Salt + Charcoal
This wow-worthy surf and turf dish comes from Salt + Charcoal, a Japanese grill in the heart of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Tender filet mignon is perfectly cooked, then topped with creamy, oceanic uni (sea urchin) and sweet-salty salmon roe, with seaweed and sesame to complement the rich flavors of meat and sea. The recipe does call for briefly torching the sea urchin, which you can easily accomplish with a kitchen torch—a handy little tool that makes you feel like a bad-ass but is actually really easy to use. It also calls for seaweed salt, which is salt made from seaweed, rather than salt with flakes of dried seaweed added; it’s also known as moshio, and you can buy it online, or look for in in Japanese or Asian markets, or in specialty shops.
For a more low-key take on surf and turf, try our Grilled Shrimp Boil Skewers recipe, and for another excellent way to cook filet, get our Filet Mignon with Blue Cheese Butter recipe.
- 2 filet mignon steaks (6 to 8 ounces each and about 1 1/2 inches thick)
- kosher salt
- neutral cooking oil, like canola, vegetable oil, or peanut oil
- 3 ounces water
- 1 piece of dried kombu seaweed
- nori seaweed (sushi nori seaweed)
- 1 tablespoon seaweed salt, also labeled moshio
- Japanese pure sesame oil
- 5 ounces sea urchin
- 1 1/2 ounces salmon roe
- chopped scallion
- sesame seeds
1Preheat oven to 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
2Sprinkle kosher salt evenly over steaks.
3Heat an oven-safe sauté pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add a slick of oil to pan and tilt to cover bottom evenly. Allow oil to heat for another 30 seconds or so. Add steaks and sear 3 minutes on each side.
4Transfer the pan to the oven and let steaks cook for another 15 minutes.
5Meanwhile, in a small pot or saucepan, combine 3 ounces water and dried kombu. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and remove kombu from pan. Add nori and stir to soften. Season to taste with a sprinkle of seaweed salt and a few drops of Japanese pure sesame oil.
6When the steaks are done, remove from the oven and transfer to warmed plates. Sprinkle each steak with scallions, then divide salmon roe evenly over tops of steaks. Top evenly with sea urchin and spoon over the seaweed sauce, then torch the sea urchin for several seconds with a small kitchen torch until lightly burnished. Finish each plate with a bit more seaweed salt, sesame oil, and sesame seeds, and serve immediately.
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