Beef Negimaki

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Finding a unique dish to serve as an appetizer for a party or gathering of friends can be challenging. Well, problem solved.

If you’re a steak lover like we are, then you are going absolutely love this dish. And it’s great for serving at parties, or special occasions such as New Year’s Eve. Make it Asian-themed and served it alongside Pork Dumplings in Peanut Sauce, Potstickers, and Scallion Pancakes. It’s unique and always a hit.

An oval platter filled with pieces of beef negimaki sitting on their sides topped with brown sauce and sesame seeds all sitting next to a bowl of the sauce.

How To Make Beef Negimaki

You may be wondering: What is negimaki? Negi (scallions) Maki (roll) is a Japanese dish that showcases beef and an amazing sauce.

It’s not difficult to make and is a true taste sensation.

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How To Prepare the Beef

Beef Negimaki typically starts with very thin slices of beef, often sirloin

There are numerous ways to achieve this.

Cut Steak Into Strips – You can pick up about a 1¼ lb cut of sirloin and then freeze it for an hour to two hours. This will allow you to cut very thin slices from the meat. Place the strips between plastic wrap and then use a meat mallet to pound the meat until very thin and about 2″ x 3″.

Cut Steak Into Sheets – Take that same cut of sirloin and freeze it for two hours. Then use a mandolin or very sharp knife to slice sheets of the steak lengthwise from the cut. This takes a very steady hand and not easy to do.

Purchase Pre-Cut Slices – Go to your local Asian market and search for thinly sliced beef. It can usually be found in the fresh meat area or in the frozen meats section.

Butterfly a Strip Steak (Our Favorite Method) – Pick up a nice thick cut of a strip steak (ie, New York Strip), and butterfly it. You start by slicing a cut into the top one-third of the steak. Just before you reach the end, cut downwards until you’re about one-third from the bottom of the steak. Open the meat up as you go. Cut all the way back until you’re able to completely open the steak up.

A person using a Japanese knife to butterfly a beef strip steak on a wooden cutting board.

Creating the Roll

You want to get the butterflied steak as thin as possible. Place the meat between two pieces of plastic wrap or parchment paper and then use a meat mallet to pound the meat preferably to ¼-inch (or less) in thickness.

As with all Japanese rolls, it needs to be tightly rolled. We use a piece of plastic wrap to help in rolling the beef around the scallions. Tieing the roll with string or securing it with toothpicks helps to keep the roll tight until is sealed during the searing process.

EXPERT TIP: Blanching the scallions before rolling them up softens them and reduces the pronounced onion taste considerably. Simply cut most of the white ends off of several bunches of scallions and place them in a heat-proof dish. Pour very hot water over the scallions and let them rest for 40 seconds. Remove with tongs and dry them with a paper towel.

A person using a mallet to flatten steak and then that steak being rolled with scallions and then the roll being tied with string.

Dredging the roll in cornstarch will help to form a crust on the exterior of the steak and also helps to thicken the sauce.

Sear with a little vegetable oil in a large hot skillet until browned all over, about 4 minutes.

Add the sauce and continue cooking for another 4 to 5 minutes. The sauce will thicken somewhat and the steak should no longer be bright red on the ends.

A person rolling a beef roll in cornstarch and then searing it in a skillet and then adding an Asian brown sauce.

How To Serve

As mentioned, Beef Negimaki makes a spectacular and unique appetizer. The recipe can easily be doubled if serving a crowd. Be sure to serve warm.

You can assemble the roll entirely before searing up to a day in advance. Wrap in plastic and then chill. Let it sit outside the refrigerator for about an hour before searing.

You can serve the sliced roll with the slices sitting straight up (sushi/maki-style), or turn them completely on their sides on a platter. Be sure to drizzle plenty of the sauce over the tops and then sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds, if desired.

EXPERT TIP: We recommend straining the sauce from a fine-mesh sieve before serving. Particles of meat and clumps of cornstarch can accumulate in the skillet while searing. A smooth sauce tastes and looks better.

A spoon being used to drizzle a brown Asian sauce over the tops of sliced beef negimaki rolls on a platter.

