To create the beef tataki, Hallsworth first takes some beef fillet and seasons it heavily with salt and pepper.
“When you do things like tataki you have to really season it up to the max. I wouldn’t put this much on a steak for instance but you will lose a bit in the pan and you are also serving it up cold,” he explains.
Next, Hallsworth puts the beef in a hot pan and sears it on both sides, using Japanese saibashi chopsticks to turn it. “These are really good to work with because you have a bit of flexibility and when it comes to plating you can be far more delicate as opposed to fingers or tongs,” he explains.
Once seared on both side, the meat is removed from the pan and sliced. “Some people plunge the meat into iced water straight away, which works to cool it down quickly so it stops cooking, but the problem with that is that you wash off all the seasoning and flavour,” says Hallsworth.
“If you are careful and sear it at a good pace you don’t really need to plunge it into ice cold water and lose all the flavour.”
Hallsworth adds chopped spring onion and onion ponzu – which is diced onion, ponzu sauce, garlic and grapeseed oil. “Ponzu can be made in many ways but basically it is a citrus soy,” he says. “This one is made with lemon juice, dark soy and a bit of rice vinegar.”
He also adds some garlic crisps, created by slicing garlic thinly, bringing to the boil in milk and deep frying at 140 degrees. “To keep them really crunchy we put them in a dehydrator overnight. That makes sure they are ready to cope with the wet sauces on the plate and don’t go soggy straight away," he explains.
Hallsworth says that the same dish can be created using salmon, tuna or even tofu, giving vegetarians or vegans the chance to enjoy the same sauces and flavours.