Garlic Saikoro Steak サイコロステーキ

Print RecipeJump To Recipe

Saikoro Steak | Easy Japanese Recipes at

Saikoro Steak (サイコロステーキ) is a popular izakaya (Japanese tapas style) dish.  The cubes of tenderloin is quickly pan fried on high flame until medium rare and served with grated daikon and seasoned with refreshing citrus soy sauce called Ponzu sauce.

What does “saikoro” mean?  It means “a dice” in Japanese and do you know why this dish got that name?  It’s from the shape of the steak resembling “dice”.

Saikoro Steak | Easy Japaense Recipes at

By the way, did you noticed my new headshot? 😀 Yeah, I actually have had my longer hair for a while now (I had short hair for my old photo).

My newest headshots were taken by John of John Hall Portraits (Facebook | Twitter) at his photography studio in San Jose, California.  It was amazing working with John as he patiently coached me throughout the session on how to smile and pose for the headshots.  During the session, I was also able to review my pictures in real time with John to improve.

John is very detailed oriented, patient, and easy to work with!  So if you live in the Bay Area and need new headshots or portraits, I highly recommend him.  I can’t wait to have John take our family portraits next time!

Now let’s get back to Saikoro Steak.

Saikoro Steak | Easy Japanese Recipes at

The inspiration for this recipe came from one of our favorite Japanese restaurant in San Mateo, CA – Ginji.  However they stopped serving Saikoro Steak when they updated the menu recently.  Luckily this is an extremely easy steak recipe to make and perfect for your busy weeknight meal.

Before you leave your home, simply set timer for your rice cooker to cook rice.  As soon as you come home, you make miso soup and your favorite salad.  This steak doesn’t need to be marinated so all you need to do is to cook it right before you eat.

But is it flavorful enough?  Of course!  The combination of ponzu, grated daikon, and fried golden garlic chips is simply mind blowing.  Slightly bitter daikon and citrusy ponzu sauce makes the steak refreshing on the palate while the flavor of fried garlic chips with tender meat slowly fills your taste buds.

We also made a video for you to show how easy this recipe is!  And please follow my YouTube channel if you haven’t.   :)

Don’t want to miss a recipe? Sign up for the FREE Just One Cookbook newsletter delivered to your inbox! And stay in touch on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram for all the latest updates. Thank you so much for reading, and till next time!

Saikoro Steak
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2 as main, 4 as appetizer
  • About ¾ lb. (14 oz, 400 g) tenderloin steak, at room temperature
  • Salt
  • Freshly g round black pepper
  • 2" (5 cm) daikon radish
  • 1½ Tbsp. oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. dry sherry (white wine)
  • 1 green onion/scallion for garnish
  • Korean chili threads for garnish (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp. ponzu sauce (homemade ponzu sauce reicpe here)
  1. Cut off the top 2" (5 cm) of daikon (green part is sweeter while it gets bitter toward the bottom) and peel the skin.
  2. Grate the daikon. Drain the liquid from the grated daikon and set aside.
  3. Slice the garlic and green onion.
  4. Trim off the fat and tendons from the steak and cut into 1 to 1½" (2.5-3.5 cm) cubes.
  5. Season the steak with salt and pepper.
  6. Heat the oil in a large stainless steel frying pan over medium heat. Fry the sliced garlic until slices are golden brown. Reduce the heat if necessary so garlic slices do not burn. Transfer the garlic slices to a paper towel to drain excess oil. Keep the garlic infused oil in the pan.
  7. Heat the oil over high heat until it begins to smoke. Pat dry the steak with a paper towel and place in the pan in single layer. Cook the steak until browned, about 1 minute. Don't move teh steak until the bottom browns and releases on its own. Flip the steak over to continue cooking the other side till nicely browned.
  8. Pour the wine and shake the pan to evenly distribute the wine in the pan. Then transfer to a plate if you like medium rare steak. For medium steak, continue cooking for 1 more minute.
  9. To serve, place the garlic slices, grated daikon, and chopped green onion on top of the steak. Garnish with Korean chili threads. Pour ponzu sauce over the grated daikon before serving.
A stainless steel pan is recommended for this recipe as steaks are required to cook on high heat. Most non-stick pans are not designed for use at high heat.

