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Glazed Japanese Beef-and-Scallion Rolls

  • ACTIVE: 20 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME:
  • SERVINGS: 6 first-course servings

This delicious riff on the Japanese beef-and-scallion rolls called negimaki uses many of the primary ingredients in Japanese cuisine: miso, soy sauce, ginger and mirin. That combination of savory-earthy notes (a flavor the Japanese refer to as umami), saltiness and sweetness defines much of Japanese cooking. Sake, of course, pairs extremely well with all of these flavors.

Ingredients

  1. 6 thin asparagus spears
  2. 6 large scallions
  3. Salt
  4. About 1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil, for coating
  5. 6 thin slices of beef tenderloin, about 2 ounces each, very lightly pounded to a 1/8-inch thickness
  6. Freshly ground pepper
  7. 2 tablespoons red miso
  8. 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  9. 2 tablespoons mirin
  10. 2 tablespoons sugar
  11. 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  12. Vegetable oil, for brushing
  1. In a small skillet of boiling water, blanch the asparagus until bright green, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the asparagus to a plate and pat dry. Add the scallions to the skillet and blanch until bright green, about 45 seconds; transfer to the plate and pat dry. Lightly season the vegetables with salt and lightly coat with sesame oil.
  2. Set a slice of beef on a work surface and season with salt and pepper. Arrange an asparagus stalk and a scallion lengthwise on the meat; trim them flush with the meat. Roll up the meat around the asparagus and scallion and secure with a toothpick. Repeat with the remaining slices of beef, asparagus and scallions.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the miso with the soy sauce, mirin, sugar and ginger. Put the beef rolls in a shallow baking dish and coat generously with the miso mixture. Let stand for 20 minutes.
  4. Heat a grill pan over high heat. Lightly brush the pan with vegetable oil. Add the beef-and-scallion rolls and cook over high heat until nicely charred all over, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to a cutting board and remove the toothpicks. Slice each roll on the diagonal 1 1/2 inches thick. Arrange the slices on a platter, cut sides up, and serve right away.
Make Ahead
The beef rolls can be prepared through Step 2 and refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before proceeding.

Suggested Pairing

In terms of wine, look for a white that has some of the same earthiness and broad, round flavors. One good choice is a white Rhône; another option would be a Savennières.

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