Korean steak tartare differs from Western versions in that the beef is flavored with sesame oil, pine nuts, and Asian pear, which lends crispness, sweetness, and freshness. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. The beef is also usually cut into ribbons, but I like to dice mine. As with any meat that is to be served raw, use the best quality and freshest available.


  • 1 small Asian pear or other firm but ripe pear, peeled, cored, and julienned

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 10 ounces/ 283 grams filet mignon (preferably prime), trimmed and diced

  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions (sliced on an angle)

  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots

  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

  • Kosher salt or sea salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • For Serving

  • 4 quail egg yolks (optional)

  • Scallions, thinly sliced on an angle

  • Handful of pine nuts, toasted

  • Dried chili threads (silgochu)

  • Lotus Root Chips (optional)


  • 1.

    Put the pear in a small bowl of cold water with 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice to prevent it from turning brown. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes and then drain well.

  • 2.

    In a medium bowl, toss together the beef, remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice, scallions, sesame oil, shallots, pine nuts, lemon zest, and salt and pepper to taste. Gently stir 1/2 cup of the julienned pears into the tartare.

  • 3.

    To serve, arrange the tartare in the center of four plates. If desired, make a small well in each mound of beef and put an egg yolk in each. Top with the remaining pear and garnish with scallions, pine nuts, and chili threads. Serve immediately, with lotus root chips, if desired.


Tip: Feel free to serve with lemon wedges on the side instead of mixing in the juice. This will help keep the beef’s red color intact as the lemon juice will “cook” the meat slightly.

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