Thursday, October 27, 2011

Beef Tataki and Asparagus with Egg Sauce

We had a Japanese feast at our friends’ on Saturday. Both Marcus and Tracy are avid cook and they have whipped up a lot of fabulous food for us over the years we have known them. Tracey is also very wicked with her puddings.

The recipes below have been kindly supplied by Tracey (she is a MasterChef material, this girl).

Beef Tataki
400g Beef Eye Fillet
Salt & Pepper
Vegetable Oil
1 spring onion
Heat a little oil in a heavy-based frying pan over a high heat.  Season the beef with salt and pepper and cook, searing all sides of the beef (about 1 minute each turn), until well browned all over, then plunge into iced water to stop the cooking process.  Remove from water and pat dry with a clean tea towel.  The beef should be very rare.
Wrap the beef in cling film and put in the freezer for about 1 hour (this helps with cutting the beef). When you are ready to serve, slice the meat very thinly, then lay the slices onto a serving plate. (They used mandolin slicer when we were there  – such a good idea)
Serve with Ponzu  (Soy and Citrus Sauce) and sprinkle with spring onion.

Egg Sauce
3 egg yolks
60ml Japanese Rice Vinegar (could also use regular white wine vinegar)
1 Tablespoon Mirin 
2 teaspoons caster sugar
2 tablespoons Dashi (or water)
Put all the ingredients in a small saucepan and whisk to combine well.  Sit the pan over a low heat and stir the sauce constantly for 3-4 minutes, or until smooth and thickened.  Remove from the heat.  Chill.  Serve chilled with cooked, chilled asparagus.

We had stuffed ourselves senseless that evening – as before the above mains, we also had three other finger food dishes. Notice the serviettes? Lovely, aren't they?

Note: Dashi is Japanese soup stock – but basically you can use any stock. Ponzu, Mirin and rice vinegar can be easily bought from Asian groceries or International food isle in your local supermarkets. We bought ours (except Ponzu) from Countdown & New World. If you cannot find Mirin, you can use half-half sake and sugar (or even white wine and sugar). If you cannot find Ponzu, you can make your own using one part soy sauce (preferably Japanese), one part rice vinegar and lemon juice. You can add a bit of Mirin if you like. Enjoy!


  1. Not a good time of the year for fresh asparagus here (don't eat frozen) but I will certainly make a note of this recipe. Any suggestions for a substitute? I can get Ponzu etc so that is not a problem.
    Today I enjoyed Garlic stems with thinly sliced beef.

  2. You can try broccoli or broccolini (it's early spring here in New Zealand so we have ample supply of fresh asparagus).