Being Hindu, beef was never a part of my diet. While my parents didn’t forbid my sister and I from trying it outside the house, I had eaten it only a handful of times and in small doses like a bite of a McDonald’s hamburger or in a lasagna and never really took to the taste. My impression of beef as a high-calorie food with a sub par taste changed when I became pregnant with my daughter. I was looking for ways to bump up my iron intake- a key nutrient when you’re expecting- and turned to my good friend and amazing nutritionist Allison who suggested that I try flank steak. She explained that the calories are on par with chicken breast, it’s low in fat and that few foods can match its iron content.
I’ve always heard that your child ends up liking what you ate frequently during pregnancy, and maybe flank steak is one of Meenakshi’s favorite foods because I ended up enjoying this meat often thanks to Allison’s introduction. Now, it’s on the menu in our house at least once a month, and we prepare it in several different ways. Our latest creation is this Asian marinade which infuses the meat with a deep ginger and garlic taste. We love these flavors and tend to go heavy on them, but you can adjust the amount you use to your liking. Remember when you slice the cooked steak, cut it against the grain, which makes for an absolutely succulent texture.
1 pound flank steak
1 bunch of scallions thinly sliced
1 tablespoon of minced garlic (you can use less or more)
1 tablespoon of minced ginger (you can use less or more)
2 teaspoons sesame oil (canola is a fine substitute)
1/4 to 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon honey or agave
Red chili flakes to taste
Salt and black pepper if needed, to taste.
Marinate the flank steak in all the ingredients for at least an hour and for up to 2 hours.
Preheat a non-stick grill pan or regular pan on medium-high.
Cook steak to liking. The amount of time will depend on the thickness of the meat. My steaks tend to be medium-thick and average four minutes a side.
Sliced shiitake mushrooms and thin slices of red pepper sauteed in a touch of oil or any steamed vegetable like green beans topped with lightly sauteed garlic slices are great veggie sides with this dish.
To get in your whole grains, try brown rice or soba noodles mixed with chopped scallions, ginger, a little soy sauce and some red pepper flakes.
Use this marinade for cubed tofu, seitan, salmon, chicken breast or tuna steaks.