Carpetbag steak with kataifi-wrapped oysters

Carpetbag steak with kataifi-wrapped oysters

Ben's Meat Bible
Benito Martin

This recipe is a throwback to a golden age of classic club food – the 1950s and 1960s. As a kid, I remember these were on the menu at our local seaman’s club in Port Hedland. Here, I’ve reworked this retro dish, making it a little more modern.


Quantity Ingredient
4 x 200g pieces beef fillet, middle cut or thick end
16 pacific oysters, cleaned and grit-free
12 slices prosciutto or bacon
1 tablespoon dried wakame seaweed
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
500ml vegetable oil, plus 2 tablespoons
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 knob salted butter
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
100g kataifi pastry, (see note)
1 tablespoon wasabi paste
sea salt flakes
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Use a sharp paring knife to cut a horizontal pocket in the side of each beef fillet. Fill each pocket with 2 oysters. Wrap the prosciutto around the beef, then use a toothpick to secure the prosciutto to the beef by piercing it through.
  2. Soak the wakame in a small bowl of water for 5 minutes, drain, then squeeze out the excess liquid. In another small bowl, combine the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and sesame oil, then add the wakame and toss to coat. Set aside while you get on with the rest of the recipe.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil and all of the butter in a flameproof casserole dish or frying pan over medium heat and seal the beef, turning often, for 4–5 minutes. Use a brush to baste the beef all over with the oyster sauce, then transfer to the oven and cook for a further 10–15 minutes for medium rare. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes (the beef will continue to cook while it is resting). Brush with the remaining oyster sauce and set aside.
  4. Arrange the kataifi into 8 evenly sized bunches on a dry chopping board or work surface. Dab a touch of wasabi paste on an oyster, lay it on the edge of a kataifi bunch and gently roll up to enclose. Repeat with the remaining oysters.
  5. Heat the oil in a small saucepan and fry the kataifi-wrapped oysters for 1 minute, until lightly golden brown. Drain on paper towel and season with sea salt.
  6. Serve each steak with 2 crisp oysters and a small pile of the wakame salad, then top with the sesame seeds.


  • Kataifi pastry is a finely shredded pastry that is typically used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking. It can be bought from most Greek delis and Lebanese or Turkish stores; there is no real substitute as hand cutting filo just doesn’t cut the mustard.
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