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Soy marinade makes weeknight steak simple


A perfectly grilled steak requires more time and finesse than we can afford most weeknights.

Our solution: sirloin tips cut into quick-cooking chunks. The smaller pieces also offer greater surface area, making it easy to add flavor with a gingery marinade (and salty soy sauce ensures the meat absorbs as much of the flavor as possible).

In this recipe from our book “Milk Street Tuesday Nights,” which limits recipes to 45 minutes or less, we start with a 15-minute soak in a ginger-garlic-soy sauce marinade. Then the sirloin tips go under the broiler for a quick sear.

The rich, beefy steak is balanced with a cool salad of sliced cucumber and pear dressed with a tangy vinaigrette. And no need to hunt for the elusive, perfectly ripe pear. We like slightly under-ripe fruit for their firm, crisp texture; any variety will work.

Sirloin tips are sometimes labeled steakhouse-style steak tips; the cut also goes by “sirloin flap meat.” If it isn’t available, flat iron steak is a good alternative, but make sure it is about 1 inch thick. And don’t marinate the steak longer than 30 minutes or it will be too salty.


Start to finish: 40 minutes

Servings: 4

1/2 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger

2 tablespoons white sugar, divided

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

4 medium garlic cloves, finely grated

Kosher salt and ground white pepper

1 1/2 pounds sirloin tips, cut into 2-inch pieces

6 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar

1 English cucumber, quartered lengthwise, thinly sliced on the bias

1 firm pear, quartered, cored and thinly sliced crosswise

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

In a medium bowl, stir together the soy sauce, ginger, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, the sesame oil, garlic and 1 teaspoon white pepper until the sugar dissolves. Add the beef and stir to coat. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a separate medium bowl, combine the vinegar, the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir in the cucumber and pear. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Heat the broiler with an oven rack about 4 inches from the heat. Remove the beef from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Place the pieces on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet. Cook until 125°F at the center for medium-rare, 7 to 10 minutes, turning the meat halfway through.

Drain the cucumber mixture and transfer to a large platter, arranging it on one side. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Arrange the steak opposite the salad.


EDITOR’S NOTE: For more recipes, go to Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street at

Christopher Kimball, The Associated Press

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