This recipe appears in:The Best Inexpensive Steak For The Grill Part 4: Flap Meat (Sirloin Tip) How to Marinate and Grill Flank Steaks
About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.
- For the Marinade
- 1/2 cup palm sugar or brown sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1/3 cup lime juice
- 2 cloves garlic, grated on a microplane zester
- 1 tablespoon Thai chili powder (or red chili flakes)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 whole flank steak, about 2 pounds
- For the Salad
- 1/2 cup loosely packed mint leaves
- 1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
- 1 small bunch chives, cut into 1 1/2-inch segments
- 1/2 cup loosely packed basil
- 4 shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 to 2 cups mung bean sprouts
Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until completely dissolved. Transfer to a small bowl, add fish sauce, lime juice, garlic, and chili powder and stir to combine. Transfer half to a small container and reserve until step 3. Add oil to remaining half and whisk to combine. Place flank steak inside a gallon-sized zipper-lock bag with marinade. Press out air, seal bag, and allow meat to marinate, turning occasionally, for at least 1 hour and up to 12.
Remove steak from marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Ignite a large chimney full of coals and wait until they're covered in grey ash. Spread evenly over 1/2 of grate, leaving the other half empty. Put the cooking grate in place, cover, and allow grill to preheat for 5 minutes. Scrape cooking grates clean, then place flank steak over hot side of grill. cook until well charred, about 3 minutes. Flip steak and continue to cook until second side is well charred, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer steak to cooler side of grill, cover, and cook until the center of the steak registers 125°F on an intant-read thermometer for medium-rare, or 135° for medium, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer to a cutting board, tent with foil, and allow steak to rest for at least 5 minutes.
Thinly slice beef against the grain and transfer to a large bowl. Add herbs, shallots, bean sprouts, and reserved marinade, and toss to combine. Serve immediately.