Ingredients
For the Beef Negimaki
  • Salt
  • 12 thin spears asparagus (1/2 bunch), trimmed into pieces 7- to 8-inches long
  • 12 scallions (1 bunch), trimmed of roots and tough tops to pieces 7- to 8-inches long
  • 1 1/4 pounds flank steak, thinly sliced against grain on an angle into pieces 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide and 1/4- to 1/8-inch thick
  • Vegetable or peanut oil for drizzling plus 1 tablespoon
  • Coarse black pepper
  • 1/2 cup sake
  • 1/3 cup Tamari/soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Mirin
  • 2 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 2-inch piece ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
For the Japanese Salad
  • 3/4 pound spinach
  • 4 radishes or 2 watermelon radishes, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 carrot, cut into matchsticks or thin julienne
  • 1 small red bell pepper, quartered, seeded and thinly sliced across
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine or white distilled vinegar
  • 1 inch ginger root, grated
  • 1 large clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Tamari/soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon superfine sugar
  • 1/4 cup peanut or canola oil
Preparation

Set up an ice bath with cold water in a large bowl.
 
Bring a few inches of water to a boil. Add salt then cook asparagus 2 minutes; cold-shock and dry. Add scallions to boiling water and blanch 45 seconds to 1 minute; cold-shock and dry.

 
Arrange the meat on parchment or plastic in a single layer with a bit of space between each slice. Top with plastic or parchment and gently pound to 1/16-inch thick; season with pepper.
 
Working on cutting board, shingle/layer 3 or 4 slices of meat to form a 7- to 8-inch square. Place 3 scallions and 3 asparagus on each square and roll them up in the meat; secure each roll with 2 or 3 pieces of kitchen string. Repeat to form 3 more rolls.  
 
Combine sake, Mirin, Tamari, ginger and garlic in a shallow dish. Add beef rolls and marinade 15 minutes, turning them occasionally to coat all over with sauce.
 
While meat marinates, stem spinach and arrange on a platter or individual dishes. Arrange radish matchsticks, carrots and red peppers over the spinach.
 
Place the dressing ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Adjust salt and pepper, and reserve.
 
Heat a large, cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat with oil, 1 turn of the pan. Shake off any excess marinade and add rolls to skillet. Cook 5-6 minutes for medium-rare center and crispy outer layer; remove to cutting board. Add marinade to pan and reduce 1-2 minutes to form a syrupy sauce.
 
Cut string off beef rolls and cut each roll into 5 pieces, arrange pinwheels upright on plates in a small pool of the reduced sauce.
 
Spoon dressing over salad and serve alongside the negimaki.


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