Recipe: Beef Tataki


In these self-isolating times, many may wish they could self-isolate from the refigerator. But don’t despair for healthy, non-fattening food. Aya Nishimura has produced a book full of delicious, generally low-fat Japanese dishes. Japanese Food Made Easy (Murdoch Books) features a selection of excellent Japanese recipes that are bound to have your mouth watering.

Preparation:20 minutes  
Cooking:5 minutes

This is a super-easy, delicious meal for entertaining. The key is using the tail of a beef fillet, which is thinner (and much cheaper), so it will cook very quickly. This recipe will also work well with sirloin steak.


400 g (14 oz) good-quality beef  fillet tail 
1/4 cup (60 ml) clementine juice or orange juice 
1 garlic clove, crushed with the back of a knife but left whole 
1 onion, thinly sliced and kept in cold water 
2 cups (60 g) watercress, washed 
200 g (7 oz) daikon radish, finely grated (optional)
sea salt and ground black pepper 
2 tablespoons mirin 
2 tablespoons sake 
1/4 cup (60 ml) soy sauce 
2 tablespoons rice vinegar


Take the beef out of the fridge and bring it to room temperature. Season with sea salt and pepper. 

To make the sauce, gently heat the mirin and sake in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat and add the soy sauce, vinegar, clementine juice and crushed garlic. 

Heat a frying pan over medium–high heat. Sear the beef for about 1–2 minutes on all sides. Remove from the heat and leave the beef to rest for at least 10 minutes.

Drain the onion and combine with the watercress on a serving plate. Cut the beef into 5 mm (1/4 inch) thick slices and add to the salad. Serve with the sauce drizzled over the top. Drain any excess liquid from the grated daikon, and add it to the salad just before serving.


You could make a larger batch of sauce and keep it in a clean screw-top jar for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.  


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Images and text from Japanese Food Made Easy by Aya Nishimura, photography by Lisa Linder. Murdoch Books RRP $39.99