Flank steak is one of my favorite cuts of beef, and it’s not just for fajitas! This Asian flank steak with Shi-Shi sautée is super easy to make, and wonderfully flavorful. I love “Asian flavors” (though it does of disservice to list something as “Asian” flavors when there are so many wonderfully different flavors in Asia, but I digress.) The flavors in the marinade work wonderfully well with beef, especially with cuts such as flank steak.
Cuts of beef
When you think about it, the variety of the cuts of beef available (and the different techniques needed to showcase their different attributes) are really spectacular. Tender steaks such as filets or ribeyes are best cooked by high heat grilling. Roasts and short ribs benefit from a long slow braise to break down the collagens and fats and tenderize them. Flank steak is a bit of a “tweener” in my opinion. It is usually very lean, so it needs to be cooked hotter in order to not dry it out. However, it doesn’t have huge amounts of intramuscular marbling like a filet, so it not intrinsically tender. It’s a working muscle for cattle, which gives it more texture, but also more flavor! This is one of the reasons that it benefits from a marinade- add flavor to it, but also help tenderize it. When you cook and slice flank steak correctly, it can be as juicy and tender as a ribeye!
The flank steak I used for this recipe is Australian Grass Fed Beef from True Aussie Beef and Lamb. It is available nationwide at many supermarkets, and if you go to their website they have a handy-dandy store finder where you can find some! Grass fed beef is definitely different than the beef we normally get in America. The beef is raised in a sustainable manner in pastures. As such, it tends to be leaner than grain fed beef, and have a more natural beef flavor. Because it is lean, it tends to cook more quickly (up to 30% faster,) so keep an eye out on the grill! This makes it a great candidate for searing on a flat surface such as a griddle, or cooking hot over some open flames. That sounds like it’s just up my alley!
This marinade uses one of my favorite ingredients, miso. Miso is generally available in most grocery stores nowadays. It adds a salty, savory, almost “earthy” flavor. There are several varieties of miso- white, red, yellow or “mixed” are the most readily available over here, but Japan has many different types all with their own subtle differences in flavor. White miso is the most lightly flavored of the types (with some sweet tones,) and is good for mixing in sauces or salad dressing. Red miso is generally stronger flavored and good for when you want a more assertive miso tone to your dish, which is why I use red in this marinade. I add some freshness with freshly grated ginger as well. The flavors in this are really fantastic and go well with the natural flavors of the grass-fed beef.
Preferably, marinade for overnight, up to 24 hours. As few as 4 hours in this will yield some flavorful results, so if you’re running behind don’t worry about it. As a benefit, this is a great marinade for chicken, pork or lamb as well!
Back to the beef- Slice it right!
Have you ever had a beef fajita and bit into it and all of the meat came out in one piece? Probably, it’s because it was sliced with the grain. Slicing beef properly is the MOST IMPORTANT thing when dealing with cuts such as flank steak or skirt steak. As I said, they are hard working muscles on cattle. As such (unlike a tenderloin) they don’t put on a lot of marbling, or intramuscular fats. these types of cuts are best served medium rare to medium, so they don’t dry out. In flank steak, you can easily see the “grain” running in one direction. slice the beef perpendicular to that in about 1/2″ slices, and you’ll get tender, flavorful beef every time!
Tie it Together
This flank steak recipe easily stands on it’s own, or you can easily use it to try some different flavors in a stir fry, or make some “asian tacos” with some sautéed veggies. Very versatile! I love to even cook this ahead to a rare/medium rare, then cool it down, slice and package for future meals. It will finish off with a quick sear and be ready in no time! Delish!
However, my favorite way to serve this is to combine it with my Sautéed Shishito and Shiitakes, and serve with some cooked brown rice.
Enjoy the recipe!