Technically, the Japanese never used Kobe beef in salads. In fact, traditional Japanese salads were rather simple fare compared to the complex mixes of multiple vegetables, noodles, beans, and whatnot covered with all different types of dressing that we are used to.
Still, for a fun Spring menu, a Japanese inspired salad with thinly sliced Kobe beef is a nice ethnically themed dinner for an al fesco invite for your favorite friends. Also, salads are preparation friendly, so you can toss it together, literally, in a half-hour right after work.
As always, the challenge with Kobe beef is pairing it with something that accents but doesn’t overpower the delicate meat. Since the steak takes center stage in this salad, you’ll want a good cut, like tenderloin or flank steak.
Heat the grill to maximum, well over 500-degrees. Be sure to dry the meat on a paper towel. Dried meat browns more quickly. Grill the steak on each side for two minutes for rare and four minutes maximum for medium. Any longer on the grill and the meat turns dry and tasteless.
Tent the steak with aluminum foil and let rest for at least ten minutes. When ready, cut the steak into as think as slices as you can against the grain.
As you rest the steak, prepare the salad. Mix the following ingredients in a bowl:
Dress the salad with a homemade or store-bought soy sauce-sesame dressing, but use less than normal so the dressing doesn’t overpower the Kobe steak. Finally, gently lay the sliced steak across the salad and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
With the Kobe steak on the salad, you’ll want to serve this with a fork and a knife. With the steak cooked well, it should cut easily. The presentation on the plate with the gentle pink of the steak, the orange of the carrots, the white of the dikon, and the greens will set your guests up for enjoyment. With each forkful, the slightly bitter and salty salad will accent the buttery taste of the Kobe steak.