What if I told you that tonight you could have a steak dinner? Not just any old steak, but a cheap cut of steak that would magically be as tender as a high-end A5 grade wagyu beef steak? Think about that for a moment.
I’m going to give you a recipe that transforms a $2.50 steak into something so tender that it costs $60 a pound. Sounds crazy, right? Enter, the promise of the Chaliapin Steak.
I have a superpower. I’ve had it for as long as I can remember. It may be the result of being an only child; it may be something that’s been passed down to me by my parents (who both happen to social ninja); it may be the result of nearly being electrocuted as a child. I don’t know for sure where it comes from. All I know is that it’s a power, and it’s super. And it’s there.
I am amazing at convincing people to cook for me. In fact my life motto has, for the longest time, been:
Love me. Feed me. Never leave me. ←(Yes. I’m basically a needy cat.)
But back to the story at hand. I studied at Durham University, it’s in North-east England, and is one of the locations that Harry Potter movies were filmed (I literally studied at Hogwarts… told ya I was special!). It’s truly a gorgeous location. However, it was also on the opposite side of the country to anyone I knew!
Getting to know people isn’t the easiest thing in the world for me, so I retreated to doing what I do best – making people want to cook me dinner.
There was one person that stood out when cooking me dinner though, and that was my friend Peas.
Unlike everyone else who’d cook and let me know when to be over to eat, Peas took me shopping, and then insisted (often with a swift stomp of her foot!) that I stand by the stove and watch as she cooked dinner. She’d decided to teach me how to cook, whether I wanted to learn or not! It was certainly a worthwhile endeavour, and over our many meals together we became very close friends.
The last meal she cooked for me was a simple steak and vegetables dinner, I still recall us bursting into laughter when I took a bite of the vegetables and said “Mmm…. broccoli!” – I wasn’t a big fan of vegetables back then.
So, in a way, this is my very own Ode to Peas…except there are no peas in this dish (but there could be if you wanted).
What is a Chaliapin Steak?
What is a Chaliapin Steak, you ask? Well, as the story goes… in 1936, Russian opera singer Feodor Chaliapin was staying at the Imperial Hotel in Japan. One day, while suffering from a toothache, he requested an extra tender steak, and the Chaliapin Steak is what the chef came up with!
How to cook Chaliapin Steak
Despite its fancy sounding name, Chaliapin Steak is actually quite easy to cook. It’s essentially a matter of scoring and tenderising your steak, marinading it in chopped onions, cooking the steak, and then the onions (with a few condiments for extra flavour), and then serving it up!
What is Shokugeki no Soma
This dish was inspired by an episode of Shokugeki no Soma (Food Wars in English) – a Japanese anime centred around high school kids in a prestigious culinary academy. It’s hilarious, don’t let your kids watch it.
In an early episode, the main character Soma chose to prepare a Chaliapin Steak in a food battle, I knew instantly that I’d try to replicate the recipe at home afterwards.
How is this different from Soma’s Chaliapin Steak Don
For the most part, this recipe is very similar to what you may have seen on Shokugeki no Soma. The key difference is that Soma chooses to serve his steak in the donburi-style on pickled rice, while I’ve opted to pair it with mixed vegetables – I think this is a healthier option, that allows you to taste the flavour of the meat more.
If you want to go the donburi (vegetables or proteins served over rice in a bowl, popular in Japan) route, all you need to do is mix cooked rice with Umeboshi paste, and plate the dish in a donburi bowl.
The anime uses this dish to pit a discounted steak against top quality meat, I’m going to recommend you use the best cut of steak you can afford (a boneless one). I used a $2.50 round cut to test whether my version of the dish works.
SPOILER: It does…mostly. It’s obviously not going to compare to that perfectly seasoned and cooked wagyu beef steak that was blessed by the Heavens before being served to you. But it’s really good.
More recipes to check out
If you’re interested in Japanese cuisine, or are just looking for delicious weeknight meals, here are a few other recipes you’re sure to enjoy!
- Japanese Souffle Pancakes
- Chicken with Cumin, Tahini, Lemon and Burnt Onions
- Chicken with Green Beans and a Sugar Snap Pea Amandine
- Chili Con Carne
- Filipino Chicken Adobo
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This recipe was inspired by an episode of Shokugeki no Soma – I’d recommend checking it out for the laughs, and a little cooking inspiration. There are no special tools required to cook it so you’re basically good to go!Buy me a coffee Print
What do you think of the Chaliapin Steak? I personally love it. It’s quick, easy, (cheap!) and delicious! Have you watched Shokugeki no Soma? Do the very vivid reactions to food make you laugh out loud, while at the same time, quickly spinning your head around to see who else can see what’s happening on your screen? Do you have a favourite recipe from the show? Heck, tell me who taught you how to cook! Comment below, let me know!