25 March 2009

Gyuniku no Misozuke

Maybe I'm anæmic, maybe having red meat last night just had me craving more. Same project as last night: various vegetables in the fridge; went and bought a cut of meat. This time, a strip steak that looked to have lots of juicy fat (it was melt-in-your-mouth good, actually).

Instead of turning to Julia Child, I went to Hiroko Shimbo's The Japanese Kitchen. I marinated the trimmed steak in miso, sake and mirin (the steak protectively wrapped in cheesecloth, an interesting method). The fat I trimmed was rendered for a fried brown rice with onions, garlic and Japanese scallions (Shimbo called for shiso, which I grew last year and is otherwise impossible to find out here. Moreover, there were scallions in the vegetable bin). The steak was seared, sliced and served with a reduction of the marinade and a dash more of sake (Shimbo called for brandy, of which I have none).

That I served with Shimbo's a cold stir-fried carrot and burdock and my pickled asparagus.
  • The steak was incredible. Even though it was only marinated for three hours, it had a wonderful aroma of miso and some sweetness from the mirin; it was just seared and rosy pink inside. Delicious.
  • The fried rice was perfect. It was strong (from the beef fat) and could hold its own against the steak. The Japanese scallions, added at the end, livened it up.
  • Pickled asparagus was a sharp contrast to the sweet of the miso and the fat of the steak and rice. And they are perfectly intact and flavorful, fermented ten (!) months ago.
  • And then the burdock and carrot: both vegetables regained all of their crunch after cooling. The earthiness of the burdock and the sweetness of the carrot were a perfect match for the pickles and meat, something-in between the two.
This is excessively verbose. But it was that good.


  1. Hi Joseph, this is Hiroko Shimbo. Wonderful to read your challenge. Please continue to enjoy dishes from The Japanese Kitchen!

  2. Hi Josheph,
    That is one of my favorite recipes in Ms. Shimbo's book. I've made it many times. Be sure to try it with the shiso, when you can—lovely. Did you know that you can re-use the marinade? It works very nicely on lamb chops!