Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Miso-Glazed Skirt Steak – There is Nothing More American Than Foreign Ingredients

This succulent grilled skirt steak recipe would be perfect for your 4th of July cookout, and what better way to celebrate America’s birthday than with an ingredient from Japan. 

Our nation has lots to be proud of; and one thing I take special pride in is our willingness to integrate any and all culinary influences into our cuisine. We don’t much care where it comes from, as long as it’s delicious, we will assimilate.

There was a time, not that long ago, when only a lucky few “gourmands” living near big cities had access to imported ingredients like miso, balsamic vinegar, truffle oil, etc. Nowadays, these items are found in virtually every large grocery store, from sea to shining sea. When I hear the words, “immigrants built this country,” I don’t think of railroads, bridges, and roads; I think pizza, sushi, and foie gras torchon.

I’ll admit to knowing very little about miso, or why it’s so effective in this simple glaze, but that’s okay. There is nothing wrong with a little mystery in your cooking (think burlesque vs. full-frontal). How and why it makes the beef so juicy and flavorful is not nearly as important as the fact it does.

I’ve done countless variations of this glaze, and oddly enough I prefer a red wine vinegar in this, over more obvious choices like rice vinegar. Maybe it’s just because I associate red wine with red meat, but I really think there’s something else going on. What? No idea (see paragraph 4).

You’ll notice the ingredient list is relatively short, and it should probably stay that way, but of course I expect you to tweak this to your personal tastes. Not doing so would be downright un-American. I hope you give this great grilled miso glazed skirt steak a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 2 large or 4 smaller portions:
1 whole skirt steak (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 tbsp yellow miso
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 packed tbsp brown sugar
1/8 tsp cayenne
2 cloves finely crushed garlic
freshly ground black pepper to taste
*Glaze should be spread over both sides of meat, and left out for 30 minutes.
**I think skirt steak has the best texture if cooked between medium-rare and medium. I'd remove at an internal temp of 130-135 F.

View the complete recipe

29 comments:

Jen said...

I've strangely never worked with miso because my brain goes automatically to miso soup.

bdwilcox said...

First, you need to make a corn and miso dish. Then you can make a "miso hominy" joke.

Second, miso enhances the flavor of anything it's added to because of its naturally high L-glutamate content. This is umami, or savory taste, that acts as a flavor enhancer.

The synthetic form of L-glutamate and its derivatives is MSG (monosodium glutamate), a widely used artificial flavor enhancer.

Adam said...

Looks phenomenal.

On a slightly unrelated note - the wife and I just signed a lease in Noe Valley! Making the move from DC is going to be a haul, but we can't wait to be in San Francisco.

Any food spots in particular you think we should check out? I personally can't WAIT for that farmer's market!

Chef John said...

Congrats! Here is my SF google food map. http://goo.gl/maps/78xy enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Miso is a fermented soy product but can be made from rice or other grains, that are fermented.

In my experience, the darker miso is, the "richer" the flavor.

Could the fact that it's a fermented product contribute to the success of this recipe?

Chris K. said...

Fun fact: skirt steak is actually the diaphragm muscle, which allows the lungs to respirate.

I bet this would be a great satay application. Thinly sliced skirt steak marinated overnight in the miso glaze, skewered and grilled. Maybe served with some kind of sriracha-spiked dipping sauce.

Next time I get my paws on some skirt steak I'll give it a try and send back a trip report!

Chef John said...

sounds like a great plan!

Candace said...

Can you cook this in the oven or on the stove-top? You do a lot of grilling recipes because of summer, but I don't have a grill. I know it won't have that smokey flavor but I love miso and steak, so I want to try this even if it ends up a bit lame by comparison.

Chef John said...

sure! just use broiler on high with meat close to it!

Anonymous said...

Hi Chef John,

Can I use white miso instead of yellow? I can't seem to find yellow, only white.

Chef John said...

i'm guessing yes. ;)

Anonymous said...

