Beef Negimaki is the ideal appetizer or impressive dinner for guests! This Japanese dish features thin slices of beef wrapped around scallions, grilled until charred and brushed with a sweet and salty glaze. 

What is Beef Negimaki?

Negimaki, translated as “scallion roll,” is a Japanese dish consisting of thinly sliced steak rolled around scallions and broiled, grilled, or pan-fried until browned and slightly charred. Featuring a sweet and salty teriyaki-like glaze, these beef rolls hit all the flavor notes.

The Best Beef Cut for Negimaki

When it comes to what steak cut to use, we recommend using flank steak for beef negimaki. It’s consistent in shape, thickness, and leanness.

beef scallion rolls set on a large white platter with a glaze being spooned over top

Ingredients in Negimaki

  • flank steak, skirt steak makes a good substitution—but if you can find flank steak use that.
  • low-sodium soy sauce
  • honey, you can also use regular sugar 
  • mirin
  • sake
  • scallions, look for scallions that are fairly thin. If they’re too large they won’t cook through in the time it takes to cook the beef. 
  • sesame seeds
  • grated fresh ginger (optional)
steak set on a baking sheet with scallions, honey, soy sauce, mirin, sake, and sesame seeds set around it

How to Make Negimaki

  1. Freeze steak until firm. This makes it easier to slice consistently-sized pieces of meat.
  2. Meanwhile, make the glaze. Off heat, stir in sesame seeds and grated ginger (I like to add the ginger off heat because the hot sauce cooks it just enough while maintaining its sharpness). 
  3. Slice steak crosswise against the grain into strips.
  4. Pound the steak slices so they’re half as thick as they were when sliced.
  5. Roll slices of steak around scallions and secure with toothpicks.
  6. Grill rolls until charred, brushing after each turn with glaze.
  7. Slice each roll into thirds and serve with glaze.

How to Make Negimaki Step-By-Step Images

two images side by side showing how to thinly slice and pound slices of flank steak
Thinly slice flank steak. Pound slices to make them even thinner.
three images next to each other showing how to roll thin slices of steak around scallions
Wrap three thin slices of beef around scallions.
Push three toothpicks through each roll to secure all three slices of beef.

Make ahead tip

Rolls can be assembled up to 24 hours ahead of time. Leftovers can be store for up to 2 days in the refrigerator. 


We like to serve beef negimaki with some kind of rice side dish. You can keep it simple with sticky rice or even sushi rice, or add some flavor with our Cilantro Lime Rice!

Enjoy a merging of cuisines by serving these Japanese Beef Negimaki with our Smashed Chinese Cucumber Salad or Spicy Korean Cucumber Salad. Then for a quick and healthy side dish try our Quick & Easy Garlicky Sautéed Broccoli.


How is Negimaki pronounced?

Negimaki is pronounced as Neh-gee-mah-kee.

Do I have to use flank steak?

We recommend you do. Flank steak is the most reliable and affordable cut for this technique. It’s relatively lean with a few pockets of fat, which is ideal for both flavor and  cooking technique. If you can’t find flank steak, you can substitute with skirt steak.

What if I don’t have/can’t find sake?

Sake adds a wonderful flavor to the sauce, but if you don’t have it, you can replace it with dry sherry, also labeled cooking sherry. Dry white wine is also a great substitution. If you need a non-alcoholic option, replace the ¼ cup sake with 1 tablespoon rice vinegar and 3 tablespoons water. 

What is mirin?

Mirin is a sweet rice wine—you can find it near other sauces and condiments in the Asian aisle of your grocery store, or better yet, find it at your local Asian market. We use mirin in our Pork Bulgogi, Sheet Pan Miso Glazed Salmon, Beef Bugogi, Chicken Bulgogi and our Ground Beef Bulgogi Bowls. It also play a major role in our Gochujang Sauce. Mirin is also a great way to balance out the savory flavors of Beef Ramen.

beef scallion rolls on a plate with charred snap peas and white rice

Beef Negimaki (Japanese Steak and Scallion Rolls)

4.91 from 10 votes
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Yield 4 –6 servings
Category Main Dish
Cuisine Japanese
Author Lauren Grant


These sweet and savory grilled beef and scallion rolls make a great appetizer or full meal served with rice and snap peas or asparagus.


