The word Tataki means “pounded” or “hit into pieces” – this naming is due to the tradition of serving the meat with a ginger paste that has been ground or pounded. More often made with fish, the legend goes that its creation came from Sakamoto Ryōma, a 19th-century rebel samurai who observed Europeans and their tendency to grill their meat before consuming it.
Every time I have served this (or Carpaccio) – people have demolished it, it’s only afterwards that you tell them how (or how little) it is cooked. It’s delicious and has made more than one person rethink about how well they have their meat cooked.
Like many things in like, it’s often peoples pre-conceived ideas that get in their own way. There is no real reason why we couldn’t just be eating the meat totally raw. In this case ((some other meats are different, lets just make that clear right here)) we aren’t cooking the meat to get rid of any disease or ‘bugs’ in the meat, as much as anything, it’s out of habit.
I really, really love the SVORD Santoku. Brian was kind enough to make one with a wooden handle for me (actually, for the misses). It’s a Japanese styled razorblade and very easy to keep sharp with a strop I keep in the kitchen.
Ideal for finely cutting up garlic and spring onion (though I could/should probably have chopped them even thinner).
Obviously, beef will also work in this recipe – and it is easy to scale up or down by just changing the amount of marinade you make. You could probably make enough to serve with rice or noodles as a main, but I have always liked it as an appetiser. Regardless, good meat makes the dish.
Cook it hot, cook it fast. Once you have had Venison Tataki once, you will be hooked. The meat is super tender. Just make sure you let it rest. The fast cooking and enough time for the meat to relax again is the key to this dish. For that matter – resting meat is the key to tender meat full stop.
I could probably eat some of this every other night. The meat is delicious, the marinade sweet and sharp and always leaves you wanting more!