* To prevent from oil splatter, you can use this oil splatter guard.

Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.


Enjoy It? Share it!

Never miss another new recipe!

Sign up and receive the Just One Cookbook email newsletter.

Disclosure: Just One Cookbook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published - required fields are marked *

  1. Nami, your new picture is beautiful! You are very happy and long hear suits you just fine, more then fine-) Steak is mouthwatering, I would love to try it with plum wine. Thank you for sharing!

  2. I was going to say that I love your head shot – you look gorgeous! : )
    This steak is mouth-watering, too. Must smell and taste delicious. I think I’d be able to sniff out your house from all the great things you have cooking in there! ; )

    • Hi Denise! Thank you so much for your kind words. I brought like 5 tops. I never knew what color actually would work. This white top was my least favorite option, too! 😀 Thank you again!

  3. I go to izakaya here in NYC quite often but I have never ordered the steak dish. However this is some serious steak you are making. Searing the steak in garlic-infused oil reminds of the my last awesome steak dinner at a hibachi restaurant. And those pretty pictures are really making me mouth water! Thanks for sharing the detailed recipe!

  4. Eha

    A very usable steak recipe but oh so more an enjoyment of seeing how you now present from the other side of the ‘Pond’! Beautiful, Namiko-San!! A lovely smile to which to look forwards in the weeks and months to come :) !

  5. Nami-san, you look beautiful in that photo and love your long hair. I noticed your new photo the other day and at first I thought it was someone new… LOL. Saikoro steak is great week night meal that you could even serve to guests because it is just that delicious. I thought at first that the red threads were saffron but it is very interesting that is Korean chili- will have to see if I can find those hear. I can only imagine how great the combo is with the ponsu and daikon. A great dish that even my picky teenager boys will love. Just on a side note that I noticed that one of my dear friends Wendy-san from Yokohama is now living in michigan is following you on facebook. It is such a small world. Ja Mata, BAM

    • Hi Bam! It’s called Ito Togarashi (糸唐辛子) in Japanese but in English I think everyone calls it Korean chili thread. :) A lot of restaurants use it for garnish, so I asked my mom to send it for me. But now my friends over at Season with Spice (link on Korean Chili Thread) sells it on their site! Very convenient. 😀

      How interesting! My friend just told me last week that she visited her friends in different state and while they were talking she found out that they were also following my site. They told her, “you mean the Japanese lady with Taiwanese husband?” I thought it’s funny how people refer me.. LOL Please send my regards to your friend! :)

  6. Andria

    You’re beautiful new headshot is so elegant! Thank you for this great steak recipe, it looks awesome. And we had onigiri from your blog for our family dinner tonight.
    My boys and husband loved the tuna filling, but I loved the umeboshi just like I had in Japan all those years ago…the nori even crunched when I bit into it like it did when I brought it to school for my lunches…such nostalgia….thank you for all these magnificent recipes!

    • Hi Andria! Thank you very much for your kind words. :) I’m so glad you and your family enjoyed onigiri! It’s hard for me to pick one kind of onigiri… maybe salmon and kombu. :) I used to eat only ume too, but after living in the US and not eating enough sour plum, I became hesitant…haha. Thanks for trying the recipe!

  7. Nami, that look so good – I love your beautiful plate with that pretty design and the pictures are just amazing. , my favorite is the one where you pour the sauce over the finished dish – I actually bought a bottle of ponzu a few weeks ago, as I had finally found it and I should use it for this amazing recipe!
    You look fabulous in your new picture, dear Nami!

