The Wooden Spoon: Soy-Scallion Flank Steak

(Always read the recipe twice, assemble, and prepare your ingredients before you begin to cook)     

1/3 cup soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 tbsp grated peeled fresh ginger
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp Asian sesame oil
1 tbsp sugar
½ tsp ground red pepper (cayenne)
1 bunch green onions
2 ½ lbs beef flank steak (or a sirloin tip London broil works just as well)

This recipe is intended for an outdoor gas/charcoal BBQ grill.  However, you can use an indoor grill for your stove-top.  In either case, as the meat has to marinate, do not preheat either grill until ready to cook.

  • In a medium bowl, whisk soy sauce, garlic, ginger, vinegar, oil, sugar, and ground red pepper until sugar dissolves
  • Reserve 2 tbsp marinade, cover, and set aside
  • Transfer remaining marinade to a large self-sealing plastic bag
  • Thinly slice the green onions and reserve ¼ cup for garnish
  • Add steak and remaining green onions to the plastic bag, turning to coat. Seal the bag, pressing out the excess air
  • Place the bag on a plate and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight, turning over several times
  • Prepare outdoor or indoor grill on medium heat
  • Remove steak from marinade, scraping off excess solids and place on the hot grill grate
  • Discard marinade left in the bag
  • If using an outdoor grill, lower the cover and cook steak 12-14 minutes for medium-rare or until desired doneness, turning over once
  • Let steak stand 10 minutes to set juices for easier slicing
  • In a small bowl, combine 2 tbsp hot water with the reserved 2 tbsp of marinade, drizzle over the steak to serve, and sprinkle with reserved green onion.
  • Serves 5 people assuming ½ lb. per person
  • Serving suggestion: rice and mixed vegetables


  • means a teaspoon and tbsp. means tablespoon – always use a measuring spoon not a piece of silverware
  • The Cook’s Thesaurus reports that 1 tablespoon of fresh gingerroot is equal to 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger. At com, the recommended equivalent is 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger for 1/8 teaspoon of ground ginger. Always use the lower recommendation because you can always add more spice later to taste – you obviously can’t remove it from your food.
  • A marinade is a savory acidic sauce in which a food is soaked to enrich its flavor or to tenderize it. The acid in marinades causes meat and poultry tissue to break down. This has a tenderizing effect. The breaking down of the tissue also causes meat and poultry to hold more liquid, making it juicier.

Rules for Marinating Safely

  • What containers to use:For easy cleanup, use food-safe plastic bags during storage, and discard the bags after marinating. You may also use food grade plastic, stainless steel, or glass containers to marinate food.
  • Where to marinate:Always marinate food in the refrigerator, never on the counter. If you marinate in container, cover the container during storage in the refrigerator.
  • Reusing marinade:Never reuse marinade used on raw meat or poultry unless you boil it first to destroy any harmful bacteria. If you plan to use some of the marinade as sauce for the cooked food, your best bet is to reserve a portion of the marinade before putting raw meat and poultry in it.
  • Storing marinated food:If things get busy and you end up not cooking the steak, don’t worry!   You can store marinated meat or poultry in your refrigerator for two days. Beef, veal, pork, and lamb roasts, chops, and steaks may be marinated up to 5 days.

If you’d like to be a guest contributor to The Jefferson Chronicle’s Wooden Spoon, please email your recipe clearly noting all ingredients, measurements, and understandable directions to and type “The Wooden Spoon” in the Subject line.  Be sure to include your name, address, and a telephone number in the event we need to clarify any information.

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