A simple flank, top round or sirloin steak, marinated in a soy sauce-based dressing and then broiled or grilled, is one of those easy, fast dishes that never seem to go out of style. I understand the appeal, but with today's meat-on-the-side, vegetables-in-the-middle sensibility taking hold, it's time for an update.
That same steak, thinly sliced and mixed with snow peas, carrots and shiitake mushrooms, becomes a main-course salad that beautifully blends meat and vegetables.
Make ahead: The vegetables can be cut, cooked where needed and refrigerated for up to a day before assembling. The steak can be cooked up to two days in advance. The salad is best the day it's assembled but can be refrigerated for up to two days.
Teriyaki Steak, Snow Pea and Shiitake Salad
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
For the steak:
3 TBS low-sodium soy sauce
2 TBS toasted sesame oil
2 tsp light or dark brown sugar
1 lb top round, sirloin or flank steak, preferably 1 to 11⁄2 inches thick
For the salad:
6 oz snow pea pods
3 TBS mild olive or peanut oil
8 oz shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced into 1⁄4-inch strips
1⁄2 med sweet onion, finely chopped (1⁄2 C)
1-oz piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped or grated
2 sm carrots, well scrubbed, then grated (4 oz total)
2 TBS seasoned rice vinegar or sushi vinegar
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 TBS plus 1 tsp toasted white or black sesame seeds (see note)
For the steak: Combine the soy sauce, toasted sesame oil and sugar in a gallon-size zip-top bag. Add the steak and seal, pressing out as much air as possible. Massage through the bag to coat evenly. Refrigerate for 4 to 12 hours, turning the bag over every few hours if possible.
Broil or grill the steak to medium-rare or to the desired doneness. Cool to room temperature, then thinly slice into strips about 1 1/2-inches long.
For the salad: Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. Fill a bowl with cool water and ice cubes.
Lightly salt the boiling water, then add the snow peas and cook for 1 minute. Drain, immediately transferring the snow peas to the ice-water bath. Cool for 5 minutes, then drain and pat dry with paper towels. Cut each snow pea pod lengthwise into 2 or 3 strips (discarding the strings) and place in a mixing bowl.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive or peanut oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shiitake strips; cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the mushrooms wilt. Add the chopped onion and the ginger; cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes, just until the onion starts to soften. Transfer the vegetables to the mixing bowl to cool.
Add the grated carrots and sliced steak, along with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, the vinegar, toasted sesame oil, soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of the sesame seeds. Toss to combine thoroughly. Let stand 15 minutes, then toss again. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed. Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with the remaining teaspoon of sesame seeds and serve.
Note: Toast the sesame seeds in a small, dry skillet over medium-low heat for several minutes, until fragrant and lightly browned. Cool before using.