Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Beef Negimaki for Cheaters

DISCLAIMER #1: This isn't a Tibetan, Central Asian or Chinese dish. It's Japanese.

DISCLAIMER #2: This is a dish that I basically reverse engineered based on flavor. Therefore, it is probably COMPLETELY inaccurate. However, it tastes like the beef negimaki I get in restaurants and so I'm happy. I do not claim that this is an accurate Japanese negimaki recipe.

Aside from sushi, my favorite thing to order at a Japanese restaurant is beef negimaki. Beef scallion rolls. It is my absolute favorite hot dish, followed closely by a good udon soup.

I'm currently in Taiwan, so after Chinese ingredients, Japanese ingredients are the easiest things to find. Japanese food has become a staple in my kitchen. That said, I know nothing about Japanese cooking. Any japanese dishes are reverse engineered. I know the taste, I recreate the taste. They are likely completely inauthentic, but they TASTE GOOD. So there.


Package of udon noodles (ideally not the dried kind)

soy sauce
something sweet (sugar, mirin, or honey)
chopped or shaved ginger root
I added some ponzu sauce because why not? I had it in the cupboard. Give me a break. I just finished work and I was hungry.

finely sliced sheets of beef

First, get a pot of water up to a boil. Throw in the udon noodles. If they are the vacuum packaged kind, not the dry kind, they should boil up really fast. Drain them off and set them aside so that they aren't scalding hot when you eat them.

Next, in a small bowl, mix soy sauce, water, ginger and your sweet substance of choice (I usually use mirin or sugar. I had neither today, so I used honey.) It should taste like a slightly watery teriyaki sauce, but the texture should be very watery. Why water? you're going to boil this, so you want it thinned out.

Lay each sheet of beef on a cutting board. Put 5 or 6 sprigs of scallions, green bits and white bits, in the middle. Roll it tightly until you have a long, thin roll. Skewer or tie with cooking twine. Repeat until all the scallions and beef are gone.

In a frying pan, bring your watery sauce up to a boil. Fry (braise?) the rolls in the liquid. Give enough time for the scallions to turn brilliant green. Pull them out of the pan, but let the liquid continue boiling. As it's boiling, slice the rolls into medallions. Put the medallions on top of the udon. By this point, the sauce should have reduced substantially, although it will still be a rather thin sauce (it always is). Dribble this over the rolls and noodles.


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