This Grilled Asian Steak is lip-smacking good! The flavorful marinade/sauce (with a secret ingredient) takes just minutes to throw together. Try it and watch everyone go crazy!
I've been making this delicious steak for several months now and have been serving it to family and friends on repeat. The craze started back in February when Scott and I visited my nephew, Stevens and his adorable little family in Atlanta. Stevens (or Steve as we call him) is an AMAZING cook and, each evening during our stay, we were treated to a phenomenal dinner. One of the entrees Steve prepared for us was this Grilled Asian Steak. With the first bite, I knew I had to have the recipe!
Before I share more about Steve's awesome Grilled Asian Steak, I have a little surprise for you. Steve and his sister, Hilary (also a great cook) have started their own blog! It's called Cakes and Coriander and I encourage you to check it out. You'll find a wonderful variety of delicious recipes there including the Herby Garden Salad with Homemade Lemon Vinaigrette (pictured below) that Steve prepared while visiting with us last spring. It's one of those crazy-delicious salads that explodes with fresh, fabulous flavor!
And if you need to cook gluten-free for yourself, family or friends, you definitely want to check out Cakes and Coriander. Steve has mastered the art of gluten-free cooking/baking and shares that gift freely with his readers.
Okay, back to the Grilled Asian Steak...
Steve was kind enough to send me a list of the ingredients for the marinade after we returned home. I've tweaked things just a bit here and there, but Steve is definitely the mastermind behind this Grilled Asian Steak recipe.
The list of ingredients for this recipe includes fairly common Asian pantry/refrigerator items; soy sauce, brown sugar, fresh ginger, fresh lime juice, chili garlic sauce and garlic. But there is one unexpected ingredient that you would probably never guess in a million years.
Yes, applesauce! Applesauce works as a natural sweetener and makes a nice, thick marinade/sauce. But the main reason Steve included applesauce in this recipe is that apples contain enzymes that help tenderize beef similar to the way that Asian pears work in Korean grilling recipes. And Steve's super easy way to utilize those magic apple enzymes... with readily available, prepared natural applesauce. Brilliant!
This recipe couldn't be easier. Simply throw together the marinade ingredients and combine with the steak in a ziplock bag. Allow everything to meld and marry, then grill when you're ready. That's pretty much it. We explain it in more detail in the recipe itself but know that you won't be slaving in the kitchen when you prepare this Asian Grilled Steak (although it tastes like a labor of love!)
How to serve this Grilled Asian Steak
I've served this steak so many ways since enjoying it at Steve's house. We've grilled it and served it with jasmine rice and stir-fried veggies for a fresh, healthy dinner. It's also delicious with ramen noodles, rice noodles or soba noodles.
I've paired it with basmati rice and thinly sliced cucumbers and slivers or red onion marinated in rice vinegar, sugar and a pinch of salt. A couple of other healthy, summery options are to serve this Grilled Asian Steak with jasmine rice and this Thai Chopped Watermelon Salad or this Asian Watermelon Herb Salad - both make a gorgeous presentation!
Last night, we had friends for dinner and I prepared an Asian-inspired salsa (recipe coming next week) to go with the Grilled Asian Steak. We paired the steak and salsa with rice and lots of fresh herbs. Everyone loved it! We'll be sharing the salsa recipe next week!
Leftovers make fantastic Asian tacos! Warm some flour tortillas (purchased or these Homemade Flour Tortillas) and cook them with a tiny pat of butter for 30 seconds on each side until warm and starting to bubble. Slice the steak thinly then sauté quickly in the same pan with a bit of the sauce. Pile the steak into the warm tortillas and top with shredded carrots, thinly sliced red cabbage and or diced avocado. Drizzle with a little bit more of the sauce or a bit of nuoc cham or this 5 Minute Easy Peanut Sauce... fabulous!
I've also made quesadillas from the leftover steak. Slice it super thin and sandwich it with your favorite cheese and a few sprigs of fresh herbs. Add a simple green salad, dressed with this Asian Honey Sesame Dressing, and you've got a restaurant-worthy lunch!
In addition to being super versatile, this Grilled Asian Steak recipe can be prepped in advance. I've made the marinade 2 or 3 days ahead and stored it in the refrigerator. The meat can be marinated for as short as an hour and for as long as 1-2 days.
Steve actually makes double or triple batches of the marinade, combines it with steaks in zippered bags and freezes them individually. Then when he's having a busy day, he simply pulls a marinaded steak out of the freezer, lets it thaw and it's ready for the grill. I told you he was smart!
To avoid last-minute stress when we're entertaining, Scott grills the meat an hour or two before the guests arrive. We let the meat rest for 10-15 minutes then slice it thin, place it in a microwave-safe storage container and refrigerate. Right before serving, I simply re-warm the steak on low power (10%) in the microwave. With this method, the steak stays pink and juicy inside and makes for easy entertaining. Scott likes it too as he gets to enjoy the guests rather than slaving over a hot grill at the last minute!
What kind of steak should I use for this Grilled Asian Steak?
That's another great thing about this recipe. As I said, I've been making this steak for a few months now and I've experimented with all kinds of cuts of beef. Steve used skirt steak when he prepared it for us. I used flat iron steak when I made it for this photo shoot, but I've also used ribeye, New York strip, hanger steak, flank steak and, when I really want to splurge, filet mignon. They are all delicious and all work well.
