Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Steak Salad with soy, sesame and shallots

This meal came together really quickly on a super hot day.

I had two 1/4 pound eye round steaks from the csa. If you know anything about the eye round cut, it's usually a roast, which you have to braise for a long time to get tender. It's not a good cut for a nice grilled steak, frankly, but I really didn't want to have to braise it for a long time in the 90 degree weather we've been having, so I decided to marinate it in soy (which tenderizes and kind of brines it), broil it super quickly, and slice it thin to go on a salad.

Summer Soy Steak Salad: Super Simple, Satisfying
serves 2

-2 steaks, 1/4 lb. each (or one 1/2 lb steak), of any type (would be awesome with a better cut like strip steak or flank steak, but it worked surprisingly well with the cheap/untender eye round cut we had from the csa) (I truly think this would be delicious with seitan, tempeh or tofu as well, and really any other kind of meat, come to think of it)
-2 shallots, sliced
-1/4 cup soy sauce
-2 tbsp fish sauce
-2 splashes worcestershire sauce
-freshly ground black pepper, to taste
-garlic powder, to taste (I usually prefer real garlic, but in this case powdered is better)
-1 tbsp sugar (brown or white)
-1/4 c olive oil (plain, not extra virgin, or any other neutral tasting oil)
-1/4 c sesame seeds
-1 large or 2 small cucumbers, sliced in rounds
-mixed greens, torn up into bite size pieces (I had a little head of boston lettuce and some arugula from the csa)

If you have a cheap/tough cut of steak like I had, take a fork and stab the steaks all over a bunch of times. This helps tenderize it, and it's fun. (If you're using tofu, I'd press it for a while to get as much of the water out as possible.)

In a dish with high sides big enough to fit the steaks in one layer, combine the soy sauce, fish sauce, worcestershire sauce, shallots, pepper and garlic powder. Add the steaks, nestling them down into the sauce, and piling the shallots on top of them. Cover and put them in the fridge for at least an hour, turning once, if you can remember to (no big deal if not).

Dry toast your sesame seeds in a small heavy bottomed non-stick frying pan until brown and fragrant, set aside in a small bowl or dish.

Meanwhile get the steaks and shallots out of the marinade and dry them as thoroughly as possible with paper towels, reserving the marinade.

To make the dressing, pour the steak marinade into the pan in which you toasted your sesame seeds. Add the sugar to the marinade, and bring to a boil, shaking the pan occasionally, and reduce by about half. Pour into a bowl to cool briefly, then slowly whisk in the olive oil (a hit of toasted sesame oil would be great here, I just didn't have any). Set the dressing aside to cool (you can put it in the fridge to help this along, but don't leave it in there too long or the oil will solidify).

Preheat your broiler to high, and put your rack as close to the heat source as possible (my oven is kind of lame at this, I hope yours is better). Place some kind of cooling rack on a foil lined baking sheet, and line the rack with foil, poking holes in the foil to allow for drainage (an actual broiler pan would do the same job, come to think of it... I just don't have one, so the foil covered rack on a sheet pan is my work-around).

Place the steaks on the rack, with the shallots spread out around them. Put them under the broiler for 5 minutes. Flip the steaks, stir the shallots (moving them to the edges of the rack if they're getting too dark), and put back under the broiler for another 2-5 minutes (depending on the thickness of your steaks).

Pull them out and put both the steaks and shallots on a cutting board, and allow the steaks to rest for about 5 minutes (the shallots will soak up any juices that escape from the steaks).

Arrange the mixed greens on two plates, with the cucumbers on top (lots of em!), then slice the steaks and divide them and the shallots evenly between the two. Sprinkle on the toasted sesame seeds and drizzle on the dressing. I served it with some sticky white rice, also topped with sesame seeds and the dressing.


  1. This looks great and I didn't know eye round could be made this way. Honestly, I don't buy it unless I'm in the mood to roast but this is a great way to make this cut in the summer. Even when it's hot, 10 minutes under the broiler isn't a big deal. Thanks for the great recipe!

  2. Hey Jeremy! Yes, I wasn't sure how it would turn out, but what with the soy marinade and the short cooking time and the thin slicing, it worked out great. This is the down side of meat CSAs - you just get what you get, and usually, when it comes to cuts of beef, we seem to only get small pieces of the cheaper cuts... which is fine in wintery weather, but not so easy to use right now.

  3. this looks sooooooooooooooooooooo good!