While visiting a ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn; on the outskirts of Tokyo, owner and chef Sakamoto Shinichiro shared this recipe with us. He created it for a friend who did not, before tasting it, eat beef. For this recipe he started with a very fine cut of beef and used sea salt that has been dried in the traditional kilns of nearby Nie. He then cooked the meat on a makeshift grill over a charcoal pit. A gas grill or stove-top grill pan, however, will also work.
- 1 lb. New York strip (or boneless sirloin) steak, about 1 1/2" thick
- 1⁄4 cup coarse sea salt
- 1⁄2 cup sake (or enough to submerge meat)
- 1⁄2 cup soy sauce (or enough to submerge meat)
- Fresh watercress
Trim fat from steak and for easier handling, cut into 4 smaller steaks. Preheat grill.
Pour sea salt into a shallow pan. Dredge each steak in salt, turning to coat well on both sides. When grill is hot, sear steaks just until brown, about 3 minutes per side. (We like our steak on the rare side. If you prefer yours more well-done, add another 1–2 minutes per side at each stage of grilling.
Pour sake (or enough to submerge meat) into a bowl. Using tongs, dip steaks into sake to rinse off all salt. Return steaks to hot grill and sear, about 2 minutes per side.
Pour soy sauce (or enough to submerge meat) into bowl. Dip steaks into soy sauce and return once again to hot grill. Sear another 2 minutes per side.
Remove from grill and slice each steak into 5 pieces. Stick each piece with a small wooden skewer and garnish with fresh watercress.