What do you do when you see an anime dish you’re dying to replicate but don’t have all the ingredients on hand? Two options come to mind: Either you pop down to the nearest supermarket or you improvise. Some seriously great cooking can be directly attributed to improvisation so why not, right?
So there’s this new anime we discovered about two weeks ago called Shokugeki no Soma (Food Wars!) In a nutshell, it’s about the adventures of a skilled teenage chef sent off to an illustrious cooking academy. Cue intense cooking showdowns, hilarity, and all manner of ridiculousness. Also they liken good cooking to sex. Who can’t get behind that?! Plus, this is an anime that knows its stuff. The characters really get into the science of how and why a dish works. Need more convincing? Well, if you say so…
When the main character created this dish to compete against A5 grade Wagyu beef I knew I had to recreate it. And despite the fact that I am now out of steak I’ve been making this sauce to complement several meals since. It. Is. That. Good. This is my personal adaptation. Ready? Let’s go!
Gamers, grab your mats:
- 2 sirloin steaks – it’s definitely safe to use cheap quality meat here; in fact, that’s the point!
- 1 1/2 onions – I love onions and used two decent sized Vidalia onions.
- cayenne pepper, if desired. We like it spicy!
- flour, to thicken
- 1/4 bottle of Honey Brown or similar sweetish beer
- 1-2 tablespoons ketchup (oh, come on now. why???)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 good drizzle of sriracha chili sauce
- 2 tablespoons butter
Again, this is my adaptation. Looking for the original? Click here. WARNING: Manga is just as addictive as the anime. There are 125 chapters out at the time of this post. Don’t blame me if you cheerfully waste your entire day reading the entire thing.
Lightly slice a net pattern into both the top and bottom of your steaks.
Beat with a meat tenderizer to flatten and enlarge the steaks.
Add salt to taste.
Chop onions finely.
Cover the meat completely with onion. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. We let ours sit for around two hours.
When you’re ready to cook, remove from fridge and separate onions from steak. Switch on your stove to around medium heat and melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a skillet.
Fry onion in skillet until it changes color, set aside.
Melt remaining butter in skillet and cook steaks for 3-5 minutes on each side, seasoning to taste with black and cayenne pepper. Remove from pan and set aside.
For the sauce bit, make an improvised roux from the onions, butter, and a little flour. Stir together until thickened and smooth:
The boyfriend found some recipe saying to use a tablespoon of tomato paste. I have no idea where he read this. Seriously, don’t look at me; I was merely the sous chef for this meal. Of course, we don’t have tomato paste. Enter ketchup as a substitution. God-for-fucking-bid we have a dinner without ketchup. I added this to the side of the roux type stuff and sort of toasted it to bring out a better, less ketchup-y flavor. In the end I was glad we added it to our adaptation; it added a whole new layer of subtle complexity to the overall flavor. Blend this in with the onion roux.
Add soy sauce and sriracha.
Obviously we didn’t have red wine in the house, per the original recipe. We substituted this with 1/4 bottle of Honey Brown beer. We love cooking with this beer and occasionally keep it in the house. This will cause the sauce to fizz up quite a bit. It smells heavenly and it’s hard not to transfer the sauce directly to your mouth through a funnel. scrape any sticky brown bits from the bottom of the pan and incorporate it into the sauce. This is some seriously good flavor.
Allow this to simmer, add a bit more flour to thicken to desired state. Add the meat back to the skillet, covering completely to reheat meat.
Once meat is heated you’re done! This dish is best served over rice, but of course we’re out. I hate the end of the month. Regardless, this dish is perfection! We’ve already made it for dinner twice, plus a third adaptation using zucchini instead of steak. I don’t know which was better. And I’m excited to remake the dish using the original recipe as well, to be posted up at a later date.
Seriously. This is great, but it’s getting remade at the earliest opportunity, following the original recipe. I am in love with this onion sauce and want it on everything. Put it on a shoe. Spoon it over dog food. You’ll eat it with anything. And you should anticipate more recipes to come from this anime/manga. Shokugeki no Soma: Remember the name. This is your life now.
Coming Up Next: I feel my inner 90’s kid breaking out. We’re bringing you Omelette Du Fromage (Omelette Au Fromage, or French Cheese Omelette) from Dexter’s Laboratory. Boom.
Remember, cooking IRL doesn’t have to be a Feat of Strength!