Beef Negimaki with Asparagus (Japanese Beef Teriyaki Rolls)

Beef Negimaki with Asparagus (Japanese Beef Teriyaki Rolls)

Beef negimaki is an amazing Japanese style appetizer that looks super fancy, but is easy to prepare and quick to cook.  It’s low carb, tastes so good and would be perfect for a dinner party appetizer or for a backyard barbecue dinner. 

They can be prepared well ahead of time and cooked quickly before serving so they make for a pretty stress free appetizer when entertaining friends and family. 

Debbie and I first had this beef negimaki appetizer when we were in Mexico of all places.  There was a Japanese restaurant overlooking one of the lakes on the resort and one of us ordered the negimaki but we all devoured it when we realized how good it was!  And we ordered more! A lot more.  

Of course, because it was so good, my food brain couldn’t stop thinking about it.   So I made it again when we got home.   I kinda think ours is even better than the one we had in the restaurant, but I am bias 🙂 

What is Beef Negimaki

Traditionally, or originally rather, beef negimaki is thin, teriyaki marinated beef broiled and then wrapped around scallions and served.  

Our version is slightly different than the original in that we have wrapped our teriyaki marinated beef around asparagus and then grilled it.  It’s slightly more substantial and it sure looks awesome when you serve it! 

Not only that, but we chose to top our version with a compound butter rather than more teriyaki sauce.  The garlic and herb butter melts all over the beef negimaki and adds another layer of amazing flavor!  

Since it’s asparagus season (spring time) at the time of writing this, its also the perfect time to try our beef negimaki version or any asparagus appetizers for that matter.  Like our asparagus tart for one!  Its so so so SO good! 

Teriyaki Sauce Ingredients

The ingredients for our teriyaki sauce or teriyaki marinade are simple and you likely have them on hand.  Below we’ve also included a list of substitutions you can make. 

  • soy sauce
  • water
  • rice vinegar
  • brown sugar
  • minced garlic
  • minced ginger

HERE’S A TIP:  ginger is one ingredient that you might not always keep on hand.  However, if you get a nice big piece of ginger at the grocery store, you can wrap it up and keep it in the freezer.  It will keep for quite a while in there especially if you keep it in an air tight container.  These silicone bags are kick ass for storing anything in the fridge or freezer.  Then you will have it on hand when you need it.  That’s what we do.  

SUBSTITUTIONS: 

  • if you don’t like or eat soy sauce, you can use Braggs Aminos or Coconut Aminos which will both work the same.  Braggs Aminos are still from soy though so if you have a soy allergy, try the Coconut Amios which are actually amazing.  I personally would use them all the time because I love the flavor, but they are more pricey so I will sometimes mix the two together.  
  • for the brown sugar you can substitute with cane sugar, raw sugar, regular white sugar, or even stevia or swerve.  

How to Make Teriyaki Sauce

For our purposes of marinading the beef, making this teriyaki sauce is way too easy.  Just get a large bowl out, add all the ingredients and stir it up.   

Set it aside till you are ready to add the beef. 

Beef for the Beef Negimaki

Beef negimaki calls for slices of thin beef to be wrapped around the asparagus.   So you can either buy it sliced thin already or you can make it thin yourself.  

My butcher sells thinly sliced beef called “rouladen” but I don’t see that everywhere.  If you buy your meat from a proper butcher, Im sure you could ask them to prepare some for you if they don’t already.  This makes thing pretty easy.  

If not, no worries, you can just pound the beef thin yourself.  Look for lean, thin steaks.  It doesn’t really matter what cut of steak, but not too fatty and go for the cheaper cuts.  

To pound your beef thin, simply put one piece of beef between two pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap, or even inside a clean plastic bag…  Then pound it thin.  You can use a rolling pin for this, an empty wine bottle or whatever you have on hand.  You want your beef to be no more than 1/4 inch thick, but not so thin that its falling apart when you try to handle it.  

Cut the beef to the size you will need to wrap around a spear of asparagus.  Wrap one piece of beef around a thick spear of asparagus, it should go fully around and overlap a little.  Cut the beef and then use that as your guide to cut the rest of your beef.   

Add your thin beef to the teriyaki marinade and let it sit for at least 30 mins. 

How to Make Garlic and Herb Compound Butter

A good time to make the compound butter is when the beef is marinating.  

Making compound butter of any kind is super easy.  The hardest part is getting your butter to the easiest temperature to work with!  That is, if you are like us and you don’t have patience to wait for it to come to room temperature.  Here’s how you do it: 

  1. Let your butter sit to room temperature or microwave it for 10-15 seconds at a time until its soft, but be careful it doesn’t melt!  
  2. Chop up your thyme, rosemary, and chives nice and small.  You want it quite minced.  
  3. Mince the garlic and garlic or use a microplane to make it basically a paste.  
  4. Add the garlic, ginger, herbs, salt and pepper to the butter and mix it well.  
  5. Scoop the butter onto a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper and roll it in the wrap or paper to form a log.  Twist the ends and store it in the fridge till you are ready to use it. 

