Happy first day of school! For public school kids in our area. Not anyone in my house or most people reading this, but happy Monday anyway! Let’s eat some beef.
Since school is starting now-ish, I’ve been working on some new dinners that are quick, easy, and delicious. This comes from my obsession with kid sleep – they need to sleep more than they do, they can’t sleep until they eat, dinner can’t take five hours to make, that kind of thing. Tons of sleep for kids yields better moods and better focus in school plus more time in the evenings for grownups, so once the dirty work of getting small people to sleep is done I really only see benefits to the situation.
But we’ve got to eat early enough to make it happen! Enter, steak bites. They cook way quicker than a whole steak and don’t require resting time, and while they marinate you make the rest of dinner – in this case, rice and raw veggies that get a quick slaw treatment with lime juice and salt. Then, the steak bites cook for maybe five minutes total, and dinner is ready!
The marinade is Thai inspired with lime juice, fish sauce, and honey, and, honey (sorry), trust me when I say that you absolutely definitely for sure need to have fish sauce in your cabinet for quick dinners. It adds so much flavor straight from the bottle and imparts a distinctly Thai flavor to this particular recipe. I also use pre-minced lemongrass in a tube for flavor without mess – no way I’m going to be, what, bushwhacking a stalk of lemongrass on a Tuesday? Or any day. No. The stuff in a tube is great, and if you can’t find it (it’s in my grocery store where the fresh herbs are in the produce section), just leave it out. Sriracha adds heat and garlicky flavor without mincing any garlic, and soy sauce rounds out the flavors for the marinade.
The steak you use is completely up to you. For indulgence I’ve made this with ribeye and omg so freaking good. In these pictures I used top sirloin which is leaner but still delicious and tender. Whisk the ingredients for the marinade together to dissolve the honey, then cut the steak into cubes and add it to the marinade. Let the steak sit for 15-30 minutes while you make the rest of your dinner.
To cook the steak, heat a skillet to medium-high heat with some olive or canola oil – the skillet should be super hot! When the oil shimmers, add the steak in one layer; use a slotted spoon to avoid getting much marinade into the skillet.
Let the steak cook just until it browns on the first side – two minutes or so depending on the heat of your skillet.
Flip the steak and let it continue to cook for another minute or so. When the marinade and steak juices in the pan start to caramelize, toss the steak around the skillet one more time, and serve! I like to use a nonstick skillet for this because of the honey in the marinade, it gets wonderfully sticky in the pan BUT is much easier to clean up from a nonstick skillet.
Make bowls however you’d like, and eat! Jay is having some sort of competition with my brother in law that involves him not eating rice at home, so his is the veg-heavy one. I eat all of the carbs all of the time because I want to, so mine is the glaringly white one. I love raw veggies with this because the contrast of crunchy veg with the rich steak is perfect, but any cooked vegetable side you like would be wonderful too, maybe even some avocado on the side to add creaminess to the dish.
The steak is definitely the star of the show, no matter how you serve it. I like lime wedges for tang, Jay does extra sriracha, we both love cilantro, sesame seeds, green onions…kind of as many or as few toppings as you’d like work perfectly here.
The main thing, though, is that these are done in half an hour and taste like they came from a restaurant. Enjoy!
- 12 ounces steak, cubed to 1-inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons pureed lemongrass
- 1 tablespoon sriracha
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- juice of 1 lime
Whisk all of the ingredients except for the steak in a bowl until smooth and combined. Add the steak and let marinate for at least 15 minutes or up to an hour.
To cook, preheat a large nonstick skillet to medium-high heat with a few tablespoons of olive or canola oil. When the oil is hot, use a slotted spoon to transfer the steak to the skillet in one layer.
Cook the steak without disturbing for 2-3 minutes, just until it starts to brown. Flip the steak pieces and let cook for another minute or so more. When the marinade in the skillet starts to turn dark brown, toss the steak bites around the skillet one more time and remove from the heat.
Serve with rice and any veggies you'd like. Enjoy!