Vietnamese Steak With Cucumber Salad

Springtime brings a crisp freshness in the mornings as nature awakens from its wintery slumber. Likewise, springtime awakens the inner flame of grilling enthusiasts that have been long awaiting the signal: it’s grilling season baby! To get your spring weekend menus set for the flurry of barbecues, here is Vietnamese Steak with Cucumber Salad – a simple and delightful presentation of marinated steak with refreshing cucumbers, radishes, and scallions.

With an abundance of connective tissue that needs to be broken down, flank steak is perfect for long periods of marinating. The marinade features fish sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, garlic, and jalapeno for a robust flavor that will penetrate throughout the steak. The same marinade is used in the cucumber salad to barely coat the sliced cucumbers, radishes, and scallion. This results in a beautiful balance of flavors between the hot, crispy steak and the cool, fresh salad. Topped with sesame seeds and herbs, this a simple and delightful lunch for a lovely spring afternoon with friends.

Serves: 4-6

Vietnamese Steak With Cucumber Salad Ingredients

  • ½ cup fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon packed lime zest
  • ⅓ cup fresh lime juice (from about 3 limes)
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated or minced
  • 1 large jalapeño, seeds and veins removed if desired, minced
  • 1 flank steak, about 1 1/2 pounds
  • 1 small seedless English cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 large bunch of radishes, thinly sliced
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable, peanut or olive oil (optional)
  • Cooked rice noodles or rice, for serving (optional)
  • Sesame seeds or crushed roasted peanuts, for serving (optional)
  • Fresh mint leaves or cilantro, for serving (optional)

Vietnamese Steak With Cucumber Salad Directions

  1. In a small bowl, combine the fish sauce, lime zest, lime juice, brown sugar, garlic and jalapeño. Pour 1/2 of the mixture over the flank steak and let marinate at room temperature for at least 30 minutes (or refrigerate for up to 24 hours). Let meat come to room temperature before cooking if necessary.
  2. Combine the cucumber, radishes and scallions. Pour in just enough of the marinade sauce to coat.
  3. Light the grill and heat to high. Pat steak dry with paper towels.
  4. Grill until done to taste, about 3 minutes per side for rare. Transfer steak to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes covered in foil.
  5. Thinly slice steak and serve over cooked rice noodles or rice if desired, and top with the cucumber salad. Garnish with sesame seeds and plenty of herbs if using and serve with remaining marinade as a sauce.

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