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Grilled Asian Flank Steak
Serves 4 to 6
1 1/2-pound flank steak
kosher salt (do not use table salt)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions (about 1)
1 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped (see Kitchen Notes)
2 large cloves garlic, minced
zest of 1 lime
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon fish sauce (available in Asian markets and many supermarkets)
2 teaspoons Sriracha (or other hot sauce)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Pat steak dry with paper towels. Season generously on both sides with kosher salt and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Let it rest on counter for one hour.
Meanwhile, make marinade. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside. After steak has been coated with salt for one hour, unwrap it and rinse thoroughly under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels and place in a large zippered plastic bag. Add marinade to bag, being careful to coat steak on both sides. Seal bag, forcing out most of the air inside and, manipulating bag from the outside, work rub marinade against surfaces of the steak. Refrigerate at least six hours and preferably overnight.
Grill steak. About half an hour before the grill is ready for cooking, remove steak from fridge to bring it to room temperature. Prepare grill for direct grilling and medium-high heat. Remove steak from zippered bag and scrape off excess marinade (I used the back edge of a table knife). Discard marinade.
Brush grill grate with a little oil and place steak directly over coals (or gas heat source). Close grill and cook for about four minutes. Turn and cook other side for about four minutes, with grill lid closed. If first side isn’t sufficiently browned, flip and cook for maybe another minute. Steak should be medium-rare to medium at this point. Do not cook more than than 10 minutes; when flank steak is overcooked (aka well-done) it becomes tough.
Transfer to cutting board or platter and tent with foil. Let steak rest for five minutes, then slice into quarter- to half-inch thick slices – the thinner, the better –across the grain. Serve.
Don’t fear the heat. Yes, the recipe calls for an entire jalapeño pepper, seeds and all, and two teaspoons of hot sauce. But most of this gets scraped off after the steak is done marinating. The heat was barely noticeable.