  8. 家であまり肉食べませんがなみさんのポストを読んでからサイコロステーキを食べたい!ポン酢、大根、にんにくは肉と合わせると本当に素敵ですね。


  9. I noticed your new photo.. Wow! love the longer hair. You actually look younger with it, although I liked your shorter hair too.

    This steak sounds amazing too… beautiful woman… beautiful steak. :) Lucky hubby!

  10. Nami, I LOVE your new headshot! I noticed it immediately ;). I like you with long hair. I miss mine terribly. I chopped it off really short when I visited my friend in Atlanta couple of months ago. Short, permed hair was all the rage in Korea this summer, and it looked so pretty on all the actresses so I thought I’d give it a go…well…I’m no actress..what was I thinking? haha. It shall grow back…ever so slowly.

    My husband and I have been wanting to have a soju night, and this sounds like a perfect accompaniment! I like that it requires so few ingredients, all of which I have in my pantry! I love ponzu sauce ;). Thank you so much for sharing! Hope you and your family are having a wonderful week!

    • Hi Min! LOL I’m just like you! Whenever someone cut their hair shot, I really want to chop it off too. One time I asked the hair stylist to do whatever he thinks it’s great on me, and I got stuck with the shortest hair with sort of modern look. It didn’t fit my personality and oh it took ages to grow… Yours will grow eventually but we must remember our mistake. 😀 Thanks for your kind message!

  11. Oh my it’s only breakfast time here, but already I am hungry for dinner while reading this.
    This is such a great appetizer & meal in one. My boys will enjoy this one. The ponzu sauce sounds like something we will truly enjoy. Must get some at the Asian market soon. Thanks for sharing this delish Saikoro Steak, Nami . Thanks also for the nice blog visit – your kind comments always make my day. Happy weekend!

  12. I already told you that your pics are the bomb! He did fantastic job!
    Now about the steak- Combination of ponzu sauce, daikon and garlic with steak, sounds incredibly delicious and certainly looks very tempting and tasty! Thanks for sharing and have a lovely Thursday!

  13. Normally I’d come here and compliment the always good looking food. While today is no exception (in fact I’d say that these steak “dice” are exceptionally good looking. Instead I say how good looking your head shot is. Such a genuine look of happiness. I can’t help but smile too. GREG

  14. donna mikasa

    Oh, my mouth is watering, too! I can just taste the ponzu/garlic sauce on the tender beef! And I meant to tell you earlier that I like your new head shot when I saw it on Instagram! Very pretty!

  15. I guess i understand that serving grilled protein with grated and squuezed daikon on started dish is common in japanese cuisine,
    actually i’m never add the daikon within the grilled, japanese restaurant nearby my place usually served grilled shisamo or capelin fish with it…
    btw, why did japanese did that???
    i’m gonna try to eat the diakon later on…….

    • Hi Dedy! Slightly bitter grated daikon gives very refreshing flavor to fatty or oily grilled food. It covers up the oily part so well that it is very clean taste in mouth. You have to give it a try one day! :)

  16. Love the new pics! You look beautiful.
    And this steak. Yes, I will be trying this one! Looks like it would be a perfect quick base for supper for the just my boyfriend and myself.

  17. Nami, your new headshots are gorgeous! That photo studio is in my neck of the woods. I’ll make note of it for if I ever get brave enough to go get photos :)

    This steak dish looks amazing. My boys are huge fans of both Japanese food and steak so this one would be a winner for sure.

  18. Hey Nami! It’s been forever since I last dropped by and the first thing I noticed was your new profile picture. I really like this new one. Looks more like the Nami on Instagram. haha!
    Also, I’ve never grated daikon and had it like this fresh so I think it’s a good start. Wondering though.. will the meat cubes remain slightly chewy and tough since they are in quite large cubes?

