Paradoxically, there is little beef in the Japanese diet, yet some of the finest steaks in the world can be had in Japan. Kobe beefsteaks are justly famous—they are incredibly tender and beautifully marbelized (vastly expensive, too!). For this dish, treat yourself to a good cut and enjoy it a new way.
Trim the steaks of any excess fat, if necessary (these trimmings can be melted down and used instead of oil). Cut the green peppers in quarters and remove the seeds or wash and pat dry the okra pods. Soak the bean sprouts in a bowl of cold water for a few moments, then drain them well. Discard any badly bruised or discolored sprouts, as these will be bitter.
Prepare your dipping sauce and condiments before cooking your meat and vegetables. Each diner should be given a small, shallow bowl. Into each bowl pour a generous tablespoon of soy sauce, thinned out with
Use a heavy, cast-iron skillet, and oil it lightly. Over high heat, sear the steaks on both sides (you can lower the heat and cook a few moments longer if you like your meat medium done). The Japanese slice their steak into
Remove the steak strips to a warmed platter or individual plates and lightly cover with aluminum foil to keep it warm while you cook the vegetables. Stir-fry the green peppers for 2 minutes or the okra for 3 minutes. Next stir-fry the bean sprouts for a minute, adding a bit more oil to the skillet if necessary. Serve the vegetables with the meat.
© 1986 Elizabeth Andoh. All rights reserved.