Flank steak has a bad reputation and I understand why. It’s a tough cut of meat that, when used improperly, seems impossible to cook well. The truth is that it just needs to be matched with the right recipe any that cooks fast and calls for thin cuts.
Although flank steak has a delicious beefy flavor, it’s relatively low in fat and tastes best when marinated or paired with other bold flavors that complement savory beef. That makes flank steak a great match for this salad, which is packed with tons of flavor from the Ginger Lime Vinaigrette and fresh herbs.
Because marinating flank steak does wonders for the cut, try to plan ahead when making this. Allowing the steak to soak in flavor overnight will make a big difference in both taste and texture. If you forget to plan ahead, though, even just thirty minutes to marinate will help.
- Yield: 4 Servings
- 3 tablespoons neutral oil, such as grapeseed or canola oil
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 1 juicy lime)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 1⁄2 teaspoon sriracha or similar hot sauce (optional)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1½ pounds flank steak
- 1⁄2 large head napa cabbage, chopped
- 4 ounces watercress (optional, but worth it)
- 2 cups sliced cucumber (from about 1 large English cucumber)
- 1½ cups chopped snow peas
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
- 1 cup chopped peanuts (also optional, but worth it)
- 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh mint
- 1 scant cup Lime Ginger Lime Vinaigrette
- Begin by marinating the steak: in a mediumsize bowl, whisk together the oil, lime juice, soy sauce, ginger, sriracha, if using, and vinegar. Add the steak to the bowl, making sure that the marinade covers it well, and cover with plastic wrap or transfer the marinade and steak to a large, resealable plastic bag. Place in the refrigerator to marinate for several hours or up to overnight, or leave on the counter for 30 minutes.
- When ready to serve, cook the steak: remove the steak from the marinade and broil, grill, or pan fry for 6 minutes, untouched. Flip the steak and, for medium doneness, cook for another 6 minutes. Use a thin-blade knife to check if it’s at medium or, preferably, check for doneness by using a meat thermometer. You want the temperature to read about 140°F for medium. Allow the meat to rest for at least 5 to 10 minutes before slicing thinly.
- While the steak cooks, make the salad: toss cabbage, watercress, if using, cucumber, snow peas, pepper, peanuts, if using, cilantro, and mint with the dressing to taste in a large serving bowl. Add the meat and toss a couple more times or serve with the sliced meat placed over the top. Serve immediately.