When you’re in the mood for Asian flavors, don’t head for takeout. Try this recipe for flank steak with ginger balsamic marinade. It’s a favorite with my clients and family.
I’m a big fan of Asian flavors, and anything with ginger tops the list. After slicing the meat into thin strips and a short marinade in ginger, soy sauce, sake, agave syrup, garlic and balsamic vinegar, this ginger flank steak is ready in just minutes.
About Flank Steak
Flank steak is a lean choice for beef lovers. It’s not really a steak, but a single piece of muscle. Flank comes in one long, sort of oval shaped piece that is wider at one end and tapering at the other.
It’s easily identifiable by the long grain that runs the length of the muscle. When cooked, it’s a little chewy and has great flavor. Marinating adds flavor and also tenderizes the meat.
You need low sodium soy sauce or tamari, dry sake, honey or agave syrup, ginger puree from a jar, balsamic vinegar, and garlic.
Swaps and Tips
- Swap coconut aminos for no soy or if you eat Paleo or for histamine friendly
- Buy low sodium and organic soy only, or it will be crazy high in sodium and GMO
- Swap Tamari (organic only), a no-wheat soy, for gluten-free
- Buy single serving dry sake (the airline size) for cooking
- Finely grate fresh peeled ginger or use the ginger puree in a jar
Flank steaks usually run around 1¼ – 2 pounds each. Figure about 6 ounces per person for a serving. As you buy a whole piece of flank steak and not a cut, you can’t always get just the amount you need. Leftovers make a great lunch the next day. Just pile leftover flank steak on fresh salad greens and dress with Balsamic vinaigrette.
For the marinade combine soy sauce, dry sake, honey or agave syrup, ginger, Balsamic vinegar, garlic and chives. If you want extra marinade to serve as a sauce, make a double batch.
Slice flank steak across the grain into ½” thin strips with a sharp knife. Place in a covered bowl or plastic zip bag and add the marinade. Allow to stand for 30 to 60 minutes at room temperature to soak up great flavor. You can also marinate over night in the refrigerator.
After marinating, drain marinade and cook strips quickly in a hot pan. As flank steak is lean, don’t overcook it to maintain tenderness.
Another cooking idea: Leave the flank steak in a whole piece and marinade overnight, drain and grill, then slice and serve with fresh clean marinade as sauce.
Serve with rice and steamed sugar snap peas for a healthy, Asian-inspired dinner with big flavors.
Side Dish Ideas
Drop sugar snap peas into boiling, salted water for 3 minutes, drain and serve. If you have snap peas left over, add them to a steak salad the next day. I
This flank steak is also delicious served with mushrooms. I like to use shitakes with this recipe. Slice and cook in the same pan as the flank steak to pick up the flavors. You may need a little oil (try coconut oil) in the pan to cook the mushrooms.
Sometimes I’ll add a tablespoon of finely chopped shallots towards the end of cooking for extra flavor.
For another flank steak recipe, try this Mexican version and fire up your grill!
Asian Flank Steak with Ginger Balsamic Marinade
Flank Steak Marinade
- ½ cup low sodium soy sauce or tamari
- ½ cup sake
- 3 tablespoons honey or agave syrup
- 2 tablespoons ginger puree from a jar
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 3 large garlic cloves chopped fine
- 1½ tablespoons finely chopped chives
- 1 ½ -2 pounds flank steak
- Make the marinade by combining soy sauce through chives.
- Slice the flank steak across the grain into ½” (1 ½ cm) wide strips. If the steak is very wide, you can slice it in half lengthwise with the grain first, then cross grain into strips. Place steak in a bowl, mix with marinade, then cover with plastic and allow to stand 45-60 minutes at room temperature. You can also mix it in a zip bag, press out the air and marinate.
- Heat a large non-stick sauté or fry pan over medium heat. Drain marinade from steak through a sieve and set aside. Lay steak strips flat in the hot pan; don’t crowd them. Cook until one side is a browned and getting caramelized edges. Flip the pieces over and cook just briefly, then remove to a rimmed baking sheet or plate. Repeat with the other pieces until done.