This recipe for beef picanha yakiniku is inspired by Nikkei cuisine, a style of cooking which applies Japanese techniques and styles to South American ingredients and dishes, especially in countries such as Peru and Brazil. It was created by Japanese people who migrated to South America in the 19th and 20th centuries. For more of this cuisine, check out Luiz Hara’s Nikkei aguachile and daigaku imo.
Recipe writer Luiz Hara says: Yakiniku refers to Japanese grilled meats, particularly wagyu beef where paper-thin slices are grilled over a portable charcoal barbecue at the table. I never had the privilege of eating wagyu in Brazil when growing up but in our home we had plenty of picanha – Brazil’s most loved cut of beef.
Usually served at rodizio churrascarias (barbecue houses), the whole piece is grilled on a metal skewer with rock salt, then sliced thinly at the table. My family would further season the meat by basting it with a dressing of soy sauce, lime, olive oil and garlic.
This is a classic Brazilian-Nikkei dish, and the first one I thought of when asked to write my cookbook in 2015. Something magical happens when the picanha’s fat melts and blends with the umaminess of soy sauce, garlic and lime.
- beef picanha 1.2kg
- rock salt for the beef
SOY SAUCE, LIME & GARLIC DRESSING
- soy sauce 120ml
- extra-virgin olive oil 60ml
- lime juice 60ml (about 2 limes)
- garlic 6 cloves, crushed
- sunflower oil for deep-frying
- onions 300g, peeled and sliced lengthways
- cornflour 30g
- long red chilli 1, de-seeded and finely diced
- micro coriander 10g
- micro red amaranth or edible flowers 10g
- toasted sesame seeds 1 tbsp
- sea salt flakes to taste
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- Kcals 397
- Fat 20g
- Saturates 5.1g
- Carbs 11.5g
- Sugars 4.7g
- Fibre 1.4g
- Protein 42.1g
- Salt 6.5g