A friend broke a favourite glass, and offered to cook lunch to make up for it – a very generous offer.

The inspiration for what he made came originally from Nobu Matsuhisa, founder of the eponymous, and famous Nobu restaurants. He sprinkles dried miso powder over his version, but my friend really made it his own with a lot of considered touches. “I thought it was important to deglaze the wok with something sweet after decanting the beef from it,” he told me. “I used balsamic vinegar but there is a Japanese sauce whose name escapes me, which might serve”. I haven’t managed to identify the sauce he mentions, but you could try deglazing the pan with sake or mirin.

This is very good with leftover salad. Or with fried bread.


Recipe for a slightly Japanese salad of steak leaves

Serves 2


  • 1 small beef steak – approx. 150g/6 oz – could be rump or fillet
  • Olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper…. or if possible a pinch of Urfa pepper flakes
  • 150g/6 oz lambs’ lettuce, spinach, pea shoots, rocket… or a mix of all.
  • 3 tbps Parmesan, roughly grated, or slivers
  • 1 tbsp furikake (or black sesame seeds)
  • Ingredients for dressing
  • 1 tbsp truffle oil
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp good quality soy sauce
  • Thick balsamic vinegar for deglazing


  1. Get some olive oil heating in a wok.
  2. Meanwhile, slice the steak, very thinly, diagonally downwards into ‘leaves’.
  3. When the oil is smoking, add the steak and stir fry for a minute – no longer.
  4. Take off the heat and leave to rest. Season with salt and pepper (or the pepper flakes).
  5. Meanwhile mix the truffle oil, lemon juice and soy sauce and put into a small bowl. Add 1 tbsp grated Parmesan.
  6. Put the salad leaves onto a shallow platter, and drizzle over some olive oil and a little thick balsamic vinegar.
  7. Add the meat, including its juices, to the dressing and coat.
  8. Deglaze the wok with some balsamic vinegar. Add to the meat. Arrange the meat over the salad leaves and garnish with the remaining Parmesan and the furikake or sesame seeds.


To find out more about furikake, follow this link.

Go here for a different Vanessa Cooper inspired hot steak salad.


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