Steak Teriyaki

Seared flank or skirt steak, marinated first in a teriyaki marinade made with mirin, sake, and soy sauce, glazed with the sauce while cooking, and cut thinly against the grain to serve.

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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.

Steak Teriyaki

Flank 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.

Steak Teriyaki Recipe

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  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Marinating time: 1 hour
  • 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 canola oil

Method

1 Marinate the steak: 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.

2 Boil marinade to make the teriyaki sauce: 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.

3 Grill or fry the steak: 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 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.

4 Let the steak rest: When the steak is well seared on both sides, remove from the heat, cover with foil, and let rest for 10-15 minutes.

5 Slice steak in half with the grain, then in thin slices across the grain: Notice the direction of the grain of the steak (the 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) across 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

Showing 4 of 13 Comments

  • Lynn Ross

    Hi Elise: I have been looking for a recipe for Steak Teriyaki for years. You definitely have a winner here. It is so easy to make. I have shared this recipe with all my friends. It is a 100 on a scale of 1:10. I marinated mine for 24 hrs and used flank steak. Next time I will be doubling the marinate. They didn’t sell Mirin Rice Wine at the Asian Market I went to, so I asked another shopped what to use. All the bottles were in Chinese. I uses a Dark Rice Wine. Again, this is an award winning recipe.

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • whr03

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

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