Café Tips for making Steve's Grilled Asian Steak
- This recipe will give you enough sauce to marinate the steak and extra for brushing on the meat while grilling. Sometimes I like to double the sauce so I have enough to drizzle over the sliced steak when serving. The extra sauce is also nice for leftovers (see suggestions above in the post).
- If you use flat iron, skirt or flank steak for this recipe, be sure to slice it against the grain. What does that mean? Cuts of meat like flat iron, skirt steaks, hanger steads or flank steaks have parallel lines of muscle fiber running down the meat. These muscle fibers can make the meat tough and difficult to chew. By cutting the meat "against" or perpendicular to the grain, you're shortening those muscle fibers resulting in much more tender meat. Sometimes, it's easier to see the grain of the meat when it's raw. So take note before you start grilling and then slice in the opposite direction.
- I like to buy the kid-size little cartons of applesauce available at most grocery stores. They are exactly a half cup so there's no measuring involved plus they're easy to keep on hand for this recipe without having to open up a larger jar or can. Look for natural applesauce that is unsweetened with just apples and water as the ingredients.
- The marinade for this Grilled Asian Steak calls for finely grated fresh ginger. You can purchase fresh ginger at just about any grocery store but, if you're in a hurry, it's great to keep some ginger paste stashed away in your refrigerator or freezer. I like the Gourmet Garden brand of ginger paste. You can find it at many larger grocery stores, including Super Targets and Walmarts, in the produce section. I like to keep mine in the freezer. When I need fresh ginger, I pull it out and let it thaw for 5-10 minutes. I squeeze out what I need and return the rest to the freezer. This is not a sponsored post. This stuff is just so handy and makes cooking on busy days so much easier. They also have lemongrass in these tubes.
- The recipe also calls for chili garlic sauce. Chili garlic sauce is a delicious condiment that adds a bit of savory heat. You can find this at any grocery store that has an international aisle. It will be stocked with the Asian ingredients. Chili garlic paste lasts 6-9 months in the refrigerator and is used in a lot of Asian dishes. I advise starting with 1 teaspoon in the marinade then taste and add more as desired.
- Lots of grilled steak recipes call for bringing the meat to room temperature before grilling. I like to keep the steak refrigerated until just before grilling. This helps to develop a nicely caramelized exterior without drying out the steak inside.
- The length of time that it will take to grill this steak will vary, depending on the thickness of the meat and the temperature of your grill. The best way to determine doneness is to use an instant thermometer. Instant thermometers are not expensive and will save you lots of money in preventing undercooked or overcooked meat.
- This Grilled Asian Steak should read 140˚F-150˚F when finished. 140˚F will be warm but quite pink inside. 150˚F will be more done. We like our steak pink inside, but not too pink. 145˚F is perfect for us.
Thought for the day:
We have this HOPE as
an anchor for the soul,
firm and secure.
What we're listening to for inspiration:
If you enjoy this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear your results, adaptations and ideas for variations.
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar
- ½ cup apple sauce natural, unsweetened
- 3 tablespoons fresh ginger or ginger paste
- 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons mild-flavored oil like sunflower, avocado, grape seed or canola oil
- ¼ cup soy sauce I use regular soy sauce
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1-1½ pounds steak flat iron, flank steak, skirt steak, hanger steak, rib eye, New York strip and filets all work well with this recipe
Combine all marinade ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl or saucepan (if you don’t have a microwave). Place the bowl in the microwave and cook for 2-3 minutes or until bubbling and the brown sugar has dissolved. If you’re doing this on the stovetop, bring the mixture to a boil and stir for 30 sections to dissolve the sugar. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Place the steak in a ziplock bag and add ½ cup of the cooled sauce. Seal the bag then massage the sauce into the meat. Refrigerate for at least an hour and up to 48 hours.
When ready to grill, heat the grill to high heat (500-600˚F). Clean the grates well.
Remove the steak from the refrigerator and shake off any excess marinade. Discard marinade in the bag. Lightly salt and pepper the meat.
Oil the grates of your grill then add the steak(s) and let it sit, undisturbed for 4-5 minutes or until the underside is nicely browned. Flip steaks to the opposite side and brush the cooked side with some of the sauce. Allow the second side to cook for 4-5 minutes then flip and brush with the sauce. Continue cooking, flipping and brushing until the steaks are nicely charred on the outside and the internal temperature is 140-145˚F, read with an instant thermometer.
Allow the steak to sit for 10 minutes, undisturbed, then slice thinly against the grain (see Café Tips to learn what that means). If you made extra sauce (doubled the recipe), pass it at the table and allow guests to drizzle it over the sliced meat, as desired. Enjoy!
See Café Tips above in the post for more detailed instructions and tips to ensure success.
If you prefer to use Metric measurements there is a button in each of our recipes, right above the word “Instructions”. Just click that button to toggle to grams, milliliters, etc. If you ever come across one of our recipes that doesn’t have the Metric conversion (some of the older recipes may not), feel free to leave a comment and I will add it.
This recipe will give you enough sauce to marinade the steak and extra for brushing on the meat while grilling. Sometimes I like to double the sauce so I have enough to drizzle over the sliced steak when serving.