There are many people who believe that the best recipes are made up of no more than 5 ingredients. I am not in that camp.
Here’s a recipe for a steak marinade with a large cast of characters. Each adds something special, and together they tenderize and flavor the meat, making for a spectacularly juicy steak.
Though the recipe calls for a lot of ingredients, it’s easy to execute–you’ll use 2 tablespoons of each ingredient, so there aren’t multiple measurements to juggle.
This recipe makes enough marinade for 1-2 large steaks. If you like a lot of flavor, use it on one steak, and if you’re less of a sauce fan, spread it out over two.
Obviously, the longer you let the steak sit with the marinade, the more flavorful and tender the meat will be. At minimum, I’d recommend letting the meat and marinade mingle for 20-25 minutes.
Ingredients: (from left to right)
- 2 steaks
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice (you can use fresh, I sometimes use bottled, as shown)
- 2 tablespoons of lemon taragon vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of mirin rice wine (you can find this at your regular grocery store)
- 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons of sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons of hot chili oil (if you don’t like spicy food, use 1/2 tablespoon)
- 2 tablespoons of Chipotle sauce (this adds a smokey flavor, not heat)–I like Tajin Chipotle which you can find in many regular grocery stores. If not, use any chipotle tabasco sauce.
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- 2 tablespoons of powdered ginger
- 2 tablespoons of garlic powder
- Put the steak into a bowl or baking dish where it can sit with the marinade for a while.
- Add all the ingredients into a baking dish.
- Take the time to rub the ingredients into the meat. The powdered ingredients, in particular, will need to be rubbed into the steak by hand to ensure even coverage.
- Let the steak sit with the marinade for at least 20-25 minutes.
- Cook steak–I prefer to grill. Use The Poke Test (very scientific) to check that the meat is cooked, rather than slicing into the meat, which allows the juices to escape and makes for a drier steak.
- Very Rare Steak – feels soft and squishy
- Rare Steak – soft to the touch
- Medium-Rare Steak – yields gently to the touch
- Medium Steak – yields only slightly to the touch, beginning to firm up
- Medium-Well Steak – firm to the touch
- Well-Done Steak – hard to the touch
6. Allow the steak to rest for a few minutes.
The marinade is so successful because it covers different flavor profiles–savory (soy sauce, garlic powder, salt, pepper), sweet (mirin, ginger), smokey (chipotle sauce), nutty (sesame oil)–while tenderiizing the meat through different acids (lemon juice, lemon taragon vinegar)–and keeping it moist and juicy with different oils (olive, sesame, hot chili).
Hope you enjoy!