Asian-Inspired Grilled Steak Tacos With Snap Peas

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Soy sauce, sriracha, and toasted sesame oil are three ingredients that, while Asian in origin, have become staples in many American kitchens, including my own. If a dish is missing a savory punch, it gets a hit of soy sauce. If it needs a bit of heat, sriracha is my weapon of choice. Toasted sesame oil is the perfect flavor boost for everything from salad dressings to grilled vegetables.

To kick off grilling season, aka summer, aka the best time of the year, I wanted to create a steak marinade based on these three ingredients. No sriracha? Use any other chili-based hot sauce in its place. No soy sauce? Use Worcestershire, but thin it out with a few tablespoons of water.

That simple marinade serves a dual purpose: it both marinates the steak and serves as a sauce for the snap peas, which are cooked right on the grill in a foil packet. While the steak marinates, George and I quickly knock out assembling the packet and mixing up a simple sesame oil-based slaw and creamy sriracha sauce. The steak gets grilled, then sliced up and put to use in tacos along with the slaw, sriracha sauce, and slices of avocado.

Asian-Inspired Grilled Steak Tacos With Snap Peas

Servings 2 people

Ingredients

For the tacos:

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sriracha
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp honey or brown sugar
  • 2 tsp garlic powder (or 3 garlic cloves, minced)
  • 1 pound skirt or flank steak, silver skin removed
  • 4 to 6 taco-size flour tortillas
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish
  • Lime wedges, for serving

For the snap peas:

  • 12 ounces sugar snap peas
  • 1 tbsp butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds

For the sesame slaw:

  • 2 cups store-bought coleslaw mix or thinly shaved cabbage
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp sesame seeds
  • Juice of 1 large lime

For the creamy sriracha sauce:

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise or sour cream
  • 1 to 2 tbsp sriracha (depending on preferred spiciness)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Pinch of kosher salt

Instructions

  • Combine soy sauce, sriracha, sesame oil, honey, and garlic powder in a gallon Ziploc bag. Zip closed and shake to combine. This is important: Pour about 1 tablespoon of the marinade into a small bowl to reserve it for later.
  • Add steak to Ziploc bag, remove all air, and seal so that the marinade can completely surround the meat.
  • Leave the steak to marinate at room temperature while you prepare the rest of the meal. Or, if you have time to marinate the steak ahead of time, keep it refrigerated in the marinade for up to 48 hours.
  • To make the snap peas, tear off a large piece of aluminum foil and place the snap peas in the center. Add the reserved tablespoon of steak marinade, pieces of butter (it will melt while the peas cook!), and salt over top. Fold up the aluminum foil around the peas, leaving a quarter-sized hole in the top for steam to escape.
  • To make the sesame slaw, place coleslaw mix in a bowl and sprinkle salt over top. Use your hands to massage the salt into the cabbage by crunching it tightly between your fists over and over for about 15 seconds, or until the cabbage begins to soften. Stir in sesame oil and lime juice and set aside.
  • To make the creamy sriracha sauce, stir together the mayonnaise, sriracha, lime juice, and salt. Set aside.
  • When you’re ready to eat, preheat an outdoor grill to medium-high heat (about 400 degrees F).
  • Remove steak from marinade and pat dry. Discard marinade. Grill for 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer steak to a cutting board and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
  • Add the snap pea foil packet to the grill and cook for 5 minutes total. Spray tortillas lightly with cooking spray and grill for about 30 seconds per side with the lid open, until charred but still soft.
  • Use tongs to carefully remove the snap pea foil packet from the grill. Carefully rip it open and transfer the peas and sauce to a bowl, add sesame seeds, and toss to coat in the soy-butter sauce.
  • Slice steak against the grain into very thin pieces. Top 4 to 6 tortillas with a few slices of steak, some slaw (toss it again to coat it in the dressing before you use it), sriracha sauce, a couple avocado slices, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Serve with snap peas.

For the tacos:

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sriracha
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp honey or brown sugar
  • 2 tsp garlic powder (or 3 garlic cloves, minced)
  • 1 pound skirt or flank steak, silver skin removed
  • 4 to 6 taco-size flour tortillas
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish
  • Lime wedges, for serving

For the snap peas:

  • 12 ounces sugar snap peas
  • 1 tbsp butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds

For the sesame slaw:

  • 2 cups store-bought coleslaw mix or thinly shaved cabbage
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp sesame seeds
  • Juice of 1 large lime

For the creamy sriracha sauce:

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise or sour cream
  • 1 to 2 tbsp sriracha (depending on preferred spiciness)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Pinch of kosher salt

Notes

  • If you have extra slaw, it will keep in the refrigerator for up to four days.
  • When purchasing your steak, try to find a piece that has a uniform thickness of roughly 1 inch. Flank steak can often be way thinner on one side and thicker on the other, which makes it difficult to grill perfectly. If you wind up with a steak that varies widely in thickness, you can even cut it between the thinner and thicker ends, and grill the thicker end for longer. If there isn’t a 1-pound steak on the shelves, ask the butcher to cut one for you.
  • Don’t have an outdoor grill? Use a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat instead. Cook the steak first, then the tortillas, then cook the snap peas by adding all of the ingredients to the skillet at once and cooking for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Switch up your protein! To make chicken tacos instead, use 1 pound of chicken thighs or breasts, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes per side. For shrimp tacos, marinate for 30 minutes maximum, and grill for just 1 minute per side. For tuna tacos, marinate 1 pound of sushi-grade tuna for up to 1 hour, then grill for just 2 minutes per side for tuna that’s perfectly seared on the outside but rare on the inside.
  • To make burrito bowls instead, omit the tortillas, make a batch of rice or quinoa, and serve everything piled on top. Want to go grain-free? Triple the slaw and use it as your base.
Author: Caroline Chambers
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