Recipe: Flank Steak Marinade

Flank steak is my absolute favorite cut of steak for weeknights. It’s quick-cooking, and the most budget-friendly steak I know. Plus, you can cook it a number of different ways, and make a ton of different dinner options out of this one single cut.

While this particular marinade is inspired by Korean bulgogi, it acts as a basic framework that can be adapted to a variety of flavor profiles. Once it’s marinated, cook your steak anyway you like — although we’re partial to grilling it over high heat.

The Best Flank Steak Marinade

Bulgogi is a Korean dish that uses the enzymes in pears to tenderize beef and give it a sweetness that’s further brought out by high-heat cooking. Here, we’ve combined the sweetness of bulgogi with the basics of a classic marinade — namely water, oil, and salt. If you like, swap the pear with orange juice or red wine and use your favorite vinegar instead of the sesame oil, and you’ll get a totally different — but equally flavorful and tender — steak.

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Flank Steak Marinade


  • 1/2 cup


  • 1/4 cup

    olive oil

  • 1/2 cup

    mashed canned pear (about 2 large halves from a 10-ounce can of pears in juice)

  • 2 tablespoons

    packed brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon

    toasted sesame oil

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    red pepper flakes

  • 2 pounds

    flank or skirt steak

  • 2 cloves

    garlic, minced


  1. Place the water, olive oil, mashed pear, brown sugar, sesame oil, salt, and red pepper flakes in a glass measuring cup and whisk to combine.

  2. Place the flank steak and garlic in a large zip-top bag and pour the marinade over the steak. Seal the bag and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight before cooking.

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