Have you ever tried Chaplin steak? This is one of the most tender steaks that you can get in Japan, and it’s tenderized using onions instead of traditional methods. I really enjoy a good steak from time to time, and the first time that I tried Chaliapin steak, I fell in love with the flavor. In this guide, I am going to explain what makes this recipe so tasty and give you several other Japanese steak recipes to try.
What is Japanese Style Steak?
Since Japan is an island nation, the amount of beef that they have access to in the country is somewhat limited. The beef that is available tends to be quite expensive, especially for the cuts that are on the tender side. For this reason, the beef that is often made into a steak is a little tougher, which means that you will need to tenderize the meat before or during the cooking process.
Many people use onions to tenderize meat like in the Chaliapin steak recipe that we are going to look at next, while others prefer to marinate their meat before cooking it. In Japan, teriyaki and soy are some of the most common flavors for marinating steak.
Chaliapin Steak Recipe
As I already explained, Chaliapin steak is a dish that is made using onions as a tenderizer. It originated in the Imperial Hotel when an opera singer wanted their steak to be extra tender. To make this recipe, you will need to start with a sirloin steak. Wrap the meat in plastic wrap, and then pound the meat until it is about 1/3 of an inch thick. Remove the plastic wrap, and pound it a bit more with the meat tenderizer.
When you are done pounding the steak, you will need to cut the steak in a diagonal fashion so that the cuts form a grid. Repeat these cuts on the other side, making sure that they are very shallow so that the cuts do not go completely through the meat. Grate an onion into very small pieces. Place half of the onions on a baking dish in a pile that is roughly the size of the steak. Place the steak on the onions, and then cover it with the remaining onions.
To fully tenderize the meat, cover the tray with plastic wrap, and then place it in a cool place for about 30 minutes. If you cannot find a cool location, place it in the refrigerator for about an hour. The cooler temperature will require the meat to sit longer, but it ensures that it remains at a safe temperature. Chop half of an onion, and in a large skillet, melt half of a tablespoon of butter. Sauté the onions over high heat until the onions begin to brown. Reduce the heat, season the onions with salt and pepper, and then continue to sauté them so that they brown. Set the onions aside.
To cook the steak, you will first need to remove the onions, and season the steak with salt and pepper. Add olive oil to the pan that you used to sauté the onions, and then cook the steak over medium heat until it is the desired doneness. Leaving the beef juices in the pan, add the sautéed onions and a drop of soy sauce into the pan and stir until they are well coated. Sprinkle the steak with chopped parsley and enjoy.
Chaliapin steak don is a dish that was featured in an episode of “Shokugeki no Soma,” which is an anime that is very popular in Japan. The steak is made basically the same way, but it is served over rice, and it comes with a sauce that is made out of red wine, soy sauce, and butter.
Japanese Steak Recipes
Chaliapin steak is one of my favorite Japanese steaks recipes to enjoy, but there are quite a few other ways that steaks are prepared in the country that you can enjoy at home. These recipes are easy to create, and they are absolutely delicious, so when you get a chance, try to create them at home. Some of my favorites include:
Japanese Pan Noodles with Steak
I really love the flavor of pan-fried noodles with steak, and you can enhance this dish by adding in more of your favorite vegetables. To create this recipe at home, you will need:
- Three tablespoons of olive oil (I prefer to use extra virgin olive oil for this recipe)
- One pound of sirloin steak (make sure that the steak is sliced thin)
- Two tablespoons of flour
- About three cups of udon noodles (this is about two packets)
- Eight ounces of sliced mushrooms
- Two julienned carrots
- One crown of broccoli
- ½ of a cup of sweet soy sauce (recipe below)
- Chives to garnish
- Toasted sesame seeds to garnish
- Cilantro to garnish
Start by cutting the broccoli into small florets. Add the broccoli and the carrots to a saucepan of boiling water and allow them to blanch for about a minute. After this time has passed, immediately dip the vegetables in a cold water bath so that the cooking process stops. When the vegetables cool, drain them, and set them aside for later.
In a wok, heat a tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. In the meantime, coat the steak in flour and cook it for about three to five minutes in the wok. When the steak is cooked to the desired doneness, you can begin cooking the noodles. Add another tablespoon of oil to the same pan, and then stir-fry the noodles for about two to four minutes. Then, toss in the mushrooms and continue to stir fry it until the mushrooms are browned and wilted.
Add in the blanched vegetables that you set aside, and give it another two minutes to cook. Coat the noodles in the sweet soy sauce and the steak, and allow it to heat for about a minute. Before serving, garnish the dish with the toasted sesame seeds, chives, and cilantro.
For the sweet soy sauce, you will need:
- One tablespoon of olive oil
- Two cloves of minced garlic
- Two tablespoons of mirin (you can use sherry or another sweet wine if you have it on hand)
- 1/3 of a cup of soy sauce
- One tablespoon of white wine vinegar
- Two tablespoons of brown sugar
- ½ of a tablespoon of freshly ground ginger (the powdered spice will work as well)
- One teaspoon of chili garlic sauce (sriracha can be substituted if you do not have the chili garlic sauce)
- One tablespoon of cornstarch (mixed with two tablespoons of water to thicken the sauce)
To start, heat the oil in a small saucepan. Then, over medium heat, sauté the garlic for about 30 seconds. Once the garlic has browned a bit, add the mirin and cook for another 30 seconds to a minute. Whisk the soy sauce, the vinegar, the brown sugar, the ginger, and the chili sauce into the saucepan, and bring the mixture to a simmer.
