Oh how I wish I was on holiday. Sitting in a South East Asian mall, exhausted from my extensive shopping trip. Waiting to devour a massive platter of pepper rice.
My first experience with this wonderful dish was on my first trip to Indonesia. The idea that the meat is served to you raw and has to be cooked on this hot plate was very novel. My mum and I order a chicken one and one beef. Swiftly using our chopsticks to combine everything and make sure the meat cooks as soon as the platter touches the table.
I’ve looked for a Pepper Lunch outlet wherever I’ve gone in Asia since then and had my last meal with them when I visited KL a couple of years ago. You can read all about my experience here.
To combat my holiday blues, I decided to make beef pepper rice for dinner one day. Its honestly mostly about assembly, and putting the whole dish together once all the components are ready.
For the dressing:
- Dark Soy
- Sesame Oil
- Beef, finely sliced
- Rice, cooked until sticky
- Spring onions, finely sliced
- Corn, blanched
- Togarashi (Japanese spice mix), or a chilli powder of your choice
If you’re butcher is willing, you can get him to slice the meat as thin as possible, or you could do it at home.
Once sliced I recommend covering the plate with a sheet of clingwrap that sticks to the meat as much as possible to prevent it from oxidizing.
For the dressing mix equal parts of everything into a jar and shake until combined.
The rice I seasoned with some salt and a little bit of vinegar.
If you’re doing this on a sizzler like I have, I recommend leaving the hot plate on for 8-10 minutes, to get it really hot.
As soon as you think its hot enough place it onto the wooden guard and get moving.
You have to be super fast while assembling this.
Start with the rice. Brush the insides of a steel or metal bowl with butter and pack it down with rice. You can do this in advance. Also, avoid using plastic which could melt once it touches the metal plate. Invert the bowl onto the hot plate and gently remove the bowl leaving an even mound of rice.
Top the rice with a handful of corn and generously add some spring onions.
Sprinkle some of the togarashi or chilli powder onto the rice and corn and top with more pepper if desired.
For the final step, quickly arrange the fine slices of meat around the rice. You’ll notice almost immediately that the meat starts to cook and go slightly brown.
The dressing can be drizzled over the rice just before serving, or given on the side to use as and when desired.