I am not too fond of superlatives when it comes to cooking, as what I might consider perfect won’t necessarily hit the jackpot for everyone else. But that’s the title of the recipe by Mark Bittman that happened to be one of the most popular according to a recent round-up by New York Times. If you don’t subscribe to their cooking newsletter, consider doing so. Oddly enough, Phil was the one who drew my attention to it. I joked that we have hundreds of cookbooks in the house, but he never opens a single one to look for inspiration. However, he gets mesmerized by the New York Times collections, and if I resist reading the page, he will drag me in front of his computer to point out all the ones “we should make soon.”  We. You know, that pronoun that means more than one person doing something together. So, yes, that’s how I ended up making this recipe.  I opted for the sous-vide route because it makes the best flatiron steak in the known universe. How about that for disliking superlatives?

Soy Grilled Steak


(adapted from Mark Bittman)

¼ cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon peeled and minced ginger
½ teaspoon peeled and minced garlic (I omitted)
1 tablespoon agave nectar
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 flatiron steak
salt to taste

Mix together the first 6 ingredients in a bowl. Place the steak in a plastic bag or tight container and add the sauce. Marinate while you heat the grill, or if possible, longer. Season lightly with salt right before grilling.

For rare meat, grill about 3 minutes a side for steaks less than an inch thick. For larger or more done steak, increase the time slightly.

Sous-vide preparation: after marinating the steak, remove it from the soy-based sauce and place in a vacuum bag. Seal it and place it in a water-bath set to 134 F for three hours. Remove from the bag, discard any accumulated liquid and sear on a very hot grill for a minute each side.

Let it rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments: You definitely don’t need a sous-vide gadget to make this steak. But I tell you, if you have one, it is so worth putting it to use here!  I make the marinade early in the morning, add the steak into a bag with it. When we are home for lunch I discard the marinade, vacuum-seal the meat and place it in the water-bath until dinner.  Timing is so flexible that I don’t even worry about being late.  A quick side dish of sautéed veggies and a simple salad, maybe some bread, that’s all we need to be happy campers.  For this particular dinner, we paired the flatiron steak in all it’s medium-rare glory with cauliflower gratin (leftover from the evening before) and sliced heirloom tomatoes with avocados and almonds. Pure gastronomical joy, I tell you…

Now, going back to that collection of 10 most-popular NYT recipes. Several gems in there. We are both very interested in the Skewered Chicken with Peanut Sauce,  Phil says he wants to make the Pork Chops with Brandied Cherries, I will definitely be making the Flattened Chicken Thighs with Roasted Lemon Slices (wow!)… As far as sweets, the Almond Cake makes me dream… and Julia Child’s Berry Flan goes to the top of my beloved’s list. In summary, out of 10 recipes 6 are definite keepers. Not too shabby at all…

Perfect Soy-Grilled Steak

ONE YEAR AGO: The Devil’s Bread

TWO YEARS AGO: Heart of Palm Salad Skewers

THREE YEARS AGO: Potluck Frittata and Lavoisier

FOUR YEARS AGO: Home-made Corn Tortillas

FIVE YEARS AGO: Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Peanut Sauce

SIX YEARS AGO: Brigadeiros: A Brazilian Party!

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Lemony Asparagus


    • exactly! It doesn’t hurt to have a few more sources to play with, right? 😉 Actually I was looking a bit more carefully at the recipe for flattened chicken thighs, and I doubt I’ll make it – one of the comments from those who made it is that it makes a super royal mess on the stove… they all said it is absolutely delicious, but… the idea of all that mess and splatter gives me pause… Wimp. Yeah. That’s me.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. “we” means the same here in this house too. Oh I WISH I had sous vide toys, but I’m pretty sure I’d have to hide them while bringing them into the house… but wait.. it involved meat! My husband might just buy into it!

    Gorgeous, my friend.

    P.S. Pinned all three of your photos, including the cute picmonkey one.


    • Ha! So the “we-phenomenon” is widespread… Nice! Thanks for pinning and sharing, Karen… My blog needs help, the poor site. It is going down so steeply I am afraid we will all hear a loud sound at some point when it crashes… (pass me the Kleenex, will you?)


  2. haha, when I cook – it’s me alone (I prefer this really), but when husband cooks (and he is a super indian cuisine cook AND washes up, too 🙂 )then I have to become his Sous-Chef, chopping mountains of onions etc. etc. Men dont cry – right?! Love that steak – and funnily enough only yesterday I talked with the Exec. Chef of one of our top Restaurants about the virtue of “sous vide” in connection of his incredible!!! Steak, for which we drive miles to enjoy at lunch, and he told me that he does not use s.v. any longer on his steak but, with all the necessary vegetables etc. he on the lowest possible heat boils! the meat for up to 3 days. That’s the secret of his super super tender beef.
    One lives and learns :), Carina


    • Carina, what a fun comment! Had me laughing here, imagining you on top of a pile of onions, shedding tears in the name of love! 😉 Simmering the meat for 3 days.. who could tell? I don’t use the sous vide for many cuts, but flatiron steak and center cut pork chops I simply won’t cook any other way. But, truth is, I love gadgets and playing with them. If you cannot have fun in the kitchen, what’s the point, right?

      thanks for stopping by….


  3. Now just guess which newssheet will in future land in my mailbox 🙂 ?? Thank you!! Flat iron steak . . . well Mt Google was very kind on a Sunday morning and told me I know it as ‘oyster blade’ . . . actually mine has oft been tender enough to use as ‘normal’ grilling steak – don’t use SV but may see what long time cooking will do . . . may like it!!! Use soy in almost everything of course, and manage to get thru’ unheard of amounts of garlic all by myself, but agave nectar is new in the context and will also be looked into . . .


  4. I have yet to prepare a Bittman recipe and be disappointed with the dish. His recipes are all easy to follow and rarely are they overly complicated. This marinade sounds like one that I once used for pork belly with good results. If that pork belly is any indication, you had a great meal that night.



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