I am Japanese.It's always enjoyable to watch your videos.
In all of my research,Miso has masking effect and contains Kojic acid (a natural by-product from the fermentation stage) which helps lighten skin by blocking an enzyme crucial in the production of skin melanin.
Keep up your great job!

philogaia said...

I keep both red and white miso in the fridge. White is great on fish and I use both to make miso soup. I never thought of using it on beef. What a great idea. Think I'll try the red on the meat. I've always been pleased with the results using miso. A miracle food.

Daniel W. said...

Using the butcher paper as a prep plate!? Brilliant!!! Why did I never think of that?

Anonymous said...

Chef John: Again I wish to jump your bones:) Michelle is so lucky!!! Just adding a F***wish here..

pmichael said...

Hi Chef,

Just saw Pepin with some interesting grill mark technique. Not that it matters that much, but interesting...
http://youtu.be/qZKYAPZkaNQ?t=17s

Do you know about this?

Chef John said...

you mean like this? :-) http://foodwishes.blogspot.com/2010/05/how-to-make-grill-marks-with-10-and-2.html

Axel14222 said...

I went to a large supermarket (Wegmans) and a butcher shop. Only the butcher shop has skirt steak and it was frozen. I opted instead for a fresh flank steak. I'm wondering if I should use this glaze more as a marinade given the switch in steaks, or if you have any other recommendations, Chef. I'm using your Father's Day flank steak recipe as a guide also.

Chef John said...

you can use the same way or marinate longer before!

pmichael said...

Oh yes, I remember the 10 and 2 method, but I was referring to doing both raw sides first before going back for the cross-hatch.

Axel14222 said...

Chef, I borrowed from this recipe and your Tuscan flank steak recipe and made a miso marinated flank steak grilled over charcoal on the Weber. I pierced the flank steak well and let it marinate for 6 hours. I grilled it on both sides for 6 minutes. It was a 1.8 lb. steak. The result was tremendous. It looked just like your skirt steak, glossy and pink and I am now a miso fan. By the way, I served it with one giant potato pancake using your recipe as well. Thanks, Chef!

Gavriel Lazan said...

I live in Israel and Skirt steak (as well as Flank) is hard to find here, since the cuts are different. I was able to find some Hanger (Butcher's Cut) steak and was wondering which recipe fits better - this one, or the Tuscan flank one.

Happy 4th of July!

Chef John said...

can't answer, both would be great!

Anonymous said...

My buddy and I found this to be insanely delicious. Used on sirloins and marinated for 2-3 hours.

mdb139 said...

I made this tonight for my family. I used a flank steak and used red miso (because that's what my grocery had) and let it marinate in the fridge for about two hours. Flank steak is a staple in my house, but this came out so tender and flavorful it's hard to describe. I'd say this is similar tasting to my go-to soy/marsala/garlic marinade, but not quite as sweet and had just a hint of beaniness from the miso.

Thanks Chef John -- this is definitely going into rotation in my house!

Kenny said...

"Doesn't even come close to covering the tenderloin" - LMAO that was awesome

mdb139 said...

I made this again tonight for my kids and me... Two of three kids (ages 7,7, and 5) proclaimed that it was "the best dinner ever" and the third conceded that it was better than McDonalds. My kids are picky eaters and aren't known for eating a whole lot, but everyone asked for seconds.

As for me -- I thought this was even better the second time making it. Really is a winning recipe, and can be prepared so quickly.

Since my wife didn't dine with us tonight, I have just enough left over to through into an omelette tomorrow morning. Oh yeah!

Thanks again Chef John!

Tomorrow: Food Wishes (Christmas) lasagna and cheese straws... I've had such a craving to try your lasagna recipe that I had to invite my brother and sister (and their families) over just to try it! I can hardly wait!

Chef John said...

Thanks for sharing!! enjoy!

mdb139 said...

By the way -- I'm making it again tonight so I thought I'd share: I've used this recipe twice now with a pork tenderloin and think it's absolutely great that way, too. I've taken to butterflying the tenderloin to make it flatter for the grill. Goes nicely with homemade fried rice.