Fillet Mignon salad carpaccio style 牛肉のたたきサラダ

japanese cake

I make several versions of this dish. Most of the time, this is “leftovers control” and is made using leftover fillet mignon from the night before since we usually cannot finish the portion sold as “one” fillet. I cook the fillet medium rare. Next day, I cut the left over steak into thin slices. I sometimes marinate the slices in Ponzu sauce with grated garlic and ginger or in a mixture of sushi vinegar and soy sauce (in equal amounts) for 5 minutes. I then make a salad with the marinated pieces. Here, instead of marinating the meat, I drizzled, extra-virgin olive oil, good quality Balsamic vinegar, and soy sauce over the meat like I was making carpaccio. I arranged the steak on a bed of baby spinach and topped it with chopped scallion, freshly ground black pepper, and added a small dab of grated ginger. You can use any vegetable such as sliced onion, thinly sliced cucumber, watercress, arugula etc or just meat without vegetables. You could, of course, make this from scratch. In that case, it is called “beef tataki” 牛肉のたたき.

“Tataki” in Japanese cooking parlance could mean two totally different cooking methods; one is to sear or grill only the surface of sashimi-grade fish or beef and serve it like “sashimi”, bonito or “katsuo” 鰹  tataki is the most famous of this type of cooking, another is to chop sashimi-grade fish, such as horse mackerel or “aji” 鯵, into small pieces often with the addition of seasoning (this is similar to steak tartar).  For beef tataki, I just sear the steak and keep the center rare. I slice it thin and marinated it in Ponzu sauce for 5-10 minutes.  Garnish with diakon spout or scallion and serve at room temperature.

This version I made today goes well with either red wine (a hardy Australian Shiraz such as d’Arenberg “Dead Arm” 06  is good for this dish) or cold sake. If you use Ponzu sauce, it tends to be too acidic for wine and sake may be better.

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