A slightly Japanese salad of steak leaves – a tale of loaves and fishes

A friend broke a favourite glass, and offered, indeed, insisted on cooking lunch to make up for it – a very generous offer. And quite a clever one as it takes just minutes.

This is also a very clever way of making one steak do for three people!

The inspiration for this recipe 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 Japanese sauce he mentions, but you could try deglazing the pan with sake or mirin if you want to accentuate the oriental aspects of this salad.

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


Recipe for a slightly Japanese salad of steak leaves

Serves 2…or even 3 with lots of crusty bread


  • 1 small beef steak – approx. 150g/6 oz – could be rump or fillet
  • olive oil for frying
  • freshly ground black pepper…. or if possible a pinch of Urfa pepper flakes, whose earthiness accentuates the truffle in the oil
  • 150g/6 oz (a bag of mixed, washed leaves) 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

  • 2 tbsp truffle oil
  • juice and zest of half a small lemon juice
  • 2 tsp good quality soy sauce
  • thick balsamic vinegar for deglazing


  1. Get some olive oil heating good and hot 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 (if there is lots of juice, you will need to reduce until it’s syrupy). 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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