In a glass, combine the cornstarch and the water until there is no cornstarch left, and then slowly stir it into the sauce. Continue to cook and whisk the sauce for about three minutes so that it can thicken. This recipe makes about ½ of a cup of sauce, which should be enough to cover the pan-fried noodles that you are preparing.
This sauce also goes well over rice dishes, so feel free to try it with other dishes if you enjoy it.
Japanese Steak Bowl
This is a great steak recipe that can be created when you need to prepare a meal for friends or family that are visiting your home. You can use virtually any type of steak for this recipe, but I prefer to use the New York Strip. If you have another steak on hand that you prefer, feel free to use it in this recipe. To create this Japanese steak bowl, you will need:
- Two tablespoons of soy sauce
- Two tablespoons of mirin
- One tablespoon of sake
- One tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
- One tablespoon of sugar
- Two cloves of crushed garlic
- Two tablespoons of butter
- One pound of your favorite cut of steak (I prefer New York Strip for this recipe)
- Two cups of cooked rice
- Black pepper to taste
To create this rice bowl, you will need to start by combining the soy sauce, the mirin, the sake, and the sugar in a small bowl. Set it aside so that the flavors combine while you are cooking the steak. Heat a 10-inch iron skillet, and then add the oil to the skillet. If you do not have an iron skillet to use, any skillet will work; just don’t heat the pan before it is oiled.
When the oil is heated, place the steak in the skillet and cook it for seven or eight minutes. Make sure to flip the steak so that it cooks evenly, and when the time is up, you should have a medium-rare steak. If you want your steak a little more well done, you can add a minute or two to the total cooking time. When the steak has a nice crust on both sides, add the garlic and the butter to the skillet. Make sure to move the steak as the butter melts so that it coats the steak. If you need, use a spoon to ensure that the butter sauce completely coats the steak.
When the steak is fully coated in the butter, remove it from the skillet so that it can rest. It should be left alone for about eight minutes before you cut it. While the steak is resting, pour the sauce that you made already into the skillet. The burner should not be on, but the skillet should still be quite hot. The sauce will begin to boil as soon as it hits the pan. Smash the garlic down, and stir the mixture until it stops boiling.
When the steak has had a chance to rest, slice it diagonally into pieces that are relatively thin so that you can easily pick them up with chopsticks. To serve, place about one cup of rice into the bottom of a bowl, pour a little bit of the sauce over the rice, and garnish the dish with lettuce before adding the steak to the top of the bowl. Top with more sauce if desired and season with a bit of black pepper.
This is a recipe that I love because it mixes my western style tastes with the Japanese cuisine that I love. This is actually a recipe that was adapted from the original Chaliapin steak, and it is often served with rice, noodles, tempura, or some type of vegetable side. To create this recipe, you will need:
- Four sirloin steaks (If you cannot find good cuts of sirloin, try tenderloin, rib eye, or your favorite steak for this recipe)
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- Three tablespoons of butter
- One finely diced onion (I prefer Spanish onions for this dish)
- Two cloves of finely chopped garlic
- ¼ of a cup of mirin (any sweet wine will work as well)
- ¼ of a cup of soy sauce
- One teaspoon of rice vinegar
- One tablespoon of vegetable oil
- Two teaspoons of chopped parsley
Unless you purchased a cut of steak that is already extremely tender, you are going to need to tenderize them before you start cooking them. To do this, lay the steaks on a cutting board, and tap it with a meat tenderizer or the back side of a knife. It should only take about six to eight pounds with a meat tenderizer to get the steak ready. When the meat has been flattened enough, generously season both sides of the meat with salt and black pepper.
Next, start preparing the pan by heating two tablespoons of butter into it. I prefer to use a cast iron skillet, but use any skillet that you have available to you in your kitchen. Add the onions and the garlic to the skillet and sauté them for about eight minutes. When the onions become caramelized, increase the heat to medium and pour in the mirin and the soy sauce. Cook the mixture for about a minute so that you can reduce the amount of liquid in it by a little bit. Add the vinegar, and then stir it for about 30 seconds longer before transferring it to a bowl. Set the bowl aside.
Add the remaining tablespoon of butter and the vegetable oil in a large skillet. You can use the same one if you’d like. Once the butter has melted, cook the steaks over medium-high heat. Cook the steak for about four to five minutes. This will give you a medium-rare steak, but you can cook it longer if you prefer your steak well done. Flip the steaks once during the cooking process.
Once the steaks are cooked, you will want them to rest before you cut them. I like to allow the steaks to rest for about three to four minutes. While the steaks are resting, put the onions back into the skillet and allow them to cook for about 30 seconds to a minute. This allows the onions to take on some of the flavors from the steak, which will make it even tastier when you enjoy it. To serve, garnish the steak with the onions and the parsley.
So, are you ready to try some delicious Chaliapin steak? This version of Japanese steak is one of the easiest ways that you can make a tender steak that will have you coming back for a second serving. The next time that you are looking for a new recipe to try, the recipes above offer a few great meals that you and your entire family will enjoy.