Korean Style Steak

This Korean style steak relies on a quick and easy marinade of soy sauce, ginger, and sugar that comes together from pantry staples and takes just minutes to work its magic before you toss the steak on the grill. Lucky you.

Two pieces of Korean style steak on a cutting board with a knife.

This Korean style steak takes its robust flavor from a quick and easy marinade that works its charms in an impossible-to-believe 15 minutes. It’s the perfect thing when you want to impart a lot of oomph to something in a hurry. Which sorta describes each weeknight or last-moment decision to entertain, yes? While the steak marinates, you have just long enough to heat the grill and scrub down the gunk on the grill rack that you forgot to tend to after your last barbecue.

We prefer to pile slices of this steak atop a tangle of rice noodles, shaved carrots and cucumber, thinly sliced radish, and toasted peanuts and drizzle with a soy sauce- or ginger-based vinaigrette. Or simply serve it alongside vegetables stir-fried with the same marinade (double the marinade in this recipe but before adding the steak reserve half for the vegetables).–Renee Schettler

Korean Style Steak

  • Quick Glance
  • (8)
  • 15 M
  • 35 M
  • Serves 4 to 6
4.8/5 - 8 reviews
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In a large shallow bowl, stir together the sugar, soy sauce, oil, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, shallots, and salt and pepper to taste until the sugar has dissolved.

Add the steak, turn to coat it with the marinade, and let it sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Preheat a gas or charcoal grill until medium-hot.

Lightly brush a paper towel with vegetable oil and, using tongs, carefully rub the grill rack with the oiled paper towel.

Transfer the steak to the grill, discarding the marinade. If desired, season the steak with salt and pepper, keeping in mind the soy sauce in the marinade contains quite a lot of salt. Grill the steak, flipping once, for 10 to 12 minutes total for medium-rare, or longer, depending on the thickness of your steak and your personal preference.

Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let it rest for at least 5 minutes.

Thinly slice the steak at an angle against the grain, transfer to a platter, and scatter the scallions and sesame seeds on top. Originally published July 10, 2016.

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    *What You Need To Know: What Is Hanger Steak?

    • Hanger steak is an intensely rich and robust cut of meat that’s incredibly well marbled and tender. It’s standard fare on French menus, although it’s not always available at American butcher counters. If you can’t find it, no worries, this marinated steak recipe also works exceptionally well on skirt steak and sirloin flap, which have very similar characteristics.

    Recipe Testers' Reviews

    This Korean style steak is a quick recipe to throw together on a busy weeknight. You’ll likely have all the ingredients in your pantry, but if not, you can adjust according to what you’ve got available.

    Hanger steak was not available the day I shopped so I used skirt steak with good results. I would say that if you use skirt steak, you will likely use all the marinade since skirt steak is large and flat. But if using hanger steak I would anticipate leftover marinade. I might only pour half on and see if that’s enough. Then you’ve got marinade for another use on a different night.

    I find that hanger steak and skirt steak can benefit from additional tenderizing since the meat is naturally on the chewy side. I always “pin” the meat—that is, stab it all over with a fork or a long metal skewer.

    Make sure to slice it thinly, on a slight diagonal, after grilling. The grain on skirt steak is fairly uniform and easy to slice across the grain. On the hanger steak, you’ll need to pay attention to the grain, it can subtly change direction within the piece of meat, so you’ll want to adjust the angle of your knife accordingly to keep your slices across the grain.

    I served this with a stir-fry of asparagus and mushrooms cooked with a tablespoon of the marinade that I'd added and that made for a very complementary side dish.

    Easy is the name of any weeknight dinner game, and this simple yet so flavorful hanger steak scores all the points. This Korean style steak really will make dinner a slam-dunk (ok, I'll stop now) since it comes together in 45 minutes—including marinating time!

    The Asian-inspired marinade would work well with a variety of cuts of meat, just in case you have trouble locating a hanger steak. (I'm thinking a flank or bistro steak next, and possibly extending the marinating time.)

    The flavors also play well with different sides. I opted for rice and grilled vegetables but this would be so freaking good in a salad with crumbly cheese or in a sandwich with pickled veggies and cilantro (or not—cilantro is a very personal thing). My only wish was there was a sauce when serving over rice or with a similar side. I'm tempted to reduce the marinade after removing the meat and see if that would produce something worth drizzling over the top before serving.

    Oh, and I also found that my steak took just a tad longer to reach medium-rare on my grill than suggested, so I highly recommend using a thermometer instead of relying on timing. That's it. Go team!


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    1. This was a great, easy recipe! The recipe whipped up quickly with ingredients already in my pantry. The only adjustment I made was adding a good spoonful of Gochujang for some extra flavour. Served it over a bed of rice noodles with grilled Bok Choi. If you’re looking for a good dressing to put on top, just try searching “Korean lettuce salad dressing” – it pairs perfectly! Can’t wait to make this again.

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