  • 1 (2-pound) flank steak, trimmed
  • ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup mirin
  • ¼ cup sake
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • ¾ teaspoon grated fresh ginger, optional
  • 16 scallions, trimmed and halved crosswise
  • Cooked rice for serving, optional
  • Steamed, sautéed or charred snap peas, for serving, optional



  • Place steak on large plate and freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.
  • Combine ½ cup soy sauce, ¼ cup honey, ¼ cup mirin, and ¼ cup sake in a small saucepan over medium. Bring to a simmer, stirring to combine, and cook until slightly syrupy and reduced by half (about ⅔ cup), 8–10 minutes.
  • Off heat, stir in 1 tablespoon sesame seeds and ¾ grated ginger, if using. Divide sauce evenly between 2 bowls and let cool; set one bowl aside for serving.
  • Transfer steak to a cutting board and, starting at narrow tapered end, slice steak ⅜-inch thick on bias against grain until width of steak is 7-inches (depending on size of steak, you will need to remove 2–3 slices until steak measures 7-inches across).
  • Cut steak in half lengthwise then continue to cut each half (on a bias and against the grain) into ⅜-inch thick slices. You should have at least 24 slices. Pound each slice to 3/16-inch thickness using a flat meat tenderizer or rolling pin.
  • Arrange 3 slices of meat on cutting board with short side of slices facing you, overlapping slices by ¼-inch and alternating tapered ends to form a rough rectangle 4–6-inches wide and at least 4-inches long.
  • Place 4 scallion halves along edge of rectangle parallel to you and perpendicular across steak slices, with white tips slightly hanging over edges of steak on either side. Starting from bottom edge (nearest you), roll steak over scallions (away from you), into a tight roll. Insert 3 toothpicks, equally spaced amongst each slice of meat, into meat ends and through center of roll.
  • Transfer roll to platter and repeat with remaining steak and scallions. (Assembled rolls can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours.)

For a Charcoal Grill

  • Open bottom vent completely. Light large chimney starter three-quarters filled with charcoal briquettes (4½ quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over half of grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.

For a Gas Grill

  • Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Leave all burners on high. (If your grill runs hot, decrease temp to medium-high before placing rolls on grate).


  • Brush grill grate with oil. Place rolls on grill (over coals if using charcoal) and cook until first side is beginning to char, about 4 minutes. Flip rolls, brush cooked side with glaze, and cook until second side is beginning to char, about 4 minutes. Cook remaining 2 sides, glazing after each turn, until all 4 sides of rolls are evenly charred and thermometer inserted from end of roll into scallions at core registers around 150ºF (65ºC), 2–4 minutes more (10–12 minutes total cooking time).


  • Transfer rolls to cutting board, tent with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 minutes. Discard any remaining glaze used for brushing over meat.
  • Remove toothpicks from rolls and cut rolls crosswise into 3 pieces (about ¾-inch-long). Arrange rolls cut side down on a clean platter and drizzle with 2 tablespoons reserved glaze. Serve with any remaining reserved glaze.


GLUTEN-FREE: use gluten-free soy sauce to make this recipe gluten-free. You can also use tamari, but it’s much saltier so you’ll need to use less. Start with ¼ cup tamari and a ¼ cup water; adjust with more tamari as needed.
Ask your butcher or meat counter for a flank steak that’s pretty rectangular in shape. This will make it easier to get evenly shaped slices. If you end up with extra slices of steak, grill those on their own with the rolls and brush with glaze. They’ll cook much faster than the rolls, but they make a great snack for the cook/grill master.
For even more sesame flavor, sprinkle toasted sesame seeds or drizzle toasted sesame oil over rolls before serving.
If the beef sticks to the meat tenderizer or rolling pin during pounding, lay a piece of plastic wrap over the beef, this will keep it from sticking.


Serving: 1/6 of the recipeCalories: 394kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 45gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 83mgSodium: 1352mgFiber: 2gSugar: 16g
Like this? Leave a comment below!I love hearing from you and I want to hear how it went with this recipe! Leave a comment and rating below, then share on social media @zestfulkitchen and #zestfulkitchen!
small bites of scallions wrapped in thin slices of beef set on a white plate with a glaze drizzled over top

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This sponsored post is in partnership with the Iowa Beef Council. As always the thoughts, opinions, recipe, photos and content are all my own.

Recipe adapted from America’s Test Kitchen.

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine,,, and more.

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  1. 5 stars
    just made this for date night and WOW. my boyfriend and I were raving!! I’ve already told my mom and sister about it. looks like a lot of work but it’s really not, and it’s a fun process!

  2. 5 stars
    I had to tell you how much we love these!!! They are so delicious and perfect for appetizers edinner. I am making them for our Christmas dinner appetizer.