HERE’S A TIP: If you need your butter quickly and you don’t have time for it to set for 30 mins in the fridge or so.  Put it in the freezer for 5-10 mins and then put it in the fridge till you need it. 

process pictures showing how to make beef negimaki

How to Make Beef Negimaki

Ok now that we’ve discussed all the bits and pieces, lets put it all together.  This is how you make beef negimaki with asparagus: 

  1. Wash the asparagus and cut the woody ends off. Remove the thin strips of beef from the teriyaki marinade.  
  2. Take one spear of asparagus and one piece of thin beef and wrap the beef around the asparagus.  Place the asparagus on a tray or plate in such a way that it won’t unwrap.  Continue wrapping the rest of the asparagus in the same way. 
  3. Heat a large skillet on medium high heat and add some oil.  We like using our large cast iron pans for this.  They work fantastic because they get nice and hot.  Our stainless steel skillets would be our next choice. 
  4. When the oil is hot, add the asparagus with the cut side down.  Cook for 2 – 3 mins or until the meat is browned nicely on the bottom.  Flip the asparagus over and cook for another 2 – 3 mins. 
  5. Take them off the heat and serve them with a nice slice of garlic and herb compound butter melted on top of them.  

Saucing the Beef Negimaki (Teriyaki Sauce or Butter)

We chose to server our beef negimaki with a compound butter on top, however if you wanted,  you could serve it with some teriyaki sauce instead.  

You can use the same teriyaki marinade that you used for the beef as long as you have kept it in the fridge.  All you do is add the marinade to a sauce pan, bring it to a simmer and reduce it slightly. Add a little slurry of cornstarch and water (about 1 heaping tbsp of cornstarch and 3 tbsp water) to thicken the teriyaki sauce slightly and cook until the sauce just coats the back of a spoon.  Serve over top of the finished beef negimaki. 

I’m sure those of you who like to keep things traditional might opt for the teriyaki sauce, however, the melted butter with the garlic and herbs on top of the grilled meat and asparagus is so damn good and we really hope you give that a try.  

looking down on a table with a plate of beef negimaki, compound butter and two glasses of wine

Other Appetizer Recipes You Might Like: 

 
 
If you’ve tried this beef negimaki recipe with asparagus then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let us know how it turned out in the comments below.  We love hearing from you!
 
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Beef Negimaki with Asparagus

Beef negimaki is an amazing Japanese style appetizer that looks super fancy, but is easy to prepare and quick to cook.  It’s low carb, tastes so good and would be perfect for a dinner party appetizer or for a backyard barbecue dinner. 

FOR THE TERIYAKI MARINADE

  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic (minced)
  • 1 1/2 tsp ginger (minced)

FOR THE COMPOUND BUTTER

  • 1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme (chopped fine)
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary (chopped fine)
  • 1 tbsp fresh chives (chopped fine)
  • 1 tbsp garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

FOR THE BEEF NEGIMAKI

  • 500 g beef or rouladen
  • 16 spears asparagus
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (or other oil for cooking)

MAKE THE TERIYAKI MARINADE

  1. Just get a large bowl out, add all the ingredients and stir it up.   Set it aside till you are ready to add the beef. 

PREPARE THE BEEF

  1. If you can find thinly sliced beef called “rouladen” you can skip to the step of cutting your beef to the proper size.  

  2. If you have to pound your beef to get it thin, simply put one piece of beef between two pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap, or even inside a clean plastic bag…  Then pound it thin.  You can use a rolling pin for this, an empty wine bottle or whatever you have on hand.  You want your beef to be no more than 1/4 inch thick, but not so thin that its falling apart when you try to handle it.  

  3. Cut the beef to the size you will need to wrap around a spear of asparagus. Wrap one piece of beef around a thick spear of asparagus, it should go fully around and overlap a little. Cut that first piece and then use that as your guide to cut the rest of your beef. 

  4. Add your thin beef to the teriyaki marinade and let it sit for at least 30 mins. 

MAKE THE COMPOUND BUTTER

  1. Let your butter sit till it comes to room temperature or microwave it for 10-15 seconds at a time until its soft, but be careful it doesn’t melt!  

  2. Chop up your thyme, rosemary, and chives nice and small. You want it quite minced. Mince the garlic and ginger or use a microplane to make it basically a paste. Add the garlic, ginger, herbs, salt and pepper to the butter and mix it well. 

  3. Scoop the butter onto a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper and roll it in the wrap or paper to form a log. Twist the ends and store it in the fridge till you are ready to use it.

MAKE THE BEEF NEGIMAKI

  1. Wash the asparagus and cut the woody ends off. Remove the thin strips of beef from the teriyaki marinade. 

  2. Take one spear of asparagus and one piece of thin beef and wrap the beef around the asparagus. Place the asparagus on a tray or plate in such a way that it won’t unwrap. Continue wrapping the rest of the asparagus in the same way. 

  3. Heat a large skillet on medium high heat and add some oil.  When the oil is hot, add the asparagus with the cut side down. Cook for 2 – 3 mins or until the meat is browned nicely on the bottom. Flip the asparagus over and cook for another 2 – 3 mins. 

  4. Take them off the heat and serve them with a nice slice of garlic and herb compound butter melted on top of them.  

 

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