The marinade in this Grilled Asian-style Soy Marinated Flank Steak takes an uninteresting piece of steak and turns it into a mouthwatering dish!
Soy Marinated Flank Steak
I grill flank steak, a lean primal cut with wonderful beefy flavor all summer long. Some of my favorites are Flank Steak with Tomatoes, Balsamic and Red Onion, Flank Steak with Chimichurri, and Flank Steak with Black Bean Corn Salsa.
I recently met Culinary Scientist Jessica Gavin at a dinner in Salt Lake City. We got to talking about food science and the conversation was fascinating understanding how ingredients function together. This recipe is from her cookbook Easy Culinary Science (affil link) which is filled with easy to follow recipes, helpful cooks notes and the recipe science for each.
I modified her recipe slightly to lower the sodium and fat, but keep in mind most of the marinade gets tossed which has been reflected in the nutritional analysis. I have also included her notes and science behind this recipe here:
The marinade adds flavor to the surface and inside of the meat, while salt makes the meat juicier. Water-soluble flavor compounds come from the garlic, ginger and green onion. Soy sauce provides an unami flavor which penetrates the meat with flavor. The oil allows the fat-soluble flavors from the pepper flakes to infuse the oil and stick to the meats surface for tremendous flavor. The honey aids in providing quicker browning and caramelizing for an intense smoky charred flavor.
When marinating meat, the aromatic compounds in the marinade will never fully penetrate the center. 8 hours is plenty of time to marinate so you can do this in the morning, then cook it in the evening. Any longer than 12 hours won’t add much benefit.
Soy Marinated Flank Steak
- 1/2 cup 120 ml reduced sodium soy sauce or tamari (for gluten-free option)
- 1/4 cup 60 ml honey
- 2 tablespoons 30 ml vegetable oil, plus more for greasing
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tsp 10 g minced ginger
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp red chili pepper flakes
- 2 tbsp 6 g thinly sliced green onion, plus more for garnish
- 3/4 tsp rice vinegar
- 2 lb 907 g flank steak
- In a medium-size bowl, combine the soy sauce, honey, vegetable oil, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, black pepper, red chili pepper and green onions.
- Remove 1/4 cup (60 ml) of the marinade and combine with the rice vinegar in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate.
- Place the remaining marinade and steak in a 1-gallon (3.6-L) resealable bag. Remove as much air as possible and seal the bag.
- Refrigerate for at least 1 hour by laying the steak flat, and flipping the bag after 30 minutes. The steak can be marinated in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours.
- Remove the steak from the marinade, drain any excess liquid and transfer to a pan. Discard the marinating bag.
- Set the grill to high. Add a small amount of oil on a folded piece of paper towel, carefully greasing the grill with the oil.
- Allow the grill to preheat for 15 minutes, and once the grill is very hot, add the steak.
- Cover and cook the steak until well browned, about 4 to 5 minutes, then flip and cook until desired doneness, about 3 to 4 minutes. For medium rare, cook the steak until the internal temperature reaches between 120 and 125°F (49 and 52°C). For medium, cook between 130 and 135°F (54 and 57°C).
- Transfer the steak to a cutting board and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
- Slice the steak against the grain into 1/4-inch (6-mm) thick slices. Pour the reserved marinade on top and serve hot.