Asian Steak Sandwiches

If you have ever had to convert something from the metric system to the  standard (American) system of measurements, you probably say that you hate conversions.

Allow me to change your mind a bit.

Though simply prepared steak is often the best kind, there is always room for variation. This doesn’t require a whole new recipe, it just requires a little conversion. For example:

Ketchup = chipotles in adobo + sugar = red wine

Worcestershire sauce = tamarind  = sautéed, melted anchovies

Steak seasoning blend = adobo sauce = thyme and rosemary

And right there, you have converted American to Mexican to French – all steak recipes, all delicious. Of course, my favorite way to alter my favorite steak recipe leans a bit more to the far east.

Asian Steak  Sandwiches


1.5 lbs. flank or skirt steak

1/2 cup sweet Thai chili sauce

4 Tbs. tamari or soy sauce

2 tsp. fish sauce

1 handful cilantro, cleaned

1 clove garlic, smashed but not minced

1 bulb ginger, sliced lengthwise so its innards are exposed

sandwich fixins (toast, Sriracha, mayonnaise, Asian slaw, etc).

1. Put the Thai chili sauce, fish sauce, tamari, garlic, and ginger in a zip top bag.

2. Add the cilantro. 

3. Add the meat to the bag, squish it with your hands to ensure that the marinade gets all around the meat. then put the steak in the fridge to marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. 

4. After the steak has marinated, let it come to room temperature (VERY important step). Put the broiler on high and broil the steak for 3.5 minutes per side for medium rare steak.

5. When the steak is done to your liking (don’t forget, it will continue to cook after you take it out of the oven), take it out and let it rest for at least 10 minutes. RESIST cutting into it, or the juices will run all over your cutting board instead of redistributing throughout the meat.

6. Slice and enjoy! This steak is far less sweet and sticky than the kind I normally enjoy. It’s quite fragrant with cilantro, with only a touch of sweetness from the chili sauce. The funk of the fish sauce becomes quite savory, with the spice of the ginger and the kick from the fresh garlic. The real coup here is how the marinade accents the flavor of the meat. It isn’t overly Asian – it would not be out of place with a baked potato in a steakhouse – but the balance of sweet, salty, sour, and heat could only speak to the Asian tenets of flavor. This would be fantastic over hot rice or in an Asian salad, but it also makes a heck of a fusion sandwich. 

All you need to do is:

Spread some Sriracha mixed with mayonnaise on two pieces of toast (preferably baguette or white bread, but anything will work).

Layer the room temperature steak on one side and some fresh or pickled vegetables on the other side.

And enjoy. All the wonders of a steak sandwich mixed with the best part of Asian cuisine.

And you thought you hated conversions…


  1. Looks fantastic – except for the bread. (But I would still eat it!)