Grilled Beef-Wrapped Burdock Root

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Complex

  • Makes Thirty

    3 in

    Beef Rolls

Appears in

Here’s an appetizer worth talking about—and I promise these meaty grilled rolls will stop the small talk at a cocktail party. With both the beef strips and the burdock marinated, these grilled rollups have a big beefy flavor and a delightful crunch from the strips of burdock root. The accent garnish of shichimi togarashi, a spice blend, gives a hint of warm—not fiery—heat that nicely complements the beef. If you can, head to an Asian market and look for boneless short ribs or other well-marbled beef that has been sliced paper-thin for sukiyaki. It will save you a lot of time. Otherwise, ask your butcher to slice it. If you end up doing it yourself, partially freeze the meat and cut it into paper-thin strips when it is firm and ice-cold.

Ingredients

Burdock Marinade

  • cups dashi (see Cook’s Note)
  • 3 tbsp. mirin (Japanese sweet cooking wine)
  • 2 tbsp. light soy sauce
  • 14 oz/400 g burdock root, scrubbed, trimmed, cut into matchsticks 3 in/7.5 cm long and about ⅛ in/3 mm wide and thick, and parboiled

Beef Marinade

  • 6 tbsp/90 ml. dark soy sauce
  • 6 tbsp/90 ml. mirin (Japanese sweet cooking wine)
  • 3 tbsp. sake
  • lb/570 g boneless short ribs, sliced into paper-thin strips in/14 cm. long and 1 in/2.5 cm. wide as for sukiyaki
  • 3 green onions, green tops only, cut into pieces 3 in/7.5 cm long and then halved lengthwise
  • Vegetable oil for brushing the grill grate
  • Shichimi togarashi for garnish (see Cook’s Note)

Method

  1. To make the burdock marinade, in a small bowl, stir together the dashi, mirin, and light soy sauce.
  2. Place the parboiled burdock in a shallow dish or bowl and pour the marinade over. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the burdock to keep it submerged in the marinade. Set aside at room temperature for 3 hours.
  3. To make the beef marinade, in a large, shallow baking dish, stir together the dark soy sauce, mirin, and sake. When the burdock root has been marinating for 2 hours, arrange the beef in the marinade, making sure the slices are submerged, cover the dish, and set aside at room temperature to marinate for 1 hour. At least 30 minutes before the beef is ready, submerge twenty bamboo skewers, each 6 in/15 cm. long, in water.
  4. Drain the burdock and discard the marinade. Remove the beef from its marinade and pour the marinade into a small bowl. (The marinade will be used for basting the rolls on the grill.) On a clean work surface, lay two strips of the meat vertically, arranging them side by side with the edges overlapping slightly. (I think it is easiest for rolling if you orient the slices vertically, which will give you enough room to lay out six slices and make three rolls at a time.) Arrange eight burdock strips and one green onion strip in a horizontal bundle about 1 in/2.5 cm. from the end of the beef strips nearest you. Working from the end nearest you, roll the beef strips over the vegetables and then continue to roll to form a stuffed cylinder (the burdock and green onion should stick out slightly on both sides). Repeat to make two more beef rolls. Place the rolls together in a flat vertical stack, and thread two skewers equidistance apart through the three rolls. Spread the rolls out so they are about 1 in/2.5 cm. apart. Place the skewered rolls on a baking sheet. Repeat to make more rolls and skewer them the same way. (The rolls can be prepared up to 8 hours in advance. Cover and refrigerate the rolls and the basting liquid until ready to grill. Remove the rolls and basting liquid from the refrigerator about 45 minutes before you are ready to begin grilling.)
  5. Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill to high. When the fire is ready, brush the grill grate with vegetable oil. Place the skewered rolls directly over the hot fire and grill, basting once, until nicely seared on one side, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn and continue to grill, basting once or twice, until seared, about 3 minutes longer. Remove the skewers from the grill and let rest for 2 minutes.
  6. Using tongs or your fingers, nimbly slide the rolls off the skewers onto a warmed platter. Garnish with a light sprinkling of shichimi togarashi and serve immediately. (The beef rolls can be kept warm in a low oven for up to 20 minutes before serving.)