Air-Dried Beef and Kimchi

You will need to begin this recipe one day ahead.

Ingredients

  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) marbled Scotch fillet (rib eye), sinew removed, trimmed
  • 75 ml ( fl oz/ cup) fish sauce

Kimchi

  • 65 g ( oz/½ cup) sea salt
  • 2 litres (70 fl oz/8 cups) water
  • ½ large Chinese cabbage (wong bok), outer leaves and base removed
  • 50 g ( oz) salt
  • 50 ml ( fl oz) fish sauce
  • 125 g ( oz) ginger, finely minced
  • 90 g ( oz) garlic, finely minced
  • 100 g ( oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 125 g ( oz) French shallots, peeled, finely minced
  • 35 ml ( fl oz) sesame oil
  • 50 g ( oz) sesame seeds, lightly toasted
  • 30 g (1 oz) shichimi togarashi spice

Method

Using your hands, mould the piece of Scotch fillet into a nice compact shape, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the freezer to harden.

For the kimchi, prepare a brine of the sea salt and water in a stockpot. Separate and wash the cabbage leaves, place in the brine solution and weigh down for 24 hours at room temperature. At this stage the cabbage should feel wilted. Rinse under gently running water and lay on clean cloths until completely dry.

Add the remaining kimchi ingredients to a small bowl and stir to combine. Pour the mixture over the dried cabbage leaves and agitate often to ensure they are well coated in the mixture. Taste and adjust the flavour if necessary — you should be looking for a pleasant, sweet, salty and spicy flavour profile.

Once the meat has frozen, remove from the freezer, allow it to thaw just slightly, and use a mandolin or rotary slicer to slice very thin slices across the grain, and place on a wire rack for drying. Use a clean spray bottle to mist a thin coating of fish sauce over the beef.

Place the cabbage leaves and beef slices in a dehydrator for 4–6 hours or a 50°C (120°F/Gas ¼) fan-forced oven until crisp. The beef will be ready when the fat is translucent and the meat has a crisp snap in the mouth. Similarly the leaves will be delicate but crisp.