Japanese Beef Steak is very close to western steaks except for the sauce. The sauce is a soy sauce based sauce, a little bit like Teriyaki sauce but maybe less sweet. Even though Japanese people typically don’t eat big steaks as often as people in the US, the dish is still one of their favorites.
Historically, Japanese people didn’t eat much meat other than wild game. They were agricultural people, and cows were part of the work force rather than food. Especially after Buddhism came into the country, eating beef was prohibited or avoided until the end of Japan’s closed-door policy in the 1860s. With the new growth of western styled food, cooking beef became more accepted. The beef steak was popularized by a western style food restaurant chain in Osaka in the 1920s. The dish was called “Bifuteki,” which probably came from the French word “bifteck,” and became widespread all over Japan.
“Bifuteki” can be found at many kinds of restaurants in Japan: Traditional Japanese, Family, Steak House, Teppanyaki restaurants and so on. Teppanyaki restaurants may be the most interesting place to eat steaks because it is cooked at the grill in front of you. There are similar types of restaurants in the US, but they are not really the same thing. The Teppanyaki restaurants in Japan are usually more upscale, and chefs there don’t do silly performances but instead more elegantly show their very skillful and sleek knife usage while cooking steaks.
Our Japanese Beef Steak may not be better than at Teppanyaki restaurants, but we have to say it’s pretty good! Adjust the cooking time depending on the size of your steaks and how rare or well done you like your steak. It is very quick and easy, but it can be a very special dinner.
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
- 2 Tbsp Sake
- 2 Tbsp water
- 2 1" thick New York steaks
- salt and white pepper
- Slice garlic thinly and set aside.
- Mix sugar, Soy Sauce, Sake, water in a bowl to make sauce. Set aside.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper on the steaks.
- Heat frying pan at medium high heat and add oil. Add sliced garlic and cook until browned. Remove garlic from the pan.
- Add steaks to the same pan and cook about 2 minutes per side or however you like. Add the sauce, coating the meat with the sauce, and remove the meat from the pan. Reduce the sauce for a minute.
- Place the meat on a dish, pour the reduced sauce over them, then top with the garlic for garnish.