Beef Tataki & Micro Salad Roll

Just a little something I whipped up on Tuesday for lunch, this tataki roll exceeded my expectations. It’s like bite-size beef carpaccio rolled around fresh salad that you eat with your fingers.

I took some beef tri-tip roast and cut from it a log about three inches in diameter and six inches long, making sure the grain ran lengthwise. I seasoned it with salt and pepper and sauteed it in a little peanut oil until it was just seared and brown on all sides. I chilled the log in the fridge until it was cold and firm and then cut slices about 1/8 inch thick with a very sharp slicing knife. Between two pieces of plastic I pounded out the pieces until they were even thinner but not falling apart. I stored these slices between small sheets of wax paper until I was ready to serve it.

Well-marbled, barely-cooked beef with herbs and ponzu.

I made a very simple dressing of 2 tablespoons ponzu sauce, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil, a pinch of sugar, a pinch of salt, some cracked black pepper, and 1 teaspoon of minced fresh ginger.

I then took a handful of micro arugula, a handful of micro cilantro, and a little very thinly sliced iceberg lettuce and mixed it together gingerly. You could certainly make this with regular arugula and cilantro, but you’d have to thinly slice it to get a similar mouth-feel.

I laid out the beef slices and put a little cluster of the salad mixture into the middle in a clumpy sort of line. I rolled the beef up gently until I had some “cigars” of beef with salad inside. I cut these in half and put them on a plate. I drizzled the dressing over the top and garnished with some scallions greens.

It was delicious and refreshing. And it’s a lot easier than you think to make this elegant and healthy little appetizer.

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