Hye Thyme Cafe: Beef Negimaki

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Beef Negimaki

I stand corrected. It turns out this isn't really a Negimaki. I always thought the name had to do with the preparation, but it turns out the "Negi" in Negimaki stands for scallions. That's how I have mostly had it prepared...once in a while with asparagus, so when I came across a fabulous deal on haricot vert at BJ's the other day, I decided to go with that.

Also, according to Wikipedia at least, it's a broiled dish, but not one of the recipes I looked at before starting had broiled theirs. Maybe I'll try that next time. I actually attempted to tie the bundles with scallions, but that didn't work out at all! I'm not sure if I was trying to get them tighter than they needed to be and was pulling too tight or what, but no matter what I tried (raw, blanched, etc.), I just kept breaking them. Good thing I had some kitchen twine in the drawer, because my silicon roasting ties would have been way too big, and I hate trying to work around toothpicks when searing.  

Does anyone have any herb tying tips to share?????

We go out for Japanese fairly regularly. Sometimes we'll order an appetizer version of this, sometimes one of us will get it for dinner. This was just a plain ol' weeknight dinner, so I didn't get fancy with it, but it's usually served sliced on a diagonal and standing upright. We skipped the chopsticks this time around and served them whole with fork and knife.

2 1/2 lb beef round sandwich steak
  (or other beef sliced thin)
scallions (asparagus OR haricot vert)
3/4 c light soy sauce
1/2 c sake
1/2 c mirin
1/3 c sugar
Sesame oil
2 t cornstarch
chopped scallions and toasted sesame seeds (optional)

If your meat is on the thick side, spray a sheet of plastic wrap lightly with cooking spray, fold it over a slice of beef and pound out thinner with a meat mallet. For thicker cuts, you don't need the spray, but with meats that are on the thin side, it helps assure that it won't stick to the plastic and tear.

Lay your veggies cross-wise at one end (obviously use more if making with scallions, less with thicker asparagus - I used six beans in each bundle) and roll. If you're using asparagus, you might also want to blanch them first.


Tie off the bundles with scallions, or kitchen twine... or secure with toothpicks.

Stir together the soy sauce, sake, mirin, and sugar. You might want to heat it a little if the sugar doesn't want to dissolve. Marinate the bundles in the soy mixture for at least 30". Just make sure if you heated it that it's cooled before you dunk your beef - you don't want to start it cooking yet.

Reserving the marinade, remove the bundles and pat dry. In batches so they're not over-crowded, sear each in sesame oil and set aside.

Return all of the bundles to the pan, along with the reserved marinade and any drippings. Allow to simmer until tender and cooked through (will depend on how thin you pounded the beef, how long it marinated, etc.)

Pull the bundles back out of the pan, tenting with foil to keep warm.

Stir the cornstarch into a little water to create a slurry, then add it to the sauce and cook until thickened.

To serve, spoon a little sauce over each bundle, and top with chopped scallions and toasted sesame seeds.


  1. You suggest pounding the meat to make it thin,please follow your own advice.Your meat is way too thick for a proper negimaki.And yes it is traditionally made with scallions.You can also grill them for a different method than pan frying.

    1. Yup, I would definitely pound them out thinner next time. Also, I saw several recipes after I did this that suggested they should be broiled. I only ever use the broiler to brown the top of something, so with my luck, I'd set off the smoke detector or something. ;)


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