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One of my favorite summertime dishes is beef tataki. It's a simple dish traditionally made with a good quality steak, seared on the outside but rare in the inside, then sliced very thin and served cold with Ponzu Sauce.
But this Beef Tataki recipe from Yoko (my Japanese “mom” and amazing home cook). Her recipe takes traditional beef tataki to a completely different level with the addition of grated daikon, sliced scallions and (especially) pickled myoga. Myoga is a zesty, mild type of ginger that can be eaten raw, and lightly pickled, it’s amazing. It is hard to find, but not impossible. While the dish is quite satisfying without it, it really is worth the hunt for the distinctively flavored myoga. For the steak, I always go to my butcher and ask for the cut of beef they suggest is best for eating rare. Any good butcher shop will be able to steer you in the right direction. Enjoy!
8 ounces beef (ask your butcher which one is best for eating rare)
Sea salt and black pepper to lightly season
1 tablespoon Wadaman White Sesame Oil
¼ cup water
¼ cup Iio Jozo Sushi Vinegar (if you do not have Iio Jozo Sushi Vinegar, substitute: ¼ cup Iio Jozo Pure Rice Vinegar, ½ tablespoon sugar and ½ teaspoon sea salt)
4 myoga, sliced thin
Water for blanching
¾ cup grated daikon, gently squeezed to remove excess liquid
½ cup thinly sliced scallions
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons Suehiro Ponzu
Season the beef lightly with salt and black pepper, but not too much because you will be seasoning later with ponzu (you don’t want the dish to be too salty). Heat a thick-bottomed pan over high heat until the pan is smoking, add the sesame oil and make sure it coats most of the bottom of the pan. Add the beef and sear on both sides. This is the tricky part, you need to cook the beef until it is just rare, which will all depend on the size and type of cut of beef you buy. Once your beef is seared and cooked to rare, put it aside and cool in the refrigerator. Slice the chilled beef thinly and set aside.
In a small sauce pot add the water and sushi vinegar, bring to boil, then cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, in another small pot, add enough water to blanch the myoga. Bring to a boil, add the myoga and cook for 20 to 30 seconds then remove the myoga from the water and cool to room temperature. Once the vinegar liquid and the myoga are cool, combine them together and marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.
Arrange four plates to assemble the tataki. The end goal is 2-layer tataki (beef, pickled myoga, grated daikon and scallions). On each plate, place about an eighth of the sliced beef, then top with about an eighth of the pickled myoga, grated daikon and sliced scallions, repeat until each plate has 2 layers. Pour the ponzu sauce over the top of each plate. Enjoy.