This is a classic Japanese appetizer that will appeal to many fans of sashimi. This simple preparation highlights the flavors of the meat, with a sauce made from cooked beets, soy sauce, and mirin; the nutty flavor of toasted sesame seeds; and a hint of heat from a pinch of Sichuan pepper.
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*Note: Mirin is a fermented rice alcohol that is less strong in taste than sake and sometimes has a plum flavor. It is widely available in Asian grocery stores.
Heat a nonstick skillet with a drop of sunflower oil. When the skillet is very hot, sear the steak briefly on each side, so it remains rare. Place the cooked meat on paper towels and set aside in the refrigerator. Combine the beets with the soy sauce in the bowl of a food processor and blend. In a bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the mirin and add to the beets.
Transfer to a saucepan and cook gently for 1 minute over low heat to make a smooth sauce. Let cool, then add the sake and the sesame oil, whisking to keep the sauce smooth. Slice the meat finely and place in a serving dish, then combine with a little sauce and the chopped scallion. Sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds and the Sichuan pepper. Serve the tataki, chilled, with warmed Krisprolls® or slices toasted of country bread.