Beef Negimaki is a traditional Japanese dish featuring fresh scallions wrapped in tender, thinly-pounded beef steak, with a sweet & savory teriyaki-like sauce. It’s easy and FUN! to make at home, with only 6 ingredients – a guaranteed hit with beef lovers!
Japanese Beef and Scallion Rolls Recipe
Beef Negimaki is one of my go-to dishes at Japanese restaurants, with the simple delicious flavors of beef, fresh scallions, and a craveworthy sweet & salty sauce. Turns out, it’s fun and easy to make at home, too!
The beef cooks up tender and the scallions add a fresh soft crunch and slightly sweet, grassy flavor. The soy sauce mixture is rich and savory, with a hint of sweetness from the mirin and sugar – so lovely with the beef.
If you have beef lovers in your home, this dish promises to be a hit. We love how hearty and satisfying it is, without being heavy. Beef negimaki pairs and contrasts beautifully with recipes like shrimp tempura and a dragon roll, if you’re looking for a full meal deal.
With just 6 ingredients, you can enjoy these beef and scallion rolls as a dinner party appetizer or serve them with rice and vegetables for an easy, gorgeous dinner.
What Is Beef Negimaki?
Beef negimaki (pronounced neh-gee-mah-kee) is a popular Japanese recipe featuring fresh scallions rolled in thinly pounded pieces of beef steak. It’s topped with a sweet and savory sauce made from soy sauce, mirin, and sake, with a flavor similar to teriyaki sauce.
What Does Negimaki Mean in Japanese?
Negimaki translates to “scallion roll”.
“Negi” means “scallion”. And “maki” means “roll”.
This popular Japanese recipe is made with just 6 ingredients, plus salt and pepper. See the recipe card below for measurements.
- Beef tenderloin – You can also use flank steak.
- Scallions – Choose thinner scallions to ensure they get cooked enough.
- Salt & pepper
- Soy sauce – For salty umami flavor.
- Mirin – This is a staple ingredient in any Japanese kitchen. It’s a little bit sweet, sour, and bitter, which adds beautiful flavor to the sauce.
- Sugar – Adds a hint of sweetness to the sauce.
- Sake – If you don’t have sake, dry sherry will also work.
How to Make Beef Negimaki
This Japanese beef recipe is easy – and FUN – to make!
- Prepare the beef. Cut the beef into 4 slices, against the grain, and place each piece between plastic wrap. Pound it into an 1/8″-thick piece. Repeat with remaining pieces of beef. Season beef with salt and pepper.
- Roll the beef. Place 2 scallions on each piece of beef. Roll tightly and secure with toothpicks.
- Make the sauce. Combine the sauce ingredients in a small pot. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 4-5 minutes.
- Cook the beef roll-ups. Place the beef roll-ups in a pan over medium-high heat. Coat with the sauce mixture twice. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, until browned.
- Add the sauce. Pour the remaining sauce over the rolls. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and the beef is cooked through.
- Slice and enjoy. Remove the toothpicks and slice each beef roll into bite-sized pieces. Enjoy as an appetizer or with rice and vegetables for a full meal.
Can I Prepare This In Advance?
Yes, you can roll and assemble the beef negimaki up to 24 hours in advance. After rolling it, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate. Prepare the sauce and refrigerate in an airtight container.
When ready to cook, proceed according to the recipe instructions.
Tips for Success + Variations
Here are a few tips to help you make negimaki at home.
- Pound the beef evenly. Flattening the beef with a meat tenderizer (or a heavy-bottomed pan) is key to rolling the beef and ensuring it cooks quickly.
- Chill the steak ahead of time. To easily slice the tenderloin, you can wrap it in plastic and freeze it for 10 to 15 minutes first.
- Can I use a different cut of beef? Besides beef tenderloin, flank steak and skirt steak are great options for negimaki.
- Can I use other meat? Beef is definitely the most popular protein, but you can also use chicken and pork.
- Add some heat. Sometimes I sprinkle some dried red pepper flakes over the beef before rolling it up.
- Don’t overcook. While you want the beef and onions to be cooked, you also want to take care to not cook the rolls too long. This can result in dry beef with a tougher texture.
What To Serve with Japanese Beef Roll-Ups
You can serve beef negimaki as an appetizer or a main dish.
As a main, it’s typically accompanied by rice and veggies. White rice is typical but fried rice is also a tasty option.
Steamed or sautéed veggies (I like to use toasted sesame oil), like broccoli or pea pods, are fantastic. Or try roasted asparagus, a tangy cucumber salad, or a fresh salad with my grandma’s ginger dressing!
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
Store any leftover beef and scallion rolls in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Leftover sauce also keeps well.
Reheat quickly on the stovetop. Since the pieces are already sliced, it should only take a few minutes.
More Beef Recipes:
Like this Recipe? Save it to Pinterest!
For the rolls:
- 2 pounds beef tenderloin
- 8 scallions
- 2 teaspoons Morton kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the sauce:
- ½ cup soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons mirin
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons sake
- Cut the beef tenderloin into 4 pieces, against the grain. Place the steak between plastic wrap and pound it with a meat tenderizer into 1/8"-thick pieces.
- Lay out the beef pieces, sprinkle with salt & pepper, and place 2 scallions on top of each one. Roll up the beef tightly around the scallions and secure with toothpicks.
- In a small pot, combine the soy sauce, mirin, sugar, and sake. Mix well. Bring to a boil over high heat, then immediately reduce the temperature to medium and let simmer for 4-5 minutes.
- Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Add the beef rolls and coat them with the soy sauce mixture 2 times during cooking. Turn the rolls to cook evenly on each side for 2-3 minutes, until they are browned.
- Pour the remaining soy sauce mixture over the beef rolls and continue cooking for an additional 2-3 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and the beef is cooked through.
- Remove the toothpicks and slice the beef rolls into bite-sized pieces. Serve hot as an appetizer or with rice and your choice of vegetables as a meal.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 552Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 129mgSodium: 1676mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 1gSugar: 8gProtein: 38g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.