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Seared Veal Medallions with Herbed Wasabi Butter

Fiery wasabi-spiked butter makes a luxurious glaze for the tender veal. It can be topped with reconstituted hijiki seaweed instead of nori. Chef Tetsuya Wakuda serves the veal with a refreshing cucumber and pickled ginger salad. The sea urchin roe adds a briny complexity to the butter.

slideshow More Veal Recipes

  • Servings: 4

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  • 2 1/2 tablespoons wasabi powder (ground Japanese horseradish)
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 ounces fresh sea urchin roe (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped tarragon
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped thyme
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • Eight 3-ounce veal medallions
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • One 8-inch-square sheet of nori (pressed seaweed), cut into 4-by- 1/2 -inch strips (optional)


  1. In a small bowl, mix the wasabi powder with the warm water to make a paste. In a medium bowl, blend the butter with the wasabi paste, sea urchin roe, soy sauce, lemon juice, chives, tarragon, thyme and cayenne. Season with salt and white pepper. Scrape the butter onto a sheet of wax paper and wrap, shaping the butter into a 1-inch-thick log. Let stand at room temperature.
  2. Preheat the broiler. Brush the veal on both sides with 2 teaspoons of the oil and season with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of oil. Add half the veal medallions to the skillet and pan-fry over high heat until well browned and lightly pink in the center, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the veal to a rimmed baking sheet and pan-fry the remaining medallions.
  3. Top each veal medallion with 1/2 tablespoon of the wasabi butter and broil 4 inches from the heat for 1 to 2 minutes, basting with the juices and butter and rotating the pan until the meat is golden brown and glazed. Transfer to plates and top each medallion with an additional 1 teaspoon of the wasabi butter. Garnish with the nori strips and serve at once.

Make Ahead

The wasabi butter can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month.

Suggested Pairing

Wasabi and wine don't usually pair well, but the layered flavors in this dish work beautifully with a medium-weight wine that has upfront fruit flavors, such as the Coldstream Hills Pinot Noir from Australia or the Domaine Rémi Jobard Premier Cru Les Vignes Rondes Monthélie Rouge from France.

Contributed By Published September 1998

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