Beef and Vegetable Rolls
375 g/12 oz lean beef, in thin slices
3 spring onions (scallions)
125 g/4 oz green beans
1 piece pickled radish (takuan)
1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons sake or mirin
3 tablespoons Japanese soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons water
Ask the butcher to cut the beef into thin slices, and if they are not very thin, take them home and pound them lightly with a meat mallet on a wooden board until no more than 6 mm (1/4 in) thick. Then cut them into strips about 5 cm (2 in) wide.
Peel carrots and trim into sticks the same length as the green beans - about 15 cm (6 in) long and 6 mm (1/4 in) square. Trim spring onions to the same length. Top and tail the beans, and cut the pickled radish into narrow strips.
Bring a pan of water to the boil, add the carrots and boil for about 4 minutes or until almost tender. Lift out. Add the beans. Cook uncovered for about 3 minutes, drain and drop into iced water to stop cooking.
Sift a little cornflour over each strip of beef, and place a bundle consisting of 2 carrot sticks, 2 or 3 beans, a couple of lengths of spring onion and pickled radish on each of the beef strips. Roll up, starting at one end of the vegetables and completely enclosing them in the beef. Fasten with a wooden toothpick. Dust outside of rolls lightly with cornflour.
Heat a large, heavy frypan with oil and brown the beef rolls on all sides, turning them over with tongs. Combine ingredients for sauce and add to the pan. Simmer for about 5 minutes until they are evenly coloured and flavoured with the sauce. Turn off heat and allow to cool slightly before cutting crossways into 5 cm (2 in) slices.
Serve with steamed rice.
Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)