Beef tataki

I am a big fan of Oriental cuisine, particularly its use of bold flavours that meticulously blend in perfect cohesion. The combination of sweet, sour, bitter, acidity, salty and umami with an ounce of heat requires a great palate to balance. But because we all use different brands of product, it is essential to taste along the way! And then, of course, there’s personal preference, so add a little more heat if you need to. My theory is that if you want more of something, add it because it will a

Preparation time : 20 mins - plus 1 hr for the meat to rest Cooking time : 10 mins Servings : 4-6
  • 70 ml light soy sauce
  • 15 ml rice wine vinegar
  • 15 ml fish sauce
  • 5 ml sesame oil
  • 5 ml dried chilli flakes
  • 600 g beef eye fillet, tied at 4cm intervals
  • 15 ml olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 4 spring onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 2 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 red chilli, finely diced (set tip)
  • 30 ml black and white sesame seeds
  • 2 limes, peeled and sliced, or quartered with pith removed
  • 6 sprig fresh coriander, picked

Combine the soy sauce, vinegar, fish sauce, sugar, sesame oil and chilli flakes in a jam jar (best for mixing and storing) or in a mixing bowl with a whisk. 

Place a large frying pan over a high heat until the pan starts to smoke. Season the beef with the olive oil, salt and pepper, then add to the pan and sear, turning onto each side for 2 minutes or until browned. 

Remove from the heat and place on a wire rack over a plate to cool completely.

Tightly wrap the beef in cling wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Thinly slice the beef and arrange on a serving plate, slightly overlapping each slice. 

Spoon over the dressing generously and garnish with the spring onions, radish slices, chilli, sesame seeds, limes and coriander leaves. 


Although it’s commonly thought that the hottest part of the chilli is the seeds, it’s actually the white pith or membrane, followed by the seeds (the flesh is generally mild). 

So manage the intensity of heat by the pith and seeds and use the flesh for that pop of colour!

A recipe extract from 'Summer food' by Tjaart Walraven, published by Penguin Random House.

Summer food by Tjaart Walraven