    • Hi Jayne! No, not too bad as long as you use very good meat. At Izakaya style restaurant, we eat small dishes with chopsticks even though some food are more fusion or modern. So we eat this steak with chopsticks. We can bite into half and eat it, but it’s not chewy at all if you have good quality meat. My kids eat it just fine. :)

  19. I love your new look! I think you suit your hair that length. It’s so worth going to a professional photographer to get a head shot. It doesn’t cost that much and you get a great result, something you can’t achieve by asking a friend or relative to help you out. This steak dish looks very good and I’m a fan of ponzu sauce so I know I’d like this xx

  20. Laura

    Hi Nami,

    This recipe looks great and we are planning to pair this dish with garlic pan-fried prawns for a meal this week. I noticed you did not use a non-stick pan for frying the beef. Is there any particular reason for your preference? Does it transfer heat better and cook the beef better?

    Thank you in advance!

    • Hi Laura!

      Thank you for your quesition and I updated the recipe adding more info. Basically you need to cook steak on high heat, and non-stick pan is designed to use on medium/medium-high heat only. Also you can brown nicely with stainless steel pan than non-stick pan. Make sure you put the meat when oil started to smoke and don’t touch the meat and wait till it releases from the pan. :) Hope you enjoy this recipe!

  21. nancy

    We just finished saikoro steak recipe, gohan, ito en ocha and some kimchee. Your recipe was absolutely superb!!! I wish I could have kori to finish a delicious dinner off. It was so very easy and so very tasty. I love all your recipes. Thank you so much. Arigato!!

    • Hi Nancy! Sounds like you had a very nice meal, Nancy! Thank you for trying this recipe (and others!) and I’m very happy to hear you liked it! Arigato for your feedback! :)

    • Hi Hanako! Oh yes, you will like the combination of daikon, garlic, ponzu… really good! Very refreshing that it’s not oily or hevay eating steak. :) So happy you found my blog! 😀

  22. Love this dish Nami! Tenderloin is my favorite cut of meat, and I prefer it medium rare! I know I will have to make this soon. Grated daikon and ponzu sauce sounds so good too. BTW, I did notice your new photo. Love the longer hair. You look great!

  23. What a great steak recipe! I’ve never cooked steak like this in a skillet. Bobby is insistent on grilling them and I certainly don’t have a problem with that. :) However, I might just have to sneak this one in. It looks delicious!

  24. Candice

    Hi Nami,

    Love the beautiful picture of the steak (and I’m not even a fan of beef). I love your new head shot. Actually, I didn’t notice it until I read this post. I did, however, noticed you updated your Twitter and IG with this pic. ^_^

    I loved that you’re sharing cooking videos. I’ve always been more of a visual learner so the videos really help. Thanks!

    • Hi Candice! Thank you for your kind words. xo :) I’m a visual learner too, but never cooked anything with the videos…so it’s a new challenge for me! 😀

  25. Vivian

    I really, really LOVE your videos. Very short and cut right to the point. Perfect for the busy moms. I am so glad I found your blog.

    • Thank you so much Vivian! I’ll work hard to improve the videos. Hope you like my new one I just posted (green tea donuts). :) Thank you so much for following my blog! xo

  26. Thank you so much for the recipe. this is something we´ve enjoyed in Tokyo many times – now I know what it is and how to recreate it! Hubby will be happy. 😉

  27. Hi Nami, being a family of steak lovers, I think we will love this very much. This is a common dish in Jap restaurants here, but they charge such a high price for it. And I cook steaks a lot at home, so I shd try this one day too.

    Btw I read your other latest post. I can relate to your story, I also feel happy when readers try my recipes and tell me that they like it. But I also try my best not to neglect my family and try not to spend too much time on the blog when they are still up. I usually work on the blog nowadays at night only. Keep up the good work, we love your blog very much.

  28. Cristina

    Your images of this saikoro steak is drool-worthy, Nami! Literally eating with my eyes. How interesting that Japanese radish (I don’t think I’ve seen them before). Love your updated beautiful profile image. :)

  29. Thanks for that little explanation as to what Saikoro meant. I thought it meant “diced” steak (as in how the steak was chopped/sliced) but I guess dicing (into cubes) also relates to the shape of “a dice”. :)

    Love your new headshot. Gorgeous, and beautiful!

