The Tataki Cooking Method

The Tataki cooking method is primarily used in Japanese cuisine. The Tataki cooking method can be used to cook all kinds of meats but it is mainly used to cook fish, particularly, tuna fish. The word Tataki has two meanings, the first one refers to hammering or pounding pieces of meat. The second meaning of this cooking method refers to that piece of fish that has been left raw in the middle but smeared from the outside.

A person cooking salmon with a culinary torch

When we talk about the origin of this cooking technique, we find that this cooking method came up on the surface in the 17th century. They said that in the region of Kochi known as Tosa, a samurai invented this cooking technique after he met with a group of European travelers. These travelers made food on a grid at extremely high temperatures. Impressed by this innovation, the samurai of Tosa also worked with flame and came up with the Tataki cooking method.

The only secret of this cooking method is that you must cook meat on a high flame. This can help you attain all the characteristics that you want in your Tataki foods. The food becomes smeared on the outside along with a crisp, but it remains raw in the middle which makes your food incredibly moist and delicious, just the way you like it.

Pros and Cons of Eating Tataki Foods

Tataki foods can be the most proteinaceous foods on earth because it contains fish, beef, mutton, or chicken as their core ingredient. Apart from the moist and tender makeup of these foods, there are some other known advantages of these foods along with some potential setbacks.

Pros of Eating Tataki Foods

  • As already mentioned, these foods are extremely rich in protein: muscle building food required for a healthy died.
  • These foods contain omega-3 fatty acids which are considered to be the natural anti-inflammatory compounds. These compounds are important for proper brain activities along with keeping all the cardiovascular diseases at bay.
  • These foods contribute to making your skin and hair look better. In other words, Tataki foods can be beneficial for acne prone skin, or rough and dry hair.
  • Most of the Tataki foods contain seaweed which contains abundant amounts of Vitamin A. It also contains a balanced quantity of iodine that helps to make your thyroid healthy.

Cons of Eating Tataki Foods

  • Tataki foods may contain a higher level of salt which can sometimes exceed your daily limit. It can be a health risk for some people. Better prepare it by yourself and keep and eye on the amount of salt.
  • People who have a fish-based diet or follow the pescatarian diet should be careful while consuming reef fishes because some species may contain ciguatera toxin.
  • The middle part of the meat or fish can be bland in taste. It is better to couple up Tataki foods with some sauce or vegetables.
Man seasoning slices of fishes

Examples of Tataki Foods

We have discussed the good and the ugly side of these foods but when we look at it, there are more pros to it than cons. You can keep eating this Japanese cuisine and here are ten Tataki food recipes you can try out:

  • Ginger Beef Tataki with Dipping Sauce of Lemon-Soy
  • Tuna Tataki with Ginger Sauce
  • Beef Tataki with Delicious Ponzu
  • Tuna Tataki with Crusted Sesame
  • Beef Fillet Tataki with Garlic Crisps and Onion Ponzu
  • Beef Tataki Rolls with Lime and Wassabi
  • Yuzu Truffle with Seared Beef Tataki
  • Seared Tuna Tataki with Soy and Sesame Dressing
  • Beef Tataki with Blue Cheese
  • Toasted Macadamia Nuts with Tuna Tataki

Ginger Beef Tataki with Dipping Sauce of Lemon-Soy Recipe

The ginger beef coupled with the lemon-soy dipping sauce is perfect for tonight’s dinner. This beef will certainly leave you craving for some more and this will not be the only time you will be making this recipe. This recipe will make six servings and we assure you that you will not leave anything behind.

Lemon-Soy Dipping SauceIngredients:

  • Soy Sauce, 1/2 cup
  • Sweet Japanese Rice Wine Mirin, 2 tablespoons
  • Dried Bonito shavings, 1 tablespoon
  • Fresh lemon juice, 1/4 cup
  • Water, 2 tablespoons

Procedure: Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk them all together. When they are properly mixed then use a strainer to strain all the shavings of the Bonito. Cover this sauce and keep it at room temperature. This sauce can be made four hours prior to the dish.

Ginger Beef Tataki – Ingredients:

  • Vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons
  • Soy sauce, 6 tablespoons
  • Thinly sliced green onions, 2
  • Fresh lemon juice, 2 tablespoons
  • Flattened garlic cloves, 2 larges
  • Finely grated fresh ginger, 6 tablespoons
  • Lemons cut into wedges, 2
  • Trimmed beef tenderloin, 1-2 pound
  • Mirin, 1/4 cup
  • Golden brown sugar, 2 tablespoons
  • Minced fresh ginger, 2 tablespoons
  • Finely grated Daikon, 6 tablespoons
  • Finely chopped green onions, 4
  • Lemon-Soy Dipping Sauce
  • Watercress or Shiso, to serve


Two slices of Tataki beef with some spices

Cook the Beef: Start by preheating the oven at the temperature of 400F. Take your beef pieces and rub 1 tablespoon of olive oil all over it along with some salt and pepper. Take a large skillet and add the remaining oil into it and heat it over medium-high flame. Add beef pieces into the skillet and cook it for 5 minutes or till it gets brown. Change the sides often to avoid charring.

Roast the Beef: Take the beef pieces from the skillet and transfer it to the roasting pan. Insert a roasting thermometer in the center and put it into the oven. When this thermometer touches the point of 130F, take the pan out of the oven. This may take 30-35 minutes tops.

Marinate the Beef: Take a large plastic bag that can be resealed and add soy sauce, mirin, brown sugar, thinly sliced green onions, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, flattened garlic cloves, and minced fresh ginger into it. Then take the roasted beef and put it into the same bag to marinate. Seal this bag and put it into the refrigerator to let it cool. Turn the sides of the marinade regularly and refrigerate this for 4 hours or, if you are not in hurry, then for a day.

Garnish and Serve: Take the beef out of the plastic bag and throw away the remaining contents. Cut the beef in thick slices and cover them. Let it rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Delicately arrange the beef slices on the plate and add green onions, ginger, and daikon on the sides. Garnish the beef slices with shiso and the lemon wedges. Serve the plate along with the dipping sauce. Arrange this sauce in the individual bowls and devour the deliciousness!

Evolution of Tataki Foods

As already mentioned, Tataki foods originated in Japan in the 17th century and it has been part of Japanese cuisine since then. In the early 18th century, the Japanese cooks made use of various hammers and pounders to make lean pieces of meat. They also used a grid to act as a buffer between the meats and the flame. This grid also provided the necessary means to provide crisp on top of the meats.

Nowadays, new kinds of cooking hammers are used alongside electronic oven for roasting purposes. Not only this but thermometers are also used to check the temperature of the meat pieces from the center. Because we want raw from the middle! These thermometers can be the best way to check this.