Steak Teriyaki with Pickled Pear

September 16, 2011
0 Ratings
  • Makes 8-12 lettuce cups, depending on their size
Author Notes

Can I just say I'm annoyed? No, let me be honest, I'm p***ed. At myself, I might add, and isn't that just the worst? I'm really annoyed and have nowhere to aim that energy, except to throw it out like a boomerang to come back squarely on my doorstep.

I've been posting recipes here for, oh I don't know, maybe going on 2 years?? And for some reason I thought midnight TONIGHT was the deadline for this week's contest. So I dilly-dallied around and thought gee, I'll just post that Teriyaki recipe with the Pickled Pear on Friday. Paw-lenty of time. Sigh.

So, in the spirit of better late than never, here's a great recipe I've been playing with on-and-off for about a year or more now. I first had something similar at the home of a good friend who is a lawyer by day in Washington DC, and an amazing chef at night for his lovely wife and friends lucky enough to be invited. He pounded some beautiful steak into thin pancakes and rolled them up with pears in the middle. He sautèed or grilled the whole thing and then put a great teriyaki sauce over it all. To die for. I practiced those rolls over and over but the pears kept sliding out all over the place so I ultimately abandoned the rolls to better chefs than I. The approach I took was to do either smaller rolls using a bok choy leaf for rolling cooked steak and pear, or do lettuce cups with Bibb lettuce (Boston head lettuce). Both work great and I've posted photos of both. I made my own teriyaki sauce after MUCH trial and error and it's a little spicier than my friend's and adds ginger and grated orange; I added sautèed whole scallions; and I switched to Asian pears and lightly pickled them. Asian pears have a slightly crunchy texture but are really juicy - and the flavor works much better with this than say, a Bartlett pear, which is too sweet for the approach I took.

This can be a great heavy appetizer for an appetizer party as cooler weather sets in, or part of an entree selection. And I serve Sapporo bear with these - perfect pairing IMHO. —TheWimpyVegetarian

What You'll Need
  • Teriyaki Sauce
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange
  • 1/8 teaspoon sriracha
  • 1 - 2 grinds of black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • Steak and Pear Filling
  • 1 1/2 pounds rib eye steak
  • 3 tablespoons pear vinegar (cider vinegar can be substituted, but try to use pear vinegar)
  • 2 tablespoon mirin
  • pinch salt
  • 2 Asian pears
  • 1 bunch scallions (around 8-10 small and medium sized)
  • 2 bunches bok choy or 1 head Bibb lettuce
  1. Teriyaki Sauce
  2. Put all the ingredients except the cornstarch and cold water in a small pot and bring to a boil.
  3. Dissolve the cornstarch in the cold water. Reduce the soy mixture to a simmer and add the cornstarch water all at once. Start whisking and keep the mixture to a soft simmer. You'll see it thicken almost immediately. Adjust for flavors if necessary and set aside.
  1. Steak and Pear Filling
  2. Lightly salt the steaks and let them come to room temperature.
  3. Make the pickling juice by combining the pear vinegar, mirin and a pinch of salt in a small shallow bowl. Peel the pears, seed them and slice into thin "french fries". Pop them into the bowl with the pickling juice for 30 minutes. You can use them with that shape, or chop them up into large diced pieces when you get ready to assemble.
  4. Heat up 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in a sautè pan. Remove any moistness on the surface of the steaks with a paper towel and sautè them to desired doneness. I cooked mine medium-rare. The amount of time is going to vary depending on the thickness of the meat, the type of sautè pan, and amount of fat in the cut of meat - but I sautèed mine for 3 - 4 minutes per side. Remove from the heat and let site for 15 minutes.
  5. Slice the tops off the scallions off so that you're left with the bulb and about 3 inches of green stalk. Carefully slice off the roots and toss the scallions into the pan you used to sautè the beef. On medium - high heat, sear the green onions both sides and reduce the heat to medium - low to continue to cook until the scallions are soft (about 10 minutes). Remove and slice up, if desired.
  6. Slice the meat against (across) the grain into strips. If you want, cut them again into small bit-sized pieces. Throw the meat into the pan with the slightly cooled teriyaki sauce and toss to thoroughly coat.
  7. Lay out the lettuce leaves. Spoon some of the beef into the center of each one, topped with the chopped scallions. Finish the assembly with the pickled pears. To eat, simply pick up the lettuce cups, place in your palm while folding over the sides with your fingers (think eating a hot dog).
  8. If you go the direction of the bok choy leaves, they will not accommodate much filling in each leaf, so you'll need to make at least twice as many. Remove a leaf from the bulb and perform the same assembly as described in the above step. Carefully fold the sides of the leaf over each other and tie together with part of a discarded scallion stalk top. To eat, I hold the part of the leaf the attaches to the bulb, which is pretty sturdy, with my other hand holding the meat filled part, and chomp away at it.
  9. Have plenty of Sapporo beer at hand to wash these down with!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Texas Ex
    Texas Ex
  • wssmom
  • susan g
    susan g
  • dymnyno
  • Lizthechef

