Beef tataki with soy and ginger sauce

Diana Henry / 28 August 2013

Tataki is a Japanese method of preparing fish or meat that sears the outside but leaves the middle raw.

Cooking time

6 minutes




  • 300g beef fillet
  • 2 tsp groundnut oil
  • salt and lots of freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tbs rice vinegar
  • 50g mizuna leaves, or watercress
  • 6 radishes, very finely sliced
  • a small wedge of red onion, sliced very finely
  • ¼ cucumber, deseeded and cut into batons
  • pickled ginger and sesame seeds
for the sauce
  • ½ tbs wholegrain mustard
  • 2 tsp vinegar from a jar of sweet pickled ginger
  • 2 tsp freshly grated ginger root
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • smidgen of runny honey
  • 2 tbs groundnut oil


If you prefer it a little more cooked then griddle it for longer (but you won’t be serving tataki!) This is a very generous serving of beef but it’s better to cook a larger piece. Keep some if you can’t manage all of it in one sitting. If you don’t eat red meat that often it isn’t bad for you. Great protein.

Make the sauce by whisking everything together using a fork.

Brush the beef with the oil and season, being very generous with the pepper. Heat a griddle or a frying pan over a high heat. Sear the beef on one side for 1 1/2 minutes, or until it is a really good colour, then turn over and do the other side. This is supposed to be a kind of seared carpaccio, so raw on the inside and brown all round the outside. 

Transfer to a dish and pour the wine vinegar over – this just helps to tenderize the meat. Leave to cool. Slice the beef thinly then give the slices a slap with the palm of your hand – this makes it even thinner.

Wrap each slice around some sticks of cucumber. Serve these with the leaves, radishes and onions arranged alongside. Spoon the sauce over everything and put slices of pickled ginger on top of each roll of beef. Sprinkle with sesame seeds (black ones look lovely if you can get them) and serve.

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