  30. Oh my would my hubby be happy with this entree! He is a beef eater and I rarely make it because I’m not much of a beef eater. This does look fantastic tho as always.

  31. Penny

    Your head shot is really nice! Look professional and beautiful!
    You know what, I’ve made the Japanese cheese cake according to your instruction, oh dear! It was amazing!! And last night was teriyaki salmon, it was so delicious that my son had ate two big pieces (normally he doesn’t eat more than half….)
    A big big big big thank you !! I have passed your website to all of my friends…. :)

    • Hi Penny! You made the Japanese cheesecake! Yayyyy! So happy you liked it, and Teriyaki Salmon too! :) Thank you for introducing my blog to your friends. That means a world to me, really!!! Thank you!!!!! xoxo

  32. First of all, you look beautiful at the new photo! The saikoro steak looks extraordinary and I wish I had stumbled upon it in Japan (By the way, I’m sorry for coming so late; I was on holidays in Tokyo and hardly had any time to go on internet). Congratulations for the video! It’s perfect.

  33. I did say it on FB, but just have to say it again here: your headshot is gorgeous- you are so pretty, Nami! And the long hair suits you so well, love it! The steak looks so mouthwatering, and as me and hubby love garlic, this is a perfect dish for a weekend dinner. Can’t wait to try it out :-)

  34. Your headshot looks fabulous, truly beautiful! I am excited to subscribe to your yotube acct, and enjoy seeing how all your gorgeous treats are made:-) This steak sounds amazing, Hugs, Terra

  35. Love your new head shot Nami, you look gorgeous in all your pics:)!
    This steak looks so mouthwatering and tender, my hubby would love this dish for sure! Thanks for sharing :)

  36. Nami, I love your new headshot!

    This dish looks too good! I`m a huge fan of steak and I would love this. There`s a Vietnamese dish where you cook beef in small cube as well and I absolutely love that dish. I love the plating in these photos. They are gorgeous!

  37. Ra ru fu

    Namiko-san. I just wanted to say Thankyou to you and your family for making this site possible! Your #1 Japanese recipees have inspired me to cook more often. I really do miss the Japanese people / food. Your recipees have brought back those very special times that I had in Tokyo, Japan (7 years) , Okinawa (4 years). I was married to a Japanese woman for almost 18 years before she left me for a much older man….lol I still love her even though she had remarried. I just can’t seem to forget her. Oh well. Well anyway, Thankyou all so very much for this site of Japanese recipees!!!

    • Hi Rarufu! Thank you so much for your kind comment, and I’m really happy to hear you enjoy my blog. You were in Japan for quite a long time and I can imagine how much you missed the culture, food, etc. Hope you get to visit again. Thank you Rarufu!

      • jojo

        Hi Nami, thanks for the reply. I was wondering what the Japanese name for this cut of meat is? I live in Japan but often make mistakes when it comes to buying the right kind of meat in the supermarket! Do you know what kanji I should be looking for?

        Your site is wonderful, by the way. It’s great to know how the dishes I often eat are made!

        • Oh So sorry Jojo! In Japan, usually they have a package for saikoro steak (サイコロステーキ用肉) but if you can’t find it, you can buy loin (サーロイン). There is no kanji for the meat parts, and usually Katakana. Hope this helps. :)

  38. Brandon

    I have recently moved to Japan and wanted to start cooking Japanese food almost immediately. This was the first recipe I tried, and it was both easy to follow and turned out amazing. Thank you for sharing it.

    • Hi Brandon! I hope you’re enjoying your new life in Japan! I am so glad to hear you enjoyed this recipe. Japanese supermarket has pretty good meat quality so this dish must tastes even better! Thank you for stopping by to leave a kind feedback. If you have any question about ingredients etc, feel free to email me! Enjoy your stay!