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March 25th, 2014

Costa Rican Sugar Cane Beef

Caroline Maber

By Caroline Maber
Travel Consultants

"My colleague Sophie and I were treated to this dish during a stay at Tortuga Lodge, and although we have both travelled all over Latin America we had never seen anything quite like it before. I thought it would be perfect for our magazine so I asked the lodge for the recipe. If you can get hold of the sugar cane (try ethnic markets and specialist shops) it really does make quite an amazing impact, and gives the salty, Asian flavours of the delicious beef marinade a distinctive sweet complement. Use high-quality beef to replicate the tasty and juicy meat used in the original dish."

  • Prep: 20 minutes
  • Cook: 15 hour
  • Total time: 35 minutes
  • Recipe serves: 7


  • 1 kilo of beef
  • 1 piece of sugar cane
  • 200g sesame oil
  • 200g soy sauce
  • 10g garlic (crushed)
  • 4g ginger (finely chopped)
  • 5ml honey


  1. Cut the beef into about 7 large pieces and spear with the sugar cane.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, ginger and honey. Place the beef and sugar cane pieces into the mix to marinate for 15 minutes.
  3. In a large frying pan, cook the beef to your liking.
  4. Serve with salad, rice and/or potatoes.

Chef's tip: take care not to over crowd the frying pan as you’ll reduce the temperature and the beef will stew in the juice as opposed to fry.

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