use Rump. Top-side or anything else will be too stringy; you want the beef to be soft enough in texture that it will tear easily.
1. Lightly marinade the steak in 1 tbsp. sesame oil, 1 tsp. dark soya sauce and 1 tsp. mirin rice vinegar. Cover with cling film and set aside for 1/4 of an hour so that the juices have a chance to be absorbed.
2. While you are waiting, mix the juice of 2 limes, 1 tbsp. sesame oil, 1 tbsp. soya sauce, 1 tsp. mirin rice vinegar with the roughly chopped chilli and salt and pepper to taste.
3. Heat 1 tsp. olive oil and 1 tsp. sesame oil in a non-stick frying pan. Once this is bubbling, drop the steak into the pan and cover immediately with a spatter shield in order to avoid making a mess of the entire kitchen. Gently sear the beef by cooking for 1-2 minutes on each side and removing from the pan immediately.
4. Once the beef has rested for about 10 minutes (approaching room temperature) transfer to a chopping board and cut into slices about 5 mm thick. Arrange on the plate as you are serving the beef (simply or on a bed of rice noodles or pan fried vegetables) and drizzle with the soy citrus dressing.
1. Heat 1 tsp. butter with 1 tsp. olive oil in a flat frying or griddle until melted and bubbling.
2. Add broccoli and fry for 2 minutes on each side.
3. Next, add 2 tbsp. soya sauce, 1 tbsp. agave syrup (or granulated sugar), 1 crushed garlic clove, 1/2 tsp. dried chilli flakes, a sprinkling of black Nigella seeds and salt/pepper to taste.
Grated Sweet Potatoes
I admit, this invention did not emerge intentionally, but more so because I had a couple of sweet potatoes lying around and was panicking about the meal lacking carbiness. But my oh my did something magic happen. Grating the potatoes before frying them in oil and japanese spices gave rise to a light and fluffy textured base for my broccoli and a vibrant accompaniment to the Tataki. Each potato flake is soft on the inside, crispy on the outside and evenly coated in soya-saucey deliciousness. Highly recommended!
1. Leaving the skin on for extra flavour, grate small/medium sweet potato per person.
2. Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil with 1 tbsp. sesame oil for a minute or so before adding the potato flakes in a flat bottomed, non-stick pan. Cook for 6-8 minutes over a medium heat, tossing every 3 minutes to avoid sticking. 3. Next, add 1 garlic clove (crushed), 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger and 1 tbsp. soya sauce. Stir in until the potato flakes are evenly coated. After 1 more minute, toss in 1 tbsp. wasabi powder and remove from the heat.
Lay a heaped scoop of the sweet potato on to a plate and sprinkle with chopped parsley and pumpkin seeds. Place the tender stem broccoli on top, evenly spacing the pieces so as to provide a flat surface for the beef to rest upon. Lay the slices of beef on the top, and sprinkle with fresh chilli and a few exra pumpkin seeds.
Serve with quick fried rice noodles for something b-e-a-utiful!
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