06 March 2010

Beef Tataki with Ponzu Sauce

Every fortnight, a few of my foodie colleagues and myself get together for dinner and try out a restaurant. We actually put a list together on google wave of about 18 different places that finishes with Tetsuya. It's with this group that we also try to do a monthly cookingfest at one of our places. The last time I went, I made the pork belly confit (yes.. that means I had the pork belly confit twice). The theme this time is small dishes that goes with sake. I thought I'll stick with a lighter dish this time round, so went with the beef tataki with ponzu sauce and some tsukune chicken meatballs.

The term tataki refers to meat (usually beef or fish) that has been marinated, seared, then chilled and thinly sliced to serve. This is something we always end up ordering at a Japanese restaurant. So was nice to learn how to make it at home.

Beef Tataki with Ponzu Sauce
  • 300g high quality beef fillet (trimmed of fat)
  • 1/2 cup Japanese light soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 stalk Spring onion (green & white part, finally sliced)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh Ginger (peeled, grated through a microplane grater to remove the fibrous parts)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh Daikon Radish (peeled, finely grated through a microplane grater).
Additional items required:
  • Ice cubes
  • Clingwrap
  1. In a Pyrex or ceramic bowl, mix soy sauce, mirin and rice vinegar. Place beef fillet in bowl and turn several times to coat all sides of beef in marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 20 minutes, flipping the beef over after 10 minutes.
  2. Remove beef from marinade and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel. Discard marinade.
  3. Prepare a bowl large enough to completely submerge your beef with an ice bath. Fill it 1/2 way with some ice and set aside.
  4. Heat a heavy-duty saucepan over high heat. Add just enough cooking oil, about 1 tablespoon, to keep beef from sticking to the pan.
  5. Place beef in pan and quickly sear each side until lightly browned, about 15-20 seconds.
  6. When all sides have been seared, remove from pan and wrap with some clingwrap before plunging the beef into the ice bath to stop the cooking process. Wrapping the beef in the clingwrap before tossing it into the ice bath means that the meat wont come into contact with the water and therefore wont dilute the taste.
  7. To serve, cut across the grain into the thinnest possible slices possible with a very sharp knife. Lightly tap each piece a few times with the blade of the knife to score, being careful not to cut all the way through.
  8. Fan the slices, overlapping, on a platter and let stand for 10 minutes. Drizzle with the Ponzu sauce and serve. Garish with some finely sliced spring onions and some grated ginger and daikon radish on the side.

my tower of beef tataki.. :)
  • If you're not confident about getting really thin slices with the beef, about 45 minutes before you plan to serve, place the clingwrapped beef in the freezer (this will firm the beef and make it easier to cut even slices).


  1. Thanks for this, going to make it tonight. Just out of curiosity, what type of meat do they use in the restaurants? You only say fillet beef but there are many types of fillet- eye fillet, rib fillet etc.


  2. Hi Tim,

    I got the beef from my local butcher, I asked him for something that didn't have a lot of fat or sinew running through it and told him i was searing it only. I think he called it a tenderloin fillet ?! I only know it wasn't a scotch or rib eye fillet.

    Hope this helps.... have fun making this tonight :)

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