By Lisa

It’s still hot in these parts, and last night, I was going to make your standard, California grilled steak, but when I opened the pantry yesterday morning to start the marinade I found I had neither enough balsamic vinegar nor any ginger.   I quickly recalibrated. I had rice, which had the advantage of cooking in a rice cooker while we were at soccer practice, and fresh bok choy…and 5-Spice Powder.

But into the ziplock bag went:

  • 1/3 cup grape seed oil
  • 2/3 cup soy sauce
  • 5 cloves finely chopped garlic
  • 1-2 tsp 5-Spice powder
  • 1 lb flank steak

I washed the rice and set the timer on the  rice cooker.  The meat sat in the marinade in the refrigerator all day. I turned it 2-3 times.

After school, I sliced the bok choy and 2 more cloves of garlic and left it all in a pan with some olive oil, ready to go.

When we got home, I decided to pan grill the steak, just because. I left the steak out for about 30 minutes (could have used longer, as it was a pretty thick steak and didn’t cook quite as fast as I’d have wanted it to–see below), then seared it on each side for 1 1/2 minutes on high heat. It finished cooking on medium heat for about 3 more minutes each side. It rested for about 10 minutes, then was thinly sliced against the grain.  It was still a little rare for us, purplish being just this side of the very medium rare meat we all like, so I pushed all the bok choy to one side, and let it rest on very, very low heat for just 2-3 minutes, which produced a terrific, light pan jus, which was great for the rice.

The 5 Spice powder gave the steak a spicy, earthy, deeply flavorful crust.

The best bit? No forks. We ate everything with chopsticks, and I have meat left for sandwiches and rice for sweet rice.