Thai Marinated Skirt Steak

*By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by The Beef Checkoff and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

If you’re a regular around my blog, you’ve probably noticed that I am a protein fiend. It’s my favorite macronutrient by far! Here are a few ways that protein promotes weight loss:

1. PROTEIN SATISFIES: Protein is important because it helps you feel fuller longer. Having protein around slows down digestion making us more satisfied and less likely to go back for seconds or snack shortly after a meal.

2. PROTEIN MELLOWS CARB HIGHS AND LOWS: Pairing protein with carbohydrate-rich foods slows down the absorption of sugar from your stomach into your bloodstream, which may help keep your blood sugar and insulin from spiking and ward off future cravings.

3. PROTEIN TAKES MORE CALORIES TO BURN: The “thermic effect of food” (TEF) is the energy we use to digest food into small, absorbable components. Protein has a higher TEF compared to carbs and fat meaning you’re actually burning more calories to process protein than to process the other two.

4. PROTEIN SUPPORTS MUSCLE GROWTH AND REPAIR: Your protein needs increase especially after bouts of intense exercise so increasing your protein intake on days that you exercise is beneficial. Additionally, if you strength train consider having a high protein snack right after a training session when the muscle is sensitive to nutrients that it can use to repair and grow.

Check out this awesome infographic from The Beef Checkoff illustrating some of the ways to harness the benefits of lean protein. 

  Red meat, such as beef, can fit in a healthy diet! Choose lean cuts of beef, such as flank or skirt steak, or explore other lean cuts using this tool. This week I tried out three different steak marinades. Of those three, this was my favorite because of the savory, sweet glaze it forms on the meat and how well it tenderizes the steak. Have it for dinner and use the leftovers in another recipe the next day! 

  
Thai Marinated Grilled Skirt Steak 

(Serves 2 – 4)

Ingredients:

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon lime juice (about half a lime)

1 garlic clove, grated on a microplane

1/2 inch ginger root, grated on a microplane

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 pound skirt steak

Preparation:

1. Whisk together all marinade ingredients in a small bowl. 

2. Place the skirt steak in a gallon sized zip top bag and pour in the marinade. Press air out of the bag as you seal it and store on a plate in the refrigerator for 2-8 hours.

3. Remove the steak from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature as you preheat the grill to high heat on one end and low heat on the other side.

4. Shake excess marinade off the steak before placing on the preheated grill grates. Sear on the hot side first for 3 minutes on each side, then transfer to the low heat side until the internal temperature reaches 125 degrees for a steak cooked to medium-rare or 135 degrees for a steak cooked to medium.

5. Allow the steak to rest for 5 minutes before carving. Slice thin, against the grain to serve.

A 4 oz portion of this grilled steak will have between 200 and 250 calories depending on the amount of marinade on it and 28 grams of protein! You can use flank steak instead for a very similar protein and calorie profile. Enjoy!

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DIY Asian Marinade

Colby recently decided that he can cook! This is very exciting news for our household because I’m usually the one doing all the food prep. Colby’s specialty is grilling- he boasts that he can cook a perfect hot dog, sausage, or burger patty. When I pointed out that these are all pre-seasoned items and it really takes little more skill to grill a sausage than to microwave a frozen entrée, he stepped up his game. He bought a steak seasoning blend and flavored up some steak for the grill. Turned out awesome!

Next up, I challenged Colby to grill some salmon. This was partly to give him something new to try, but mostly to use up some of the three giant bags of salmon filets we have in our freezer from a recent Costco haul. Couldn’t pass up the great deal! Anyway, I made the marinade and he worked his manly grilling magic. 

You can buy a bottle of marinade or dressing at the store, but it’s typically less expensive, healthier, and more delicious to make these kitchen staples from scratch. Here is a flavorful Asian-inspired salmon marinade I like to use on salmon. If you use it on fish, only let it soak for 1 hour because fish flesh absorbs salt and flavor very quickly. If you’re using it on chicken or steak, you can get away with 8-12 hours (maybe more) of soaking.

  
DIY Asian Marinade (for 4-5 salmon fillets)
Ingredients:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

Preparation:
1. Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl or shake together in a jar.
2. Transfer to a large zipper bag or a shallow dish for marinating the fish, poultry, or meat.
3. Marinate fish for 1 hour, meat for 2 hours, or chicken for up to 24 hours.
4. Remove the meat, poultry, or fish from the marinade, and grill or bake as desired. Discard excess marinade.

We grilled the salmon on hot, lightly oiled grates for about 4-5 minutes per side. It was flakey and caramelized on the outside, but not overcooked on the inside. I’ve made it in the oven before, too. Bake on a tinfoil lined baking sheet for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.