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Beef Tataki

Fillet steak might sound a bit extravagant for a canapé, but you can make at least 30, probably more and if you can get fillet tails from your butcher, they are a bit cheaper. This is a lovely recipe for a smart get together or a celebratory occasion. We had them for Christmas last year - fingers crossed they might make another appearance this year. The chopsticks are the cheap wooden variety that come stuck together and are used here like pincers to hold the little bundles. I hope you will agree, they look pretty impressive, but are simple to put together and easy to eat.

Ingredients - makes approximately 30 or serves 4 - 6 as a starter

250g lean beef fillet or fillet tails if you can get them

Olive oil


For the marinade:

75ml soy sauce (Tamari is usually gluten free)

50g mirin

1 shallot, chopped

2 tbsp soft dark brown sugar

Zest of 1 lime

1 tbsp finely grated ginger

For the dip/ dressing:

25ml soy sauce

25ml mirin

Zest and juice of half a lemon

2 tsp soft dark brown sugar

1 red chilli, sliced in half and de-seeded.

For the salad: choose a combination, or use all:

Fine strips of cucumber

Fine strips of celery with leaves attached

Finely chopped chilli

Sugar snap peas, cut lengthways into strips

Red pepper, cut in fine strips

Pickled ginger, cut into strips (make your own - it is quite easy - or buy Clearspring)

Disposable chopsticks (readily available, mine were from a wholesalers, but Amazon and many other places stock them)


Mix all the marinade ingredients together.

Depending on the cut of your meat, either cut the fillet lengthways into two or if it is a wide ‘girthy’ piece, cut across the meat, to make 2 long pieces of equal size.

If you have beef tails continue to the next stage.

Massage olive oil into the meat and season generously.

Sear in a hot pan for less than a minute on each side.

Put the meat into a dish and pour over the marinade. Make sure as much of the meat as possible is in the marinade. Leave for at least 2 hours, covered in the fridge. Turn the meat over in the marinade from time to time.

Mix the dip/dressing ingredients together.

Pat the meat dry and wrap it tightly in cling film. Put in the freezer for 30-40 minutes. It needs to firm up, but not freeze. This makes it easier to carve very thin slices.

Unwrap the meat and carve as finely as possible. If using tails you may need to cut diagonally for the canapé version to get large enough slices.

Put little piles of the salad vegetables on each slice of beef, make sure the salad pokes out at the top and bottom. Roll up as neatly as possibly, but don’t worry if the beef slices are a bit ragged as the chopsticks will hold it all together neatly. Secure each roll with the chopsticks.

These will keep overnight in the fridge. When ready to serve, take out 15 minutes before required and drip a little dressing onto each roll.

Tataki beef salad - serves 4-6

Make a salad of choice; leaves and crispy vegetables are good. Put the salad in a reasonably flat arrangement on the plates. Lay the meat slices over the salad and drizzle the dressing over generously.

Season and sprinkle the meat with finely sliced red chilli, pickled ginger strips or some basil leaves.

To make several hours ahead, make up the salad and place the meat on top, but leave the dressing and toppings until you are ready to serve.


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