Other Party Appetizer Recipes

As mentioned, this dish is spectacular when served at a special occasion party, such as New Year’s Eve or a Superbowl gathering. Here are some of our favorites:

Fried Shrimp Balls with Spicy Asian Sauce
Oysters Rockefeller
Sea Scallops with Pancetta
Miso Black Cod
Classic Swedish Meatballs
Spanish Garlic Shrimp (Gambas al Ajillo)
The Perfect Charcuterie Board

We’re pretty certain your guests would be pretty excited about this dish, too:

A close-up view of slices of beef negimaki on a platter topped with a brown sauce and sesame seeds.

This dish is so delicious and is always a hit when we serve it to guests.

However, it’s filling and also makes for a wonderful meal. Serve with perfectly steamed rice and roasted broccoli for an unforgettable feast.

No matter how you slice it, beef negimaki is one dish you (and your guests) won’t soon forget!

A slice of a thinly rolled piece of beef stuffed with scallions that is being held by chopsticks and lowering into a bowl of Asian sauce.

Ready to make the best beef roll in town? Go for it!

And when you do, be sure to take a photo of it, post it on Instagram, and tag @HowToFeedaLoon and hashtag #HowToFeedaLoon!

A close-up view of slices of beef negimaki on a platter topped with a brown sauce and sesame seeds.

Beef Negimaki

Beef Negimaki is deeply flavorful and is not difficult to prepare. The roll can be assembled up to 24 hours before cooking. (See NOTES). It has that "Wow!" factor when served at a special occasion gathering as an appetizer or even a wonderful meal at home.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer or Entree
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: how to make beef negimaki, New Year's Eve appetizer, party food
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 13 minutes
Resting Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 38 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 437kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Large non-stick skillet
  • Kitchen twine

Ingredients

  • lb strip steak or sirloin
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 4 bunches scallions white parts removed
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ cup soy sauce low-sodium
  • ¼ cup sake Japanese wine
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds for garnish

Instructions

  • Butterfly the steak to open up to a 1/4-inch thickness (or less). Place between two pieces of plastic wrap or parchment paper and pound until very thin. (See blog post and/or video for more detail).
    1¼ lb strip steak
  • Meanwhile, bring a couple of cups of water to a boil in a medium-sized pot over high heat. Place the prepped scallions in a heatproof dish and pour the hot water over them, submerging them. Allow them to rest in the hot water for 40 seconds and then immediately remove them with tongs to a plate lined with paper towels.
    4 bunches scallions
  • Place the beef on a sheet of plastic wrap and then sprinkle the top of the meat with salt and pepper (about 1/2 tsp of each). Place the scallions on the beef at one end. Using the plastic wrap to help you roll the beef tightly around the scallions. Continue rolling until you have a tightly formed roll. Use about 6 strands of kitchen twine/string to secure the roll.
    Salt and black pepper
  • In a small bowl, mix together the water, soy sauce, sake, honey, and sesame oil.
    ¼ cup water, ½ cup soy sauce, ¼ cup sake, 2 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • Add the cornstarch to a platter and roll the negimaki in it until it is coated.
    ½ cup cornstarch
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
    2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Place the beef roll in the skillet and use tongs to rotate it occasionally, until browned and seared all over, about 4 minutes.
  • Carefully pour the prepared sauce into the pan and over the roll. Turn the heat down to medium, and cook, spooning the sauce over the roll until cooked through, about another 4 to 5 minutes. The ends of the roll should be slightly pink (not bright red) once ready and the sauce should have thickened slightly.
  • Remove the roll from the skillet and place it on a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, strain the sauce into a small bowl. Use a sharp knife to slice the negimaki into about 1/2-inch pieces. Arrange on a platter and spoon some of the sauce over the slices. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the top. Serve at once with additional sauce on the side.
    1 tbsp sesame seeds

Notes

See the video near the top of the blog post for visual guidance. If you liked the video, please subscribe to our YouTube channel. 
See the blog post and video for how to prep the beef. 
Our beef negimaki is not as thin as some versions, but we like them good and beefy. If you prefer thin, go with the freezing meat technique or purchase thinly sliced meat from your local Asia market. 
The roll can be assembled up to 24 hours in advance. Cover in plastic wrap and keep chilled in the fridge. Remove from the fridge and take off the plastic wrap about an hour before you will be searing it. 
Leftovers will keep covered in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days. Reheat in a skillet or in the microwave. 

Nutrition

Calories: 437kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 113mg | Sodium: 1699mg | Potassium: 590mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 239IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 3mg
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