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Asian carpaccio with ginger, chilli and radish

Carpaccio is not one of those dishes I would have previously pictured myself eating, let alone promoting to all and sundry! I don’t even eat steak very rare, and in fact don’t eat a huge amount of red meat at all. However, if I am going to eat it, I would rather eat small quantities of something beautiful and extravagant, and I think this fits the bill 🙂

I first had carpaccio as a bite sized dish as part of a degustation meal some years ago, and tried it in the spirit of giving everything a go. I found it surprisingly delicious, and ordered it a few times at restaurants, but didn’t think of preparing it myself. A few years ago, our friend Joe prepared classic beef carpaccio for an Italian dinner party, and took the sensible step of having the butcher slice the steak – slicing it thin enough myself was one of the things that had put me off trying it.

Traditional carpaccio with parmesan and truffles

Since then I’ve made it as either an entree or as part of a buffet style meal a few times, always with a great response from guests, even from those who might normally steer clear – if you’re still unconvinced, perhaps think of it as beef sashimi rather than ridiculously rare steak :).

Now, for the specifics. The steak needs to be very lean, very tender, and very thinly sliced. I get eye fillet from my butcher and ask him to slice it for me as thinly as possible. You could do it yourself if a butcher won’t, but I’d semi-freeze first, and use a very sharp knife. The classic carpaccio is with olive oil, lemon, rocket and parmesan, with truffle optional. As it happens my butcher also sells truffles, so I thought why not!, but it’s certainly not essential. The other version is adapted from a Jamie Oliver recipe, and is very different, but as you can imagine also wonderful, with the sesame, soy and lime plus the crunchy radish and herbs.

Traditional and Asian carpaccio

Traditional beef carpaccio with rocket, parmesan and truffle

  • 250g eye fillet, sliced extremely thinly
  • 2 large handfuls rocket
  • 50g parmesan
  • 10g black truffle
  • olive oil to drizzle
  • lemon juice to drizzle (about 1)
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Carefully drape eye fillet slices in a single layer on a couple of large plates, overlapping slightly. Scatter over torn rocket, shaved parmesan, and shaved truffle. Drizzle generously with olive oil and lemon, and season well with salt and pepper.

Makes two large platters

Beef carpaccio with ginger, chilli, radish and coriander

  • 250g eye fillet, sliced extremely thinly
  • 5 cm piece fresh ginger
  • 2 red chillies
  • 1 bunch small radishes
  • 1/2 bunch fresh coriander
  • sesame oil to drizzle
  • soy sauce to drizzle
  • lime juice to drizzle (about 1-2)

Carefully drape eye fillet slices in a single layer on a couple of large plates, overlapping slightly. Scatter over julienned ginger, thinly sliced chilli and radish, and torn coriander. Drizzle generously with sesame oil, soy sauce, and lime, and season lightly with salt if needed.

Makes two large platters