- 550g prime boneless beef, rump or sirloin, cut into paper-thin slices
- 4 leaves Chinese cabbage, washed and patted dry
- 8 fresh shitake or other large flat mushrooms, wiped
- 2 thin leeks, washed and trimmed
- 2 medium carrots, peeled
- 225g tofu
- 100g spinach, washed and trimmed
- Ponzu sauce
- parsley or watercress to garnish
- 1 Tbsp Mirin
- 1 Tbsp Sake
- 75g white sesame seeds
- 3 Tbsps dark soy sauce
- 85ml Dashi
- 1½ tsp sugar
- Red maple radish
- 2 spring onions
- 1 x 10cm piece dried kombu seaweed
- Beef: Semi-freeze beef until it is firm and slice it very finely across the grain. Cut it into 2.5cm strips.
- Chinese cabbage and spinach rolls: par boil the Chinese cabbage leaves for 2-3 minutes then drain and pat dry. Blanch the spinach in lightly salted water for 30 seconds to 1 minute until it turns bright green and begins to wilt. Drain and plunge into cold water.
Drain again and make it in to 2 rolls using a bamboo rolling mat. Lay 2 Chinese cabbage leaves on the mat with the edges overlapping and the stalks pointing in opposite directions; put a spinach roll on top and roll it into a tight cylinder. Leave it in the mat for a few minutes, then unroll and cut across into 2.5cm lengths. Repeat with the remaining cabbage leaves and spinach.
- Carrots: Cut the carrots in to flowers (cut an even cylinder and then make 5 lengthway slits. The cut slices to make flowers)
- Mushrooms: Cut off and discard the mushroom stalks; notch a decorative cross in each mushroom cap.
- Leeks: Cut the leeks on the diagonal into 4cm chunks.
- Tofu: Cut the tofu into 4cm cubes.
- Arrange all these ingredients on 1 or 2 large platters, grouping each type of ingredient together.
- Garnish with parsley or watercress.
- Put the Ponzu sauce in to 4 small bowls for dipping.
- Lightly toast the sesame seeds, then grind until pasty in a suribachi, mortar and pestle or electric grinder.
- Gradually blend in the remaining sauce ingredients, adding enough dashi to make a thin sauce.
- Pour the sesame sauce in to 4 small dipping bowls.
- Prepare the red maple radish and shape it into 4 moulds.
- Chop the spring onions very finely, rinse in cold water, squeeze and pat dry.
- Divide the seasonings in to 4 small bowls.
To cook and serve
- Put a large flameproof casserole on a burner in the centre of the table and fill it three-quarters full of water.
- Wipe the kombu and score it a few times to help release the flavour, then add to the water and bring to the boil.
- Remove the kombu and turn down the heat so that the stock is simmering.
- Mix the red maple radish into the ponzu sauce and a few spring onion slices into either sauce.
- With chopsticks, pick up a slice of beef and swish it around in the stock for a few seconds, until it changes colour, then dip it in one of the sauces and eat immediately.
- Put some vegetables in to the stock to cook, beginning with the harder ones which need more time.
- Gradually the stock will absorb the flavour of the meat and vegetables.