Here’s how to cook a savory and juicy flank steak with incredible Vietnamese flavor.
There’s a little known secret in the cooking world: Asian cuisine can really nail a steak. With all the rubs and steak seasonings marketed these days, you wouldn’t think it, but many Asian cuisines cook better steaks than cowboys or fancy BBQ experts.
The secret is all in a slightly spicy, savory, and sweet marinade. It gives the steak great flavor and makes it perfect for slicing over salads, adding to noodle bowls, or simply eating with a fork and knife!
Of course, you also have to cook the steak perfectly, but we’ll get there.
To start, let’s talk about this marinade. You don’t need a recipe exactly, but what you want is a mixture of fish sauce, citrus juice (I like lime), brown sugar, honey, garlic, ginger and chili pepper.
I like to start with a good fish sauce base (maybe 1/2 cup for a 2 pound steak) and then add the zest and juice of a few limes. Add in a few cloves of garlic and ginger, a spicy pepper diced finely, and a tablespoon of sugar and honey.
What you don’t need is salt. The fish sauce is really salty on its own and the steak will have plenty of seasoning with the marinade.
At a minimum, let the steak sit in the marinade for an hour, but you could do it up to a day in advance!
While you could use any steak for this method, I think flank steak or skirt steaks work best.
While your steak is marinating or cooking you always want to think about what to serve with it. I prefer a light, colorful salad topped over rice noodles. I’ll drizzle a little of the same marinade mixture over the salad also as a quick salad dressing. (Obviously don’t use the same batch that you used to marinate your steak though!)
When it’s time to grill, preheat your grill to High heat or prepare your charcoal for direct heat grilling.
Depending on the thickness of your steak, this guy will need to grill for 5-8 minutes per side. I used a thicker flank steak and about 8 minutes per side left me with a nice medium rare steak and great grill marks.
As always, I recommend using a meat thermometer to make sure you don’t overcook this fine piece of meat.
Ideally, your steak would hit about 130ºF in the thickest part. It’ll continue cooking up to about 135ºF while it rests, which will be perfectly medium rare. You want to let the steak rest for about 10 minutes before slicing for maximum flavor. Cover it with foil while it rests to keep the heat in.
Slice up the steak across the grain and you are ready to go!
This is a great twist on a classic steak and any meat eater will love it!
Nick thinks this is a must-try steak recipe! Check out his blog, Macheesmo, and follow him on his Tablespoon profile.