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Yoshoku Steak

Todd Coleman

Servings: 4

This is a Western-style hunk of prime beef, but with a Japanese flair. The steak is topped with onions that have been reduced and caramelized with Japanese seasonings and cut with rice vinegar. So incredibly mouthwatering! We adapted this steak from the original recipe of the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, one of Tokyo’s oldest and classiest hotels. In 1936, a Russian opera star named Feodor Chaliapin was a guest there, and requested a tender steak. The chef complied, with this dish. The bass virtuoso was delighted, and so apparently, was the hotel, which promptly put it on the menu. Eat this steak with a knife and fork; serve with rice and steamed or sautéed vegetables on the side. Besides sirloin, you can use rib eye, tenderloin, or filet mignon.

This recipe is excerpted from Japanese Soul Cooking: Ramen, Tonkatsu, Tempura, and More from The Streets and Kitchens of Tokyo and Beyond.


  • 4 sirloin steaks (about 2 lb. total)
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbs. butter
  • 1 medium Spanish onion (about 12 oz.), peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1⁄4 cup mirin
  • 1⁄4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. chopped parsley


  • To tenderize the steaks, lay them flat on a cutting board. Tap the steaks with the back edge of a kitchen knife (the edge opposite the blade) to dig notches into the meat. Turn the knife so the flat side is facing the fillets. Pound the meat with the knife’s flat side about 6 to 8 times on each side of the steak to flatten the meat. Season both sides of the meat with salt and pepper.
  • Melt 2 Tbs. of the butter in a skillet over low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for about 8 minutes, until the onions are translucent and caramelized and have developed their sweetness. Increase the heat to medium. Add the mirin and soy sauce and cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute, to cook down the liquid. Add the vinegar and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds more. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  • Melt the remaining 1 Tbs. butter and the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter has melted and started to brown, cook the steaks in batches. Lay the steaks in the skillet, and cook for about 4 minutes, turning once (for medium rare). Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and allow them to rest for 1 minute before serving.
  • Return the skillet to medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring constantly, for about 10 seconds, so the onions absorb the steaks juices remaining in the skillet.
  • Top the steaks with the onion mixture, garnish with the parsley, and serve immediately.


Reprinted with permission from Japanese Soul Cooking, by Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat, copyright © 2013. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.


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Reviews (2 reviews)

  • User avater
    BillieJEckley | 02/26/2019

    It is too yummy.

  • DonBishop | 10/05/2015

    Why haven't you made this yet? Holy Mother of Pearl! Deeeeeelicious! However, it only serves two, not four. Trust me.Simple. Delicious. I can't wait to have it again.

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