Prime Steak with Japanese sauces (Ponzu and Shiso)

I had a couple of prime rib-eyes (Costco) and I wanted to try out another idea from Harumi Kurihara’s cookbooks. You know that the Japanese invented Kobe beef and really enjoy a good steak. I wondered how you could possibly improve on a good piece of beef with salt and pepper but I wanted to give the concept a chance. At any rate you sear the steak using your favorite method, leaving it red inside and scorched brown on the surfaces. We broiled ours. Then you cut it up into bite size cubes – this allows the use of chopsticks if desired – and serve. Everyone gets a little bowl of Ponzu sauce, and a dab of wasabi (as if for sushi), some mashed potatoes (I followed Harumi’s recipe for mashed potatoes and it came out very tasty) and a dab of shiso mayonnaise.

For Shiso mayonnaise – assuming you can’t find shiso leaves, get some basil and mint leaves and finely chop about 10 of each and mix with about a quarter cup of mayonnaise, plus a dab of light soy. Wonderful with the mashed potatoes and darn good on the meat.

Anyway long story short we were all amazed at how great a little ponzu sauce is on a bite of good steak. If you are not familiar with it, it looks like soy sauce but does not have that strong salty flavor. It is diluted with mirin and citrus juices, so you get a strong lemony tang which is absolutely delightful. I think it is very widely available these days in normal grocery stores.

She also has a recipe for clams steamed in Ponzu sauce and served with toasted sesame seeds which I imagine will be fabulous – and tofu that is cooked like steak and served with Ponzu.

I’m a convert to Ponzu sauce as are my friends who ate that meal and I hope I can convince people to give it a try.


I make my own ponzu-esque sauce at home and dip seared, rare Wagyu in it. Very nice combo IMHO. Wine pairing is difficult though.

Bill, I don’t buy or drink much Australian wine, but considering the sauce, I opened a Clancy’s red (Peter Lehmann). It was typically rich and fruity and actually did not seem at all dinged by the Ponzu. I’m not sure I would want to try a Leoville-LasCases with this combination.

I typically gravitate toward a young, big nut zin.