Korean Steak Tartare

Korean steak tartare or 'yukhoe'  is a popular dish throughout Korea. Beef is highly valued, and many restaurants can trace the cows' origins back to individual farms. This recipe explains the difference between a Korean and French steak tartare, which beef to use, and how to serve steak tartare.

Which cuts of beef are used for steak tartare?

Korean steak tartare differs to the classic French steak tartare in two key ways - the beef is cut into matchsticks rather than diced, and the choice of cut is usually the more strongly flavoured rump steak in place of fillet.

How do you serve steak tartare?

In this recipe we've stirred all the ingredients together just before serving. However, as with French steak tartare, Korean steak tartare restaurants will often serve the spring onion, apple, cucumber and garlic separately on a dish for you to mix yourself. The dish is best serve as a starter along with some crispbreads, or stir the steak tartare through a bibimbap as a classic South-West Korean Jeongju-style garnish.

Is steak tartare safe to eat?

There is considerable debate about the safety of eating uncooked meat. Most risk is from the outside of the meat, as fewer pathogens enter the inside of muscle. Therefore for rare meat, in the past the Food Standards Agency has advocated restaurants to 'sear and shave', searing the outside of the meat, removing it, and just serving the raw inside. There is more information on rare and uncooked meat from the Food Standards Agency Website here (more detail on raw meat dishes is on page 11, and the 'sear and shave' method is discussed on page 11). It concludes "Whilst raw meats are being served in restaurants within the UK and outbreak data would indicate they have caused no problems, this is likely to be due to the small amounts consumed and/or the expertise of individual kitchens producing these items."

When you buy the meat for steak tartare, make sure you explain your plans to your butcher, and they'll help to select an appropriate cut. 

Is steak tartare raw?

Traditionally, yes. However as we explain in the paragraph above some people cook beef for a short time on a very high heat, then remove the outer cooked layer before making tartare. This can reduce any risk connected to consuming raw meat.

It is always important to keep the meat well chilled until serving, and to cut and mix the steak tartare not long before serving.

  Ingredients Serves: 2

  • 200g rump steak, cut into matchsticks or finely diced (see notes above on food safety)
  • 4 tbsp finely sliced spring onion (equal parts green and white)
  • 4 tbsp diced apple (such as Pink Lady)
  • 2 tbsp diced cucumber
  • 3 tsp minced fresh ginger
  • 3 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds, crushed in a pestle and mortar
  • 1 tsp Korean red pepper powder
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp Chinkiang black vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to season

To garnish

  • Apple, sliced into batons
  • Sesame seeds
  • 1 quail's egg yolk, raw per person (optional)

To serve

  • Crispbreads or toast



  1. To make, mix together all the ingredients and taste for seasoning. Press the mixture into a mousse ring, and gently lift away.
  2. Garnish with sliced apple, sesame seeds, and an egg yolk (if using). Serve with crisp breads or toast.
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Another great steak idea is peppercorn sauce, made with peppercorns in brine.

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