45 Reviews

Texas E. September 26, 2011
Very nice dish! You really nailed the teryaki sauce--it was a perfect complement to the steak and the pickled pears. Two asian pears produced more than enough for the wraps, but they are tasy in their own right.
Thanks for a delicious recipe!
TheWimpyVegetarian September 26, 2011
Thanks so much Texas Ex!! You just made my day! I really appreciate your feedback, especially about the teriyaki sauce. I made it so many times that I'd have to leave the recipe for a few weeks and come back to it and try again.
wssmom September 17, 2011
Total time warp! And totally great recipe!
TheWimpyVegetarian September 18, 2011
It happens! Thanks so much wssmom!!
susan G. September 17, 2011
...and as for the recipe -- being a vegetarian, I often vandalize meat recipes, for sauces, techniques, etc. I'll make the teriyaki sauce. What are you grating, orange or orange rind? It orange, how do you grate it?
TheWimpyVegetarian September 17, 2011
I know it doesn't look that way, but I'm actually mostly vegetarian now these days but still eat fish, etc a couple times a week. But my husband and the rest of the family hasn't followed me there...on the orange, I meant that I zested the rind with a small zester. A fine grate used for say, parmesan cheese, will work too. I tried putting some orange in it, in one of my many experiments, but it didn't really add much. The zest does. And speaking of vandalizing, I'm looking to use the pickled Asian pears with a cabbage saute that I haven't quite worked out in my head yet.
dymnyno September 16, 2011
I did the same thing last week. I thought that we were going to have more time to post for some stupid reason. But oh my Susan! this looks fabulous. We must get together soooon!
boulangere September 16, 2011
Are we all in a time warp, or what? What was it with last week?
TheWimpyVegetarian September 16, 2011
Thanks so much Mare - and I'm sooo glad I'm not the only one who's done this. I feel a lot less stupid right now. And yes, we must get together!!! I'll email you over the weekend so we can try to get something set up!!
boulangere September 16, 2011
Was I hallucinating, or last week did we have until midnight EST on FRIDAY to post?
TheWimpyVegetarian September 16, 2011
I just can't remember and not sure how to look it up once a contest is over??
boulangere September 16, 2011
Not that I made that deadline either.
dymnyno September 17, 2011
I think the confusion (and I am confused these days) is that Friday is actually one minute after Thursday 12:01.
TheWimpyVegetarian September 17, 2011
Well I think I'm confused a lot these days too - it's not like they changed the rules on 12:01 = Friday. But thanks for the support on this - I need it!
susan G. September 17, 2011
I've had the same problem, and emailed "editors" about it early this week. Details, details.
TheWimpyVegetarian September 17, 2011
Maybe we can create a support group...
Lizthechef September 16, 2011
Boulangere, I think ChezSuzanne is changing her name for her blog - gosh, so very sorry!
boulangere September 16, 2011
Whew! Okay, as long as ChezSuzanne will drop in on us here, too. Very much look forward to her blog. Thank you!
TheWimpyVegetarian September 16, 2011
Yes, Liz is right. I don't want to say much more about it until I actually have it up since it's still a little fluid. I have some motivation now to get it done since I've been invited to write an article due next week that I can link back to my blog - that of course doesn't yet exist. Got that? And I am seriously looking for your blog boulangere!!
boulangere September 16, 2011
Oh, yay for you for being invited to write an article! Where can we look for it? Believe me, I understand fluid.
TheWimpyVegetarian September 16, 2011
It will be on the website for California Vegetable Specialties. I recently toured their farm and developed a recipe for Belgian Endive that they liked a lot (which is my Pear, Endive, and Fig Flatbread I posted earlier this week). And a friend of mine runs their marketing. It will more in the way of being a guest blogger for their blog than a formal article in print - but I've gotta start somewhere!
boulangere September 16, 2011
Well, good for you. Those connections are golden. And I do indeed love the Belgian endive in your beautiful recipe. Congratulations!
ashleychasesdinner September 16, 2011
This recipe looks amazing! Can't wait to try! As a side note, boulangere, start a blog!! Go to They have templates and all. You will be off and running in no time! Let us know when to tune in!
TheWimpyVegetarian September 16, 2011
I agree! Another one is Word Press, which has a lot of templates too and seems fairly straight forward. But I'm still figuring it out, I admit. Are there some advantages of over do you know?
boulangere September 16, 2011
