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Steak for tea

By Ignatius Rake, Japan

Posted March 30, 2018
japanese steak for tea
Ansum, innum? That green thing's actually some printed plastic. © Ignatius Rake

Cooking steak in Japan, yeah?

Discovered a great supermarket near my flat t'other day.

As well as boasting an in-store bakery concession called Pantasy, it also had some flippin' pantastic steaks for sale.

Now, I know Japan is famous for its fish cuisine, but this amazing country also produces some of the greatest steaks in the world.

And if you're not too sure about that, look up wagyu on the interweb.

As with most things here, though, they certainly ain't cheap, with 'small portions, big prices' being the apparent mantra of most local retailers.

Fortunately, my 200g (7.1oz) slab of majestically marbled meaty magic was short-dated so I got 20% off the initial asking price, yet still it came in at ¥1,464 (£9.75; $13.73) when all was said and done.

Yeah, 10 bloody quid!

But sometimes, for the benefit of experience, even the penny-pinching skinflint has to scare off the moths for a moment or two.

Besides, I just had to buy one and cook it up.

Sadly, my one-ring hob only offers the most ferocious heat imaginable, so I probably overcooked it a tad while melting half the planet but it was still incredibly succulent, tasty and, yes, melted in the mouth like butter, for want of a far less hackneyed description.

But was it worth the lolly?

Well, that's hard to say.

Particularly as I reckon 10 nicker should ideally get you about 10 pints and a taxi home.

Previously, the best steaks I'd had had been in Argentina (where I also had the worst), Brazil, Chile and Mexico (where I once devoured a ribeye the size of a council dustbin lid).

Those steaks, though, while juicy, succulent and intensely flavoursome, were not a patch on this badly cooked bad boy when it came to texture.

Seriously, it really did melt in the mouth like, er, some kind of popular dairy spread.

And the taste?

Concentrated cow!

But in a suitably subtle and non-overpowering way.

Which all makes me wonder how a proper chef would handle a similar slice of Japanese moo-er if I bunged them enough cash.

I think I may have to find out.

In the meantime, here's some ropey photos what I done, innit?

japanese steak in a tray
Discount delicious: I assume that says product of Japan. © Ignatius Rake

japanese steak cooked
Burnt to perfection: I wanted it rare but the hob had other ideas. © Ignatius Rake

japanese steak side dish
Peppers and peas: Plus garlic, rice and some yellow stuff to boot. © Ignatius Rake

This being Japan, there are no knives to eat with in the flat I'm renting, so I had to use the one knife I do have here – a really sharp, cleaver-like kitchen knife.

As shown above, I served it all up with grilled peppers, some flash-fried peas, a few garlic cloves (hat tip: Gordon Ramsey) and some kind of frozen rice meal I did in the microwave (no idea what it was called – something in Japanese, I reckon – but it had bits of meat and some yellow stuff in it and was actually very good).

For the record, my tiny kitchen has a kind of toasting grill thing I did the peppers in; one gas ring; a 500W microwave; and a rice cooker (which I don't know how to operate).

Consequently, even burning stuff to a cinder here is so very different to using the multiple hobs and ovens I have normally relied upon to frazzle my food.

In fact, I've hardly ever used a microwave in my life but here it seems pretty much de rigueur to nuke your nosh with radar love, as Mr Bourdain might call it.

So it's a bit of bummer then that I can't figure out how to keep the microwave going for more than 15 seconds at a time.

Still, all that constant button pushing is great exercise.

Especially as I have to bend down to do it.

The microwave being located under the sink, of course.


Because Japan, I guess.

Here's Half Man Half Biscuit.

See also Tokyo's golden turd, posted 15/3/15.

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Ignatius Rake is a journalist, geographer, filmmaker, artist, singer and life-long fortean who blew the lid on the 2017 Eden UFO hoax. His hobbies include sitting, eating and drinking. He has so far visited 75 countries on six continents. You can view some of his art here.

Engage with the Rake & Herald on FaceBook here and Twitter here. Better still, buy a T-shirt here.

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