Soy marinade makes steak easier on weekdays

A perfectly grilled steak takes more time and finesse than we can afford on most weeknights.

Our solution: sirloin tips cut into quick-cooking pieces. The smaller pieces also provide more surface area, making it easy to add flavor with a ginger marinade (and the salty soy sauce ensures the meat absorbs as much flavor as possible).

In this recipe from our book “Milk Street Tuesday Nights,” which limits recipes to 45 minutes or less, we start with a 15-minute soak in a ginger, garlic, and soy sauce marinade. Then the sirloin tips pass under the grill for a quick sear.

The rich, beefy steak is balanced with a fresh salad of cucumber and pear slices dressed in a tangy dressing. And no need to look for the elusive, perfectly ripe pear. We like slightly under-ripe fruits for their firm and crunchy texture; any variety will work.

Sirloin tips are sometimes labeled as steakhouse-style steak tips; the cut is also called “sirloin flap meat”. If it’s not available, the flat iron steak is a good alternative, but make sure it’s about 1 inch thick. And don’t marinate the steak for more than 30 minutes or it will be too salty.


Start to finish: 40 minutes

Servings: 4

½ cup of soy sauce

2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger

2 tbsp white sugar, divided

1 tablespoon of toasted sesame oil

4 medium garlic cloves, finely grated

Kosher salt and ground white pepper

1½ pound sirloin tips, cut into 2-inch pieces

6 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar

1 English cucumber, quartered lengthwise, thinly sliced ​​on the bias

1 firm pear, cut into wedges, seeded and thinly sliced ​​crosswise

1 tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds

In a medium bowl, combine the soy sauce, ginger, 1 tbsp of sugar, sesame oil, garlic and 1 tsp of white pepper until the sugar dissolves. Add the beef and toss to coat. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a separate medium bowl, combine vinegar, remaining 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir in the cucumber and pear. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Heat the grill with an oven rack about 4 inches from the heat. Remove the beef from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Place the pieces on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet. Bake to center 125 ° F for medium rare, 7 to 10 minutes, turning meat halfway through cooking.

Drain the cucumber mixture and transfer to a large dish, arranging it on one side. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Arrange the steak in front of the salad.


EDITOR’S NOTE: For more recipes, head over to Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street at

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