Asian steak tacos

East meets Tex-Mex

Originally appeared in the March 31, 2011 edition of the Southside Times.


The crowds drawn to on-the-go, “streetfood” gurus West Coast Tacos, is a local testament to the macro trend of “fusion”—a movement which, over the past few decades, has been blurring the culinary line between tradition and amalgamation.  In this sense, a humble stack of corn tortillas parts ways with predictable Tex-Mex milieu, and transforms into a three-to-four-bite device, ideal for showcasing flavors which are seldom paired together.  Read the rest after the jump:Flank steak is a cut from just beneath the loin, and directly behind the short plate, which yields skirt steak (also a good selection for this recipe).  Although flavorful, flank’s a tough one—texturally, that is.  It’s typically threaded with connective tissue, which, in order to break down, requires some kitchen alchemy.  Braising would be a useful technique; but here we’re going to use a marinade to tenderize the steak.  Here’s a critical tip: cut the steak across the grain—meaning, make thin slices perpendicular to the flank’s pronounced striations.  The shredded slaw adds a cold-and-crisp accent to the savory-sweet steak.

Call it “streetfood,” call it “fusion.”  Or just forget classifications—this recipe’s a crowd pleaser.

Asian steak tacos

Serves 2 (2 tacos each)

  • ½ cup prepared barbecue sauce (your favorite brand)
  • ½ cup hoisin sauce (Chinese condiment, available at most grocery stores)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons sliced scallion
  • 1 ½ pounds flank steak
  • 8 fresh corn tortillas

Slaw

  • 8 – 10 ounces shredded cabbage slaw mix
  • ¼ cup julienne radish
  • ½ tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons sliced scallion
  • 2 ½ teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1 ½ tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons soy sauce
  • Juice from one fresh lime
  • To taste, kosher salt and cracked black pepper

1.  For marinade: in a zip-lock bag or air-tight container, combine barbecue and hoisin sauces, sesame oil, garlic and steak.  Mix thoroughly; refrigerate 8 hours to overnight.  For slaw: in a bowl, whisk wet ingredients together until a loose vinaigrette is formed.  Adjust with salt and pepper.  Add in cabbage mix, radish, cilantro, scallion, and sesame seed.  Stir ingredients until vinaigrette evenly coats the cabbage.

2.  Grill or pan-sear the flank steak, basting with excess marinade.  Cook to desired doneness.  Meanwhile, steam or toast your corn tortillas and reserve.

3.  Thinly slice flank steak across the grain.  For each taco, brush a bit of hoisin inside tortilla, add steak and slaw.  Serve.

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