Japanify: Steak Sauce
Whenever I go see my 92 year-old grandma and have a conversation over tea, she drops all kinds of wisdom bombs on me. And she does it so casually, I never really notice the impact her words have on me until I am on the freeway, driving back to Berkeley. Last week, she said "I am eating red meat at least three times a week to keep my energy level high." I was amazed that my grandma, at 92, is eating that much meat. But it made perfect sense... her energy exhibits that of a true carnivore. She definitely harnesses the power of a cheetah versus, say, a cow.
To drive my point home, here's a picture of her with a cheetah.
I shouldn't have been amazed, but as I was leaving her house, she produced two steaks from her freezer and sent me home with them. I told her I rarely cook beef and she suggested to lightly sear them.
So I started off this week with a steak for dinner. Not only was it the simplest recipe I could find (even easier than the gyu no tataki I made in Lake Tahoe two years ago), but the results were juicy. And it's a feast ready in 20 minutes from prep to cleanup.
1/2 pound lean steak 1" thick
1 tbsp EVOO
For the steak sauce:
1/2 inch grated daikon
1 grated clove of garlic
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp rice vinegar
1. Grate the garlic and daikon. Then combine the sauce ingredients.
2. Preheat a cast iron or bonded cookware pan (like All-Clad) to hot. Turn on the broiler.
3. Rub the steak with salt and EVOO.
4. Once the pan is pre-heated, turn off the stovetop heat and lay the steak into the pan. This will sear the juices in.
5. Place the whole pan with steak in it into the broiler (top shelf of my oven).
6. Keep it in the broiler for 3 minutes on each side. It's quick, so don't start doing something else. There is nothing sadder than an overdone steak.
7. Slice and enjoy.
Because I don't eat red meat often, this felt like a really decadent meal, even though it only took 20 minutes. There is so much umami in red meat that it's all about keeping the flavor in. Not much seasoning is needed.
The daikon sauce is slightly spicy and mellowed out by the soy sauce. For garlic lovers, this sauce is sure to satisfy. For something so heavy like a steak, this sauce provides a spicy, slightly acidic contrast. It adds an element of freshness that is really complimentary to the steak.