Soup is a grand thing because it’s usually very simple, requires a few modifications on a basic formula, and demands only some chopping and (usually) one pot. This recipe is frighteningly easy. I whipped it together in about a half hour before running out the door to a play. The daikon radish, the star of the show, mellows significantly and takes on a savory, buttery flavor in the soup.
One of the things this recipe calls for is searing the meat before-hand and using the deglazed pan drippings to build a base for the soup stock. I prefer this method because it helps caramelize the fat and it adds a nice overall depth to the soup. Make sure to use a very sturdy, very hot pan, and resist the urge to mess with it while it's searing.
Spicy Beef and Daikon Radish Soup
1-2 pounds beef steak (ribeye, brisket, or similar)
1 tbs canola oil for browning
2-3 daikon radishes
6-7 green onions, sliced thin
4 cups organic beef broth
1 cup filtered water
1/2 cup mirin (optional)
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tbs. Sriracha
1 tbs fish sauce
1 tbs sesame oil
leftover rice or cooked rice noodles for serving
- Rub both sides of the steak with canola oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat a cast-iron skillet or other heavy-weight, steel (NOT non-stick) pan over medium-high heat until smoking. Add the steak and DON’T touch it for at least 90 seconds. Sear until the heat forms a brown, caramelized crust on one side. Flip the steak and sear on the other side for 1-2 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside on a cooking rack to rest.
- Deglaze the plan by adding mirin (if using) and a few TBS beef broth. Use a spatula to scrape up any crusty bits from the pan and heat for a minute or two until reduced slightly.
- Add the deglazing liquid to a large, heavy-bottomed soup-pot along with remaining beef broth, water, minced garlic, sriracha, fish sauce, sesame oil, and 1 tsp each salt and pepper.
- Peel daikon radish and cut into inch-long pieces. Slice each daikon piece lengthwise into 1/8 inch slices. You can also slice the daikon into rounds if you prefer. Add daikon slices to the soup pot and cook over medium heat 10-15 minutes or until diakon is tender when pierced.
- After steak has rested, use a sharp, heavy knife to slice against the grain into extremely thin strips. Steak should still be quite raw on the inside but will cook in the bowl with the hot soup.
- Prepare bowls of soup by filling with rice or cooked rice noodles. Top with strips of steak to your liking. Ladle hot radish soup into bowls and top with sliced green onions. Devour with soup-spoons and chopsticks for an authentic experience.