Called gyu negi maki, this is a favorite dish at izakayas (eating pubs) across Japan. Thin slices of beef are wrapped around scallions (or Japanese negi) and basted with a glossy, savory marinade while grilling. The sharpness of the scallions cuts the richness of the marinated beef. You can find thin-sliced beef at Asian markets, Japanese markets (look for sukiyaki beef), or Korean markets (look for bulgogi beef). Wagyu is also terrific with this dish.
- Yield: 4 Servings
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- 1 tablespoon sake
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound rib-eye or sirloin, sliced horizontally paper thin (ask your butcher to do this)
- 12 scallions, both ends trimmed, so each is about 6
- inches long
- 12 toothpicks
- Mix together the soy sauce, mirin, sake, and black pepper in a bowl to make the marinade; set aside. Divide the beef into 4 equal portions. Arrange 1 portion into an approximately 6-inch-wide “sheet,” overlapping the slices. Place 3 of the scallions lengthwise along one side of the beef: 2 scallions with the white parts in one direction, 1 scallion with the white part in the other direction. Roll the beef around the scallions. Secure the roll with 3 evenly spaced toothpicks. Repeat with the remaining portions of beef and scallions to make 4 rolls.
- Preheat a grill to hot. Brush and oil the grate well. Grill the rolls for about 6 minutes total, turning every 20 to 30 seconds. If you have a flare-up, shift the rolls to another part of the grate or use a spray bottle. After about 3 minutes, brush on the marinade. Keep grilling and turning the rolls for 3 more minutes, brushing them with more marinade after every turn. When they’re done, the rolls will be browned, glossy, and glazed. Transfer the rolls to a cutting board and let them rest for 1 minute. Remove the toothpicks, cut each roll in 4 equal parts, and serve.