This easy Asian master sauce steak marinade is the key to tenderizing and adding loads of flavor to create a steak that takes only 30 minutes up to overnight to marinate, making it a favorite for fast weeknight dinners.
The Best Way to Marinate Steak
Steak dinners come in many sizes and even more price points, making it feel like a tasty steak dinner as a midweek meal is way out of reach.
But turning an average Wednesday “hump day dinner” into “stunning steak night” is a whole lot easier than you may think.
The keys are to choose the right cut of steak and then marinade it in my Asian master sauce marinade that’s ready to do its job at a moment’s notice.
Okay, make that 30 moments of notice, but that’s quick enough and close enough for me. And soon enough, for you too.
Whether it’s a thick ribeye or a leaner flank steak, the key to this Asian sauce tenderizing your steak is the combination of acid, salt and enzymes from the citrus-flavored ponzu sauce and the vinegar.
These are the flavors of my Asian master sauce marinade, a multi-layer tool that can become a marinade, a salad dressing, added to the cooking water for a more flavorful grain or sautéed or tossed with vegetables for even more infused flavor within reach of your garlic-scented fingertips. It’s truly a master sauce, and one of the building blocks of our Batch Cooking Basics meal prep guide.
What’s in This Easy Steak Marinade?
This Asian-inspired homemade steak marinade uses just a handful of ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need to make the best steak marinade:
- Canola oil
- Sesame oil
- Rice wine vinegar
- Crushed red pepper flakes
Do I Have to Use Ponzu?
Ponzu is a citrus-infused soy sauce and is easily found in most grocery stores. Soy sauce with juiced lemon, lime, or orange can be used instead.
How to Marinate Steak
Simply whisk together the quick steak marinade and pour over your steak of choice in a zip-top bag.
How Long to Marinate Steak? Place in the fridge and marinate for a minimum of 15 minutes.
What Cut of Steak is Best for Marinating?
Leaner cuts of steak like flank steak, hangar steak, or flap steak are the prime candidate for this style of marinade to create a flavorful steak ready to cook in just 30 minutes. You can also choose to marinate overnight. I’d avoid letting the sauce sit longer than a day in the marinade because the steak will break down too much and become soft and mushy.
A good cut of meat (like our favorite filet mignon or ribeye) can also be marinated, but we prefer to keep them pure, maybe with some added flavor of butter, garlic and thyme. If you do however want to try it on a thicker cut of meat, allow for at least 8 hours for the sauce to infuse.
How to Make This Steak a Meal
The beauty of this steak is it not only makes a meal, it can prep a few for the week too. Simply cook the steak and save the leftovers for these ideas through the week.
- Ramen Noodles With Steak and Broccoli
- Asian Steak Street Tacos: Add steak to 4-inch warmed flour tortillas with shredded cabbage or Quick Korean Shredded Slaw, avocado, sweet and sour pickled cucumbers drizzled with sour cream spiked with lime juice and cilantro and extra Asian master sauce if desired.
- Asian French Dip Sandwiches: Add sliced steak to sliced onion, red and green peppers and mushrooms sautéed in a bit of oil and 3-4 tablespoons of Asian master sauce and served in toasted French rolls and dip in beef stock accented with a bit more master sauce for even more Asian flavor-flave.
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Easy Asian Steak Marinade
This easy steak marinade is the key to tenderizing and flavoring a steak that takes only 30 minutes to marinate, making it a favorite for weeknight dinners.
- 1/2 cup ponzu *
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 3 cloves garlic , minced or pressed
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes (optional)
- 1 1/2 to 2 pounds hanger steak (or flap steak or flank steak)
Add the steak to a zippered gallon freezer bag with 3/4 cup of the marinade and let sit for at least 15 minutes or up to overnight in the fridge.
Heat a grill pan or large skillet over medium high heat with 1 tablespoon of the oil until shimmering.
Take the steak from the bag and pour off the marinade then add the steak to the pan and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides and cooked to medium rare, about 8-12 minutes.
Transfer the steak to a cutting board to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing.
*Ponzu is a citrus infused soy sauce and is easily found in most grocery stores. Soy sauce with juiced lemon, lime or orange can be used instead.
More Homemade Marinades You’ll Love
- Cilantro Lime Marinade
- Greek Chicken Marinade
- Korean Beef Bulgogi Marinade
- Greek Lemon Chicken Marinade
- Orange Chicken Marinade
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This post is in partnership with Dannon Oikos. As always, thank you for reading and supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. There are affiliate links in this post of which I receive a small commission. All opinions are always my own.