B. A. Beef tartare
jasmine and shiso rice bomb | ume plum paint
Serves 4 persons
One of our most popular dishes at le café is steak tartare, a classic dish with a Blackie spin. I use ribeye because of the ﬁrmness and marbling of the meat. There is no egg yolk in this recipe, instead it’s full of fresh snappy ﬂavors that remind me of my time in Hong Kong and my exposure to Asian cuisine. The meat is awakened with togarashi, a Japanese chili powder, along with mustard, chives and lemon juice. It’s just divine! This plate is coupled with a preserved plum sauce called Ume, that is thickened using a modiﬁed tapioca starch. I ﬁnish off the plate with thin crispy ﬁcelle croutons. It doesn’t get any better than this!
Step One: Steak Tartare
1 lb ribeye of beef – cut into 2 cm cubes
3 pieces shallots, peeled and diced
2 tsp chives
3 tbsp Triple Crunch mustard from Anton Kozliks Canadian Mustard *
1 piece lime juice (adjust to taste)
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
To taste Maldon sea salt
To taste black pepper
To taste togarashi powder
* Next time you’re in Toronto, head to the St. Lawrence Market and check out Anton Kozliks’ mustard stand. He sells an amazing mustard called “Triple Crunch” which is a blend of three types of mustard that gives an incredible pop and crunch in your mouth. You have to experience this to believe it!
In a stainless steel bowl, combine the diced ribeye of beef with all other ingredients.
Step Two: Tempura Batter
½ cup cornstarch
½ cup flour
2 cups iced water
In a bowl combine all ingredients and mix together by hand until just incorporated. Do not over mix as this will make the batter too tough. Lumps are okay!
Step Three: Shiso Rice Bomb
1 cup jasmine rice
1½ cup water
2 tsp shiso powder (careful it’s seasoned)
1 litre vegetable oil (in a heavy-bottomed pot)
Combine the rice and water and cook until desired tenderness is reached. Transfer cooked rice to a baking sheet and spread it out to allow it to cool quickly to room temperature. Sprinkle the rice with the shiso powder and then transfer to a stainless steel bowl. Using wet hands pick up one tablespoon of rice and roll into a small sphere, slightly compressing the rice. Repeat until you have eight balls. Put the balls in the fridge to firm up. Heat the oil to 375° F. Now dip each ball into the tempura batter one by one and fry in hot oil until light brown and crisp.
Step Four: Ume Plum Paint
1 pc ume plum (preserved)
½ pint blueberries
4 tbsp honey
1 tsp shiso powder (for flavour and colour)
½ cup balsamic vinegar
½ cup water
¼ cup cornstarch
In a small saucepot combine all the ingredients except for the cornstarch and water. Cook over medium-high heat until volume is reduced to a quarter of the original. In a separate bowl mix the cornstarch with the cold water and mix until a smooth slurry is achieved. Whisk the slurry into the hot mixture gradually just until a toffee consistency is reached. Remove from the heat and purée in the blender until smooth. Set aside at room temperature in a squeezy bottle.
Pack the mixed steak tartare into a metal or plastic ring. You won’t find tabasco sauce in my recipe but let’s use the base of the bottle to tamper down the meat so it is a tight firm cylinder. Once tamped down remove the ring and repeat for the remaining three plates. Garnish the top of each disk of steak tartare with two of the warmed shiso balls. Take a teaspoon and add a drop or droplets of the ume sauce. Allow your creativity to fly here! Finally garnish the plate with a thin, sliced baguette. To add a flare to your baguette, lay on a baking tray and drench in olive oil and season. Bake in an oven until golden brown and serve with the steak tartare warm.