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Recipe

Steak Tartare with Cinnamon, Allspice, and Sesame-Tofu Sauce

By Anita Lo, Mary Attea From Moveable Feast Season 1, Ep.13
Scott Phillips

Servings: 4 as a first-course

For the best steak tartare, use beef tenderloin (the tail end) and always hand-chop the meat. It should never be ground. Chef Anita Lo adds a bit of bulgur for even more texture.

Ingredients

For the tartare

  • 8 oz. fresh beef tenderloin
  • 1/4 cup bulgur
  • 3 Tbs. finely chopped red onion
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. ground allspice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For the tofu sauce

  • 7 oz. silken tofu
  • 2 Tbs. Chinese sesame paste
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced and mashed into a paste
  • Finely grated zest of one lemon
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Garnishes

  • 1 cup canola oil, for frying
  • One 8-inch round spring roll wrapper
  • 1 green onion, green parts only, cut into 2-inch thin strips
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Chinese red chili oil
  • Cayenne pepper

Preparation

Make the tartare

  • Freeze the beef for 30 minutes in order to make it firm and easier to dice. Using a sharp knife, dice the meat into 1/8-inch cubes. Place in a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Cook the bulgur according to the package directions. Rinse with cold water, drain well, and set aside until room temperature.
  • In a small bowl, mix the red onion, olive oil, lemon juice, cinnamon and allspice. Set aside.

Make the tofu sauce

  • Combine the tofu, sesame paste, garlic, lemon zest and juice, 1 tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. of pepper in a blender. Puree until the mixture is smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender as necessary, 3 to 5 minutes. Pour the sauce into a bowl and taste and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Make the garnish

  • Heat the canola oil in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat until it is shimmering hot. Using a pair of kitchen scissors, cut the spring roll wrapper into 8 triangles, by first cutting it in half, and then each half into quarters.

  • Heat the canola oil in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat until it is shimmering hot. Using a pair of kitchen scissors, cut the spring roll wrapper into 8 triangles, by first cutting it in half, and then each half into quarters.

  • Fry the triangles one or two at a time until they just crisp, about 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the triangles to paper towels to drain. Season lightly with salt.

To assemble and serve

  • Add the bulgur and red onion mixture to the beef, and fold the mixture together with a wooden spoon until well combined.
  • Divide the tartare mixture into 4 equal portions, about 3 oz. each. Position a 2 x 2-1/2-inch rectangular (or similar) mold on a plate and place a portion of the tartare into it, pressing down and spreading the mixture into the mold evenly with the back of a teaspoon, or simply scoop a portion into a mound on the plate.
  • Top the tartare with several strips of scallion. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the tofu sauce on the plate next to the tartare. Lightly dust the tofu sauce with the cayenne pepper. Put a few drops of chili oil and extra-virgin olive oil on the plate next to the tofu sauce. Place two of the crispy spring roll wrapper triangles on the plate. Repeat with the remaining tartare on three more plates.

Tip

Recipe adapted from Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking.

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