Recipe: The secret weapon for a tasty skirt steak

One of our secret ingredients for developing flavor quickly is miso. As an umami base, it helps balance and unify the sweet and sour notes in everything from chicken to pasta, even cookies.

This image posted by Milk Street shows a recipe for Miso Marinated Steak. (Milk Street via AP)

It pairs particularly well in a sweet-savory marinade of grilled flank steak, amplifying the beef of the meat and balancing out the sugars in an Asian chili-garlic sauce.

In this recipe from our “Milk Street Tuesday Nights” book, which limits recipes to 45 minutes or less, we preferred red miso for its rich flavor, which is deeper than the more common white miso (although white is also delicious). For a double dose of flavor, use it in sauce and marinade, which also includes soy sauce, sesame oil and a little white sugar.

Once the meat is cooked, the sugars in the marinade caramelize to create a flavorful browning, and the steak is done in just a few minutes on each side.

Although we developed this recipe for the stovetop, it will work just as well on a clean, well-oiled grill. Just be sure to dry the meat well so the marinade doesn’t cause flare-ups. And don’t force the pieces of steak out of the pan; when securely gripped and ready to flip, they release easily.

EDITOR’S NOTE: For more recipes, visit Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street at

Skirt steak marinated in miso

3 tablespoons red miso

1 tablespoon of soy sauce

1 tablespoon chili-garlic sauce

1 tablespoon of white sugar

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger

2 medium garlic cloves, finely grated

1½ pounds skirt steak, trimmed and cut crosswise into 5-6 inch pieces, patted dry

2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar

5 teaspoons grapeseed or other neutral oil, divided

In a medium bowl, whisk together miso, soy sauce, chili-garlic sauce, sugar, sesame oil, ginger and garlic. Measure 2 teaspoons of the mixture into a small bowl and set aside. Add the steak to the rest of the mixture, turn to coat and marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, to the 2 teaspoons reserved, stir in the vinegar and 3 teaspoons of oil, then set aside.

Remove the steak from the bowl and pat it dry with paper towel. In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons grapeseed oil until barely smoking. Add half the steak in a single layer and cook undisturbed until nicely browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook until second sides are golden brown and center of thickest piece reaches 125°F for medium-rare, 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer to a platter, then repeat with the remaining steak, using the fat from the pan. Cover with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 minutes.

Stir the juices accumulated on the tray into the reserved miso mixture. Slice the steak crosswise across the grain into thin slices and return to the dish. Serve with miso sauce.

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