Besides cold cuts, not many Americans that eat cold beef. It's just not something that seems appealing to a majority of people.
But trust me. It can be one of the most delicious ways to prepare beef.
The Japanese have a fantastic method of preparing beef (they also use it for fish) called "Tataki" which results in thinly sliced, perfectly flavored layers of beef that can be served over any number of things.
The key to getting good results in this Beef Tataki Recipe
is to not overcook the beef and to marinate it AFTER cooking it.
You can technically use a lot of different steak cuts for this dish. I think something like flank steak would work okay.
But if you really want to make the meal something special, beef tenderloin is the way to go. For those that don't know what beef tenderloin is, it's the large cut of meat that they make filet mignon out of. It's very tender (hence it's name) and has great flavor. It also happens to be pretty pricey. A two pound beef tenderloin will probably run you in the $35-$40 range.
But assuming you do get one, the goal should be not to mess it up!
To start off, season the tenderloin really well with salt and pepper.
Then put a large heavy pot over high heat and add a drizzle of oil to the pan. Sear the tenderloin for about 3 minutes per side so it's nice and browned around the outside. At this point the tenderloin is still basically raw on the inside.
Now you need to roast the tenderloin. This can be the scary part because this is when most people overcook it. Roast it at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes (assuming you have a 2 pound tenderloin). It's very important to use a meat thermometer to make sure you hit the right temperature in the center, which should be about 120-125 degrees for a nice medium rare.
For me, 25 minutes was perfect.
While your tenderloin roasts, prepare the marinade for the beef. You'll need these tasty things.
Zest the lemon and juice it. Grate the ginger. Mince up the garlic and scallions. Combine all of this with the soy sauce, brown sugar, and rice vinegar in a large plastic bag and mush it around to mix everything well.
Then, once the tenderloin has cooled off a bit, add this to the bag!
That's right. We're marinating the tenderloin AFTER cooking it, which will keep the flavors in the marinade really bright and fresh.
Stick this in the fridge for at least six hours – overnight wouldn't be a bad idea.
When you're ready to slice it, use a sharp knife and you should see some beautiful medium rare slices.
You could serve this over a bunch of different veggies. I went with some bok choy, daikon radish, scallion, and cucumber. I also mixed up a quick dressing, a simpler version of the marinade.
You can dice your veggies however you want. I just roughly chopped up everything.
Then top the salad with some beef slices, add a bit of dressing, and garnish it with some chives and sprouts!
This is a pretty unique meal that most people haven't had. The flavors are really bright and fresh. It would be perfect on a hot summer day!
Plus, if you can get through the tenderloin roasting without overcooking it, it's a pretty easy dish to make.Nick thinks that The Tenderloins would be a cool name for a band. Check out his blog at Macheesmo and his Tablespoon profile.