Thank you both for your very generous advice. I finally have an entire weekend off. The house is going to have to clean itself, I have to get the dogs (and me) out for a serious run, and laundry has to get done. Between loads, Bloggers for Dummies and I have a weekend together. Seriously, thank you for your encouragement. Don't set the timer quite yet, though. My son lives in Reno and he and the wonderful Malary have accounted for all their friends who were at the air races today. He says the city is sort of paralyzed in a group state of shock.
TheWimpyVegetarian September 16, 2011
We saw it on the news tonight! How horrible, but I'm sure glad your son, Malary and their friends are all fine. There are a lot of people who aren't. BTW, you must let me know if you ever make it to Reno. We spend a week out of every month in Tahoe - and I go over to Reno all the time!!!
boulangere September 16, 2011
Oh, are you serious?! I'll be there some time late spring, and would love nothing more than to get together. Horrible situation in Reno. Little new is being released on injuries and fatalities. Max says that the site in horrible. Body parts strewn about. Please let's hold a good thought for the city.
TheWimpyVegetarian September 16, 2011
Let's definitely do it. We have a fair amount of flexibility in scheduling ourselves up there, so just send me a private email through this site when you know your schedule and I'll make sure I'm up there then!!! Definitely something to look forward to in the spring!!!
boulangere September 17, 2011
It's a serious promise!
TheWimpyVegetarian September 17, 2011
And thank so much A_S_P for your kind comments on my better late than never recipe! I'd love to hear your thoughts if you make it! I got so wrapped up in posting stuff about blogging, I totally spaced on thanking you!
Lizthechef September 16, 2011
OK, I have posted 2 comments and neither are appearing. So this week has gone
Lizthechef September 16, 2011
For a semi-vegetarian, Susan, your steak recipes rock...Keep us posted re your blog. I hate to see the demise of "ChezSuzanne", though. LOL- Larry read over my shoulder just now and suggested a trip to Costco for rib eyes! He's still swooning over your flank steak.
boulangere September 16, 2011
Whoa, hold the onions! What's this about a "demise?"
TheWimpyVegetarian September 16, 2011
Oh, just in the blogosphere. I'm not going to carry the chezsuzanne tag over there since it doesn't really fit a theme and if anything suggests French cooking, which speaks more to my training than to how I cook these days. ChezSuzanne though will still be alive and well here on Food52, for better or worse :-)
TheWimpyVegetarian September 16, 2011
And Liz, thanks so much as ever for your wonderful comments!! You can see that my husband L-O-V-E-S beef, so I've probably got more experience at that than most anything it seems. I'll have a little and then give the rest to him. So last night the emphasis was more on the "Semi" part than the "vegetarian" one :)
Lizthechef September 16, 2011
Wait, Susan - you have another week, right? Anyhoo, for a former vegetarian, you are leading the way with your steak recipes. A rib eye - the perfect steak for me. Gorgeous!
Lizthechef September 16, 2011
5 minutes later and all my comments suddenly appear...I'd best tend to the pizza in the oven.
TheWimpyVegetarian September 17, 2011
Please let me know if you give it a try, Liz! I'd love to hear your and Larry's thoughts!! Have a great weekend!!
boulangere September 16, 2011
Oh, CS, I made the same mistake. If you have time, read the ridiculous headnote I posted: And this wasn't the only thing I was going to post, thinking I had the luxury of an entire nonexistent day. Sometimes (well, maybe more than sometimes, thinking of Tom Hirschfeld's DA post this week) I wonder what I use to think with. But I am very glad you went ahead and posted this because it looks absolutely fan-freaking-tastic!
TheWimpyVegetarian September 16, 2011
I just went to see yours! How funny that we were thinking the same thing today. Such a bummer. And thanks for your comments - it's really a good dish. Rats, rats, rats. :-)
boulangere September 16, 2011
Heck, after the week I had, the good news is that I wasn't (again) rushing to meet a posting deadline. Now I've got all weekend (off!!) to finish the other little ideas and post them sanely. Along with a bagel recipe I've been threatening to post for about 3 months now.
TheWimpyVegetarian September 16, 2011
I agree! I definitely want to see your bagel recipe! My big weekend project is to get my blog, finally, up and running by Monday (she writes hopefully)...:-)
boulangere September 16, 2011
I went out last week and bought Blogging for Dummies. I've been thinking about a blog for the past couple of years. Time to get off the dime. I am very much looking forward to seeing yours.
TheWimpyVegetarian September 16, 2011
Oh, you've got to start a blog. I've bought a bunch of books on it too, and will try to figure out the widget stuff next. I'm going to be looking for updates from you now on you starting your blog!!
boulangere September 17, 2011
I'll do my best . . . .