Hello summer! Aren’t we all just a little bit ready for the amazingness of summer cooking? I am, that’s for sure, and this Beef Tapa Inspired Marinated Flank Steak is an ideal recipe to throw on your grill or a searing hot cast iron.
Although you may not know what “beef tapa” is, I bet you are more familiar with the individual flavors of this marinade than you realize. Sweet, savory, salty, and a touch of sour all help make this marinade an awesome way to start off your summer grilling even if the temps aren’t quite as warm as you’d like them to be.
Are you worried you won’t have the ingredients because the name sounds a bit foreign? Think again! I bet if you open your pantry doors right now, you will have almost, if not all, of these ingredients.
- Brown sugar
- Coconut Aminos or Soy Sauce
- Coconut Vinegar or Rice Vinegar
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
Ok, now go check your pantry and I will wait right here for ya.
Got it? Fantastic! Now, let’s make this super duper easy marinade that will leave you hankering for that next bite of meat.
As I said above, this Beef Tapa Inspired Marinated Flank Steak is incredibly easy and you don’t need any fancy kitchen tools. Seriously, the most complicated items I used are a garlic press and, wait for it, a Ziploc bag. Yes, folks, the Ziploc bag is my fancy way to marinate meats.
Mix all the ingredients in small bowl and taste. If you are using soy sauce instead of the coconut aminos, taste the mixture before adding in all the salt. Soy sauce has a stronger flavor and may not need as much salt. You can also add an extra tablespoon of brown sugar to match the stronger soy flavor. Either option works well. We are sticking to soy-free options for now due to some diet restrictions for our youngest son.
Once you have all the ingredients mixed together and you are satisfied with the taste, put the meat and the marinade into a Ziploc bag. Remove as much air form bag as possible and close the bag. Give the meat a quick massage through the bag to work in some of those flavors. Then, let it chill in fridge overnight.
Viola! You have yourself a beautifully marinated piece of flank steak.
The story behind the marinade.
Are you still wondering why this recipe is called “beef tapa” inspired marinated flank steak? Well, even if you are not ;-), I am going to give you the quick story behind this delicious, but somewhat foreign recipe.
My family, including my in-laws, recently went on our annual cruise adventure. My in-laws are retired, avid travelers, and dedicated cruisers. Living the dream, you could say, and they worked diligently for it. Ahh, one day…
Anyways, we were on this Royal Caribbean cruise in the middle of the Caribbean somewhere having breakfast one morning when the server popped out with an off-menu treat for our table. Because my husband and his family are Filipino, the chef prepared us a common breakfast called tapsilog, which is specially prepared meat along with rice and a fried egg. Amazing, right?!
Tapsilog is one of those breakfasts that will hold you over until dinner, which gave us more time to practice our stupendous flow riding skills. So much fun! Cruising always makes me feel like a big kid.
Eventually, the cruise ended and I kept thinking about how I wanted to make that meat again form the tapsilog breakfast. I got some guidance from my mother-in-law and then had some fun in the kitchen. After a few attempts, I had a marinade that reminded me a lot of the beef tapa, which is the meat served in the tapsilog dish.
Fun fact. The word tapsilog is the name used to describe the meal that is usually comprised of the meat, garlic-fried rice, and the fried egg. “Tapa” is the dried or cured meat. “Sinangag” is the garlic-fried rice and “itlog” is egg. Tapa + Sinangag + itlog = tapsilog. There is your quick Filipino lesson from this non-Filipino. I guess being married to one gives me a teensy bit of credit.
And there you have it! I hope you enjoyed this not-so-brief story behind my beef tapa inspired marinated flank steak. Sometimes I think recipes need a little context to make them even more enticing. Food is so much more than what is on your plate, isn’t it? Food can instantly take us back to beautiful (or even not so beautiful) memories. We take that first bite and it’s like we are transported back to that amazing family vacation or whatever your memory holds for you.
As always please let me know if you gave this flavorful recipe a try by leaving a comment below. You can also snap a pic of your creation and tag @breakingbreadwithashley on Instagram!
Enjoy and happy summer…almost!
Beef Tapa Inspired Marinated Flank Steak
- 2 lb. flank steak
- 1/4 c + 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 3 tbsp. coconut aminos or soy sauce- see note 2
- 4 tbsp. coconut or rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp. molasess
- 3 tsp. sea salt
- 1 garlic clove minced
- Pepper to taste
- Combine all ingredients except flank steak and pepper in a bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Taste. Add a heavy amount of ground black pepper to taste.
- Put flank steak in Ziplock bag or container with lid. Pour in marinade mixture. Massage lightly into meat for few seconds. Let marinate in fridge overnight.
- Remove meat from fridge and let it warm to room temp while draining excess liquid.
- Heat cast iron(see note) pan over high heat. Once hot, cook flank steak for about 3 minutes per side for medium finish.
- Remove steak from heat and let rest for 10 minutes. Cut against the grain to ensure tender meat.