• Beef Tataki with Ponzu


Seared Beef Tataki Appetizer

By Andrew Zimmern

A popular Japanese dish, tataki refers to beef or fish that is quickly seared over high heat, leaving the center very rare. It’s thinly sliced and served with a citrus- and ginger-infused vinegar soy sauce.

Beef Tataki with Ponzu Sauce

Servings: 8


  • 3 pounds center cut, trimmed whole piece of dry-aged beef sirloin (the primal muscle that NY strip steaks come from), be careful to ask the butcher NOT to cut from the nerve end of the sirloin (a tough place for such a tender dish)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon white sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon hot chile sesame oil (or more to taste)
  • 6 scallions


  • 4 tablespoons aged soy sauce
  • 8 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 inch square piece of kombu
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger


First, Make the Ponzu

Combine the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, lemon juice, kombu and ginger in a mixing bowl. Place in the fridge overnight. Strain before serving.

Prepare the Tataki

Cut the large piece of meat in half, lengthwise. Allow to come to room temperature, about 1 hour.

Season the beef on all sides with salt, pepper, sesame oil and a sprinkle of white sesame seeds.

Preheat a cast iron skillet over high heat for a few minutes. Add the peanut oil. Sear the beef over high heat, making sure to keep the center rare, about 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Let meat rest for 10 minutes, slice thin and arrange on a large platter.

Slice the scallions paper thin and sprinkle on the beef along with the hot chile sesame oil.

Serve, passing the ponzu at the table.

Photograph by Madeleine Hill. 

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