Beef fillet tataki with onion ponzu and garlic crisps

Tataki is a Japanese preparation whereby red meat, fish or even tofu is seasoned, seared at a scorching temperature and rapidly cooled down to leave the centre as rare or untouched as possible – for this reason you should use the best quality meat or fish you can afford. Scott Hallsworth opts for a moderately aged piece of beef fillet for his Japanese starter recipe, serving it alongside tangy ponzu sauce, onion salsa and wafer thin garlic crisps. Any leftover onion salsa can be stored in the fridge for up to five days and used to add kick to soups, stir fries, or salads.

First published in 2016
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Beef fillet tataki

Ponzu sauce

Onion ponzu salsa

Garlic crisps

To serve

  • 1 bunch of spring onions, washed and finely sliced into round slices


  • bowl of ice
  • mandoline


Begin by preparing the ponzu sauce. Mix together the soy sauce, rice vinegar and lemon juice, stirring until well combined. Weigh out 35g for the salsa, reserving the rest for serving
For the onion salsa, combine the ponzu sauce with the onion and garlic purée and mix well. Slowly whisk in the grapeseed oil and refrigerate until required
To make the garlic crisps, use a mandoline to finely slice the cloves into thin pieces and place them into a saucepan. Cover with milk and bring to the boil, then immediately remove from the heat. Drain the garlic and rinse gently in cold running water, patting dry on a piece of kitchen towel
Heat the vegetable oil in a small saucepan until it reaches 140°C, then fry the garlic slices in small batches until they are golden brown. Drain well on kitchen paper and keep in a warm place until required
  • 500ml of vegetable oil, for frying
Place a cast iron pan over a high heat and allow to heat up until almost smoking. Meanwhile, generously season the beef fillet all over with salt and pepper. Drizzle over a small amount of grapeseed oil, then place the fillet into the hot pan to sear on all sides
Once the fillet has colour on the outside but is still very rare quickly remove it from the pan and plunge the beef into an ice bath to halt the cooking process. Leave to chill for 1 minute, then remove from the ice bath and place on a sheet of kitchen paper to rest
Thinly slice the fillet into even pieces and arrange across a deep plate or dish. Spoon a line of the onion salsa across the beef slices and top with a row of sliced spring onion. Drizzle over a little of the leftover ponzu sauce and garnish with the garlic crisps
  • 1 bunch of spring onions, washed and finely sliced into round slices
First published in 2016

As head chef at the acclaimed Nobu for six years, Australian-born Scott Hallsworth has mastered the ins and outs of Japanese cuisine, which he now showcases in his fun, playful dishes at Freak Scene.

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