My fridge and freezer has been pretty empty since the kids left for grandparents camp. It made me realize how much they eat! As my freezer slowly emptied as I cooked meals for me and the husband, I found two juicy steaks. Two wasn’t enough to pull out the grill, but I wanted to do give them special treatment. A Vietnamese inspired marinade was what they needed. I present to you, in all its beefy glory, easy Vietnamese steak.
While I used the more expensive cut (thanks to stockpiling!), this marinade will work on other cuts: flank, skirt, flatiron–you get the idea. You can serve the steak as is with some hearty mashed potatoes (American with a Viet twist). Or thinly slice it and serve on noodles, with rice, or even in tacos.
The easy marinade imbues the steak with deep, multilayered flavor. It also hits all the tangy, spicy, salty and sweet profiles that are typical in Vietnamese cooking. Make sure you allow time for the steak to soak in this delicious melding of flavors. I recommend using a grater or microplane (affiliate link) to make your job easier.
Read more: 5 Vietnamese Pantry staples for your kitchen
This marinade is my riff off a more traditional version that use lemongrass. I don’t normally keep fresh lemongrass around (don’t buy the dried stuff–ick!). My mom keeps a stash of thinly sliced lemongrass in the freezer, but she has two freezers. While I love its lemony flavor, I don’t like chewing on bits of fibrous lemongrass with my food. To keep the tangy profile, I used lime juice and lime zest. I always have a lime handy in my kitchen.
Feel free to double or triple the marinade for a big cookout. Or make extra for Taco Tuesday. This marinade will work well with chicken and pork too. I’ll definitely have to try it with tofu. We love traditional Vietnamese bun thit nuong (rice noodles with grilled pork) so that’s how I served it. The leftover steak was amazing in summer/spring rolls.
I feel like Bubba Gump. The easy Vietnamese steak if versatile and can be added in many dishes, not just Vietnamese ones. What are you waiting for? Get cooking!
- 2 pounds of sirloin, flank, skirt or similar cuts of beef
- 2 tsp of five spice powder
- 1½ Tablespoon of honey
- ½ tsp of chili paste or Sriracha (more if you want more heat)
- Zest & juice from half a lime
- 1 tsp of garlic, minced (about 2 cloves)
- 2 tsp of kosher salt
- 1 tsp of fresh grated ginger root
- In a ziptop bag or bowl, combine all marinade ingredients until it forms a paste.
- Add steak and coat evenly with paste. Marinade for at least 4 hours in the fridge. Overnight is also good.
- Grill steak to medium (135-145F) or desired doneness.
- Lightly cover with foil (not airtight) and let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing.