Grilled Yeal Chops with Sanshō Butter

Ko Ushi no Sanshō Yaki

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

An American Taste of Japan

An American Taste of Japan

By Elizabeth Andoh

Published 1985

  • About

The Japanese herb sanshō is wonderfully aromatic and quite lovely with grilled meats and fish. Here I’ve used it to flavor butter that melts into a rich sauce, highlighting the subtle flavor of grilled veal chops.


  • ½ stick (2 ounces) fresh sweet butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons sanshō (fragrant Japanese pepper)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons saké (Japanese rice wine)
  • 4 small veal loin chops, each about 6 ounces and no more than inches thick
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil


Bring the butter to room temperature but don’t let it melt. With a fork or small whisk, whip the butter until fluffy. Beat in the parsley, grated lemon zest, and Japanese pepper until thoroughly incorporated. Fill a small dish or bowl with the butter, smoothing the surface with a knife or spatula. Chill the butter until really firm. (The butter will keep well, covered, in the refrigerator for several weeks—beyond that time the delicate fragrance of the pepper fades.)

Preheat your broiler or outdoor grill. Rub the salt and rice wine into both sides of the meat and let it rest for 5 minutes. Brush the surfaces of the chops very lightly with the oil to keep them from sticking, and broil or grill them over intense heat for 2 minutes. Turn the chops and continue to cook over high heat for another 3–4 minutes. Either lower your broiler to medium heat or move your chops to a less hot area of the grill, and cook for 5–6 minutes more on each side for rosy veal (an internal temperature of about 160 degrees). Remove the chops to preheated individual plates and place a generous pat of herb butter on each. If you like, the butter can be decoratively scooped into a sphere with a melon bailer, or scraped into curlicuelike shavings with a butter hook. Serve at once, allowing the butter to melt naturally, forming a sauce for the veal.