Steak Teriyaki

I love this photo. It makes me want to eat this steak all over again. Don’t you love it when you make something that you know is good, and you feed it to someone who has their doubts (because that’s just how they are, they doubt everything), and their eyes light up and they get a big smile on their face right after the first bite? That was my mother and father after biting into this steak teriyaki. Flank or skirt steak is naturally tough, but the combination of marinating it in a homemade teriyaki marinade of mirin, sake, and soy sauce, along with a fast sear on high heat, and cutting thin slices against the grain, makes for a juicy, tender presentation.

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Steak Teriyaki Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 4.

You can either pan-fry or grill this steak, either way you'll want to sear it on very high heat. If pan frying, I recommend using a large cast iron frying pan or griddle pan.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup mirin rice wine
  • 1/3 cup sake
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce (if cooking gluten-free, use gluten-free soy sauce)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 1/2 to 2 lb flank steak or skirt steak
  • Olive oil or grapeseed oil

Method

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1 Combine the mirin, sake, soy sauce, sugar, and grated ginger in a large, shallow bowl. Place the steak in the marinade and let marinate for at least an hour, and up to 48 hours. If marinating for more than an hour, keep chilled until an hour before you plan to cook.

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2 When ready to cook, remove steak from marinade, reserving the marinade. Place steak on a plate and set aside. Place marinade in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes, or until the marinade has reduced to a thin glaze, becoming your teriyaki sauce.

Please note that if you are concerned by the idea of reusing the marinade after raw steak has been sitting in it, you will be boiling the heck out of this marinade, killing anything that may have decided to grow in it during the marinating process. Also steak isn't the same as chicken. People eat steak raw (beef carpaccio). Salmonella is not a problem with steak; it is with chicken. If you are still concerned, make twice as much marinade, and reserve half to boil down to make the sauce, using the other half as a marinade.

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3 If grilling the steak, prepare your grill for high, direct heat. If pan frying, heat a large cast iron pan on high heat. If grilling oil the grill grates. Pat dry the steak. Rub a little olive oil or grapeseed oil all over it. Place the steak on the hot grill or pan. Sear for 3-5 minutes on one side, or until the side is well browned, and turn the steak over and sear the other side. Baste the steak with teriyaki sauce. When the steak is well seared on both sides, remove from the heat and let rest for 10-15 minutes.

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4 Notice the direction of the grain of the steak. It should like like striations in the muscle fibers of the steak. Slice the steak in half, following the grain of the steak so that you are slicing along the grain. (This will make it easier to make cuts across the grain.) Then make thin slices (1/4-inch) against the grain and on a slight diagonal. Slicing this way will break up the muscle fibers, making this naturally tough cut of meat quite tender.

If there are juices that run out of the steak as you cut it, add the juices to the teriyaki sauce. There's lots of goodness in the steak "jus" that you don't want to waste.

Arrange on a serving plate and pour the remaining teriyaki sauce over it.

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Links:

Teriyaki flank steak sandwich with napa cabbage, red pepper, and carrots from Dara the Cookin' Canuck

13 Comments

  1. m750

    Hi Elise,
    Interestingly enough, flank and skirt steak tend to be tougher when rare, if cooked to medium rare, the fibers will tighten up a little bit, but you are able to counter act it, by being able to slice it much thiner, than a rare steak, that tends to squirm when sliced.
    The recipe looks great.
    AO

    That makes sense, thanks for the tip! ~Elise

  2. Noella

    Hi Elise,

    I have long been reading your blog and love so many recipes. I live in Japan now at an American military base and this is the exact recipe I have for teriyaki steak that I got from a Japanese cookbook here. I have made it many times and wondered if I would be able to get mirin when I move back to the US.

    This is also wonderful with chicken!

    Thanks for sharing.

    Yes, the 1:1:1 ratio of mirin to sake to soy sauce is a classic ratio for Japanese teriyaki. ~Elise

  3. MG

    Elise,
    This looks delicious. I’m going to try it with sake and mirin — that makes perfect sense.

    My go-to recipe for teriyaki (from my Indian mom) is:

    - thinly slice a flank steak
    – marinate overnight in one cup vermouth, one cup soy sauce, ~2 tablespoons shredded ginger, ~2 tablespoon shredded garlic, spoon of brown sugar
    – thread on small skewers
    – grill for a few minutes until done

    This is a wonderful meal for kids.

  4. whr03

    If you can’t get mirin, I use red wine, rice wine vinegar, garlic, ginger, sugar and black pepper for a marinade.

  5. D

    Hi Elise,
    We’ve have steak and eggs on many occassions for breakfast (especially on ski trips) and I can’t wait to make this one and see all those smiles! I had only one observation, step 4, 2nd sentence, wasn’t sure what that meant.

    Can’t wait to try it! Love your site’s inspiration.

    D

    Striations are lines. In a flank steak or skirt steak, you can see the direction of the fibers of the muscles. (This is called the “grain”.) They are all lined up in one direction, which you can easily see by looking at the smooth surface of the steak. If you have a wide piece of steak, you want to cut it in half first, in the direction of the lines. Then you want to make thin cuts crosswise to the lines, or against the grain. This will break up the tough muscles making the steak more tender to eat. ~Elise

  6. Lynn

    This looked so good to me that I was inspired to go around the corner at lunch and get beef tacos from Hankook Taqueria. Yum.

    And I like that you photographed it on a Ruska plate. That is my everyday china.

    Love that plate! ~Elise

  7. Garett

    The BF made this last night and it was amazing. Sadly, we only marinated it for a few hours but it still produced a very flavorful steak. Way to go on this recpe, Elise.;)

  8. Liz

    Tell me about Mirin rice wine. Do I buy this at the liquor store? Is it the same as Mirin style sweet cooking seasoning?

    Great question. We buy mirin here at the local grocery store, but California laws regarding buying liquor are fairly lax compared to the laws in other states. It is a a low alcohol condiment that is used in Japanese cooking. If your local grocery store has an Asian foods aisle, that’s where it would likely be. You can probably use “mirin style sweet cooking seasoning” as a substitute. Sake is a drinking alcohol, which I find in the wine aisle of our grocery store, or in a liquor store. ~Elise

  9. Hal

    Any good replacement for the rice wine & sake?

    I’m underage and can’t actually buy that stuff.[I’m also living alone and working so no chance of getting help buying it]

  10. Jennifer

    Use brown sugar instead of regular white sugar. It is amazing! Oh, and add a little garlic next time. :)

  11. RD

    I made this over the weekend for the family and it was delicious. I let it marinate overnight and cooked it over lump charcoal on my Big Green Egg at 500F for 4 minutes each side. Came out perfectly medium-rare. Served it with steamed white rice and sauteed spinach. Had the leftover meat and rice today for lunch and it was great.

  12. Amy

    We made this last night and it was outstanding! We doubled the recipe just for two of us and now we have a lot of leftovers. Any ideas on how to use this as an appetizer for a dinner party we’re throwing tonight?

  13. yuri

    It is very good recipe and looking good on salad, I think! I’ve never tried teriyaki on grill. I will do it soon and it could be good in maki-sushi, too! If I make this in maki-sushi, I will post it and let you know. Thanks!

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