What exactly is beef tataki you ask? For those of you that may not have had this before, it's the Japanese version of beef carpaccio or steak tartare. Tataki refers to a Japanese method of cooking, where beef or tuna is lightly seared, marinated and sliced nice and thin. While i'm not usually one to dabble in raw food, (I mean I've never even tried steak tartare!), I am a massive fan of this seared beef dish.
The first time I tried beef tataki was at a small neighbourhood Japanese restaurant in Hong Kong when I was a teenager. I remember instantly loving the freshness and mixture of flavours the dish had. There are different layers of flavours like sweetness and tartness from the vinegar and different textures like the garlic crunch, fresh spring onions, and the smooth silly texture of the fillet beef. It's not the most common dish, and probably won't be available at your local Japanese restaurant in Ireland. I suppose that's what led me to try and create beef tataki at home! It's not the quickest dish to prepare, but the satisfaction you'll get from making it is definitely worth it. This is a great dish to serve as a starter if you're having a dinner party, or are cooking to impress!
Ingredients for 4
For the marinade
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons cooking sake
2 tablespoons mirin
2 spring onions finely sliced
2 cloves of garlic minced
For the beef
370 grams fillet beef (best to buy this as a joint - it will be easier to sear and to slice)
salt and pepper to season
zip lock bag (or something similar that you can seal)
3 tablespoons Ponzu sauce
4 garlic cloves sliced
4 spring onions sliced
To make the marinade, mix the soy sauce, sake and mirin together and transfer into a saucepan, place on medium heat and bring to a simmer before adding the garlic and spring onions. Cook for a minute, as the garlic and spring onions are to remain quite raw. Set the marinade aside to cool.
Season your fillet beef with salt and pepper and leave the meat to rest at room temperature for 5-10 mins. Place your frying pan on medium heat, add some vegetable oil and when hot, place the beef in the pan to sear. Evenly sear the beef for 1 minute on all sides. Remember your beef must be rare. When you take the beef off the pan, let it rest and cool down. When the beef has cooled, place the marinade in a zip lock bag and place the fillet inside the bag and seal. This should ensure that the marinade coats the beef all over. Place your bag of beef in the fridge for 2-3 hours.
To make the crispy garlic crunch garnish, slice the garlic cloves. Heat 5 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a small saucepan over high heat. When the oil is hot, fry the garlic slices. Keep moving the garlic in the oil, and be careful not to over cook or let it burn. It should only take a minute and a half to cook.
After the marinating time is up, take the beef out of the bag - keep the remaining marinade as you'll need this later. Make sure you have a nice and sharp knife to slice the beef. Slice the beef very finely and lay on a serving plate. Pour the remaining marinade over the sliced beef. Next pour the Ponzu sauce over the beef. To finish, sprinkle the sliced spring onions and the crunchy fried garlic over the top.