Cook Date: August 20, 2020
As promised! A recipe that has no tofu; that’s right, it’s real steak, beef skirt steak, not tofu “steak”. I’ve cooked skirt steak – a relatively cheap cut of meat – a few times over the past couple of years. I usually marinate it in a chili paste. Carla wanted something different: teriyaki. I could have gone out to buy a bottle or teriyaki sauce but that’s not how I roll. I looked at some recipes to make it from scratch with an eye to modifying it later for my taste. I settled on this Else Bauer’s recipe on Simply Recipes.
I love that little cup of saki! I’ve used saki in marinades before and have a brand I’m happy with, but when I asked the wine expert at our New Seasons store, he pointed to this little cup. How could I resist? It is screaming for a place in the picture.
The recipe actually calls for flank steak, but I like skirt steak for this type of cooking. This is one skirt steak, cut in two. There was a bit of silver skin on the underside which I trimmed away. Notice the grain on this cut of meat; it runs crosswise; this will be important when it comes to carving it. Carve it wrong and you will have a long day at the office trying to chew this.
Shred the ginger and measure out the other 4 ingredients:
Skirt steak requires some sort of marinade or paste to help tenderize it; the acid in the rice wine and teriyaki will do a great job of that. The soy sauce adds umami, sugar for sweetness and the ginger for freshness. Put the meat in a 1 gallon sealable plastic bag, pour in the whisked together marinade and stash in the refrigerator. The recipe calls for 1 to 48 hours. I think this needs a minimum of 4 hours, but I think 48 hours might make it mushy.
Squish the contents of the bag and flip the bag every hour (optional) to make sure the marinade gets everywhere. An hour before grilling, take the meat out of the marinade and reserve the marinade.
Fire up the grill as hot as it can get; skirt steak requires a short burst of high temperature cooking. While the grill is heating up, pour the reserved marinade in a small pan, bring to a boil and simmer on the stove for 10 minutes. Now, don’t EVER do that with chicken. But beef is okay – the simmering will take care of anything nasty that might, but likely is not, lurking.
Cook on the grill over direct high heat for 4-5 minutes per side. Brush some of the reserved, simmered marinade on.
Let’s zoom in.
The two pictures above are a little misleading. The picture was taken just after I switched positions. The more heavily charred piece of steak in the front was actually on the anodized aluminum searing grate on the back half of the grill. It obviously gets much hotter that the standard stainless steel grate.
Remove to a platter to rest. This gives a better look at the difference between the grates. The upper steak also shows the heat difference on my grill from side to side. The right side of my grill is much cooler than the left. That relatively uncharred but perfectly cooked steak on the upper left was upside down on the lower right during most of the cook.
If you already know how to carve skirt steak, go to the next paragraph. That grain of fibers running across the width of the steak can result in some very tough eating. The trick is to carve across the grain. To do that, cut the long pieces cross wise leaving rectangles 3 to 4 inches long. Then turn the sections and cut across the grain. You’ll have some very tender steak.
While the grill was heating up I threw on some corn on the cob halves wrapped in foil – my favorite way to cook corn this summer. I left it on too long as the grill came up to temp. The backside was a bit burned; but still tasty. The rice was left over from some other meals earlier in the week. And Carla sautéd some squash from her garden. If you click on the picture for a closer look – especially the piece on the right – you can see how cutting the steak across the grain results in a tender piece of meat.
This recipe has promise, but it was a little heavy on the sake. It might have been the brand – a small taste was like white lightning. But I think I’ll cut the amount down a bit, maybe a little more soy sauce and either more sugar or add a bit of honey for more sweetness.
Now, I do have an update on a better way to brown tofu – oops sorry I used that word – but that will be for a later post.