Malaysian Steak Skewers

Malaysian Steak Skewers

Last summer, we made this delightful Bon Appetit recipe. I forgot to record it at the time and kept trying to find the recipe online. I remembered that it was a Malaysian-style dish, but because Bon Appetit didn't have "Malaysian" in the title, my half-hearted attempts to find it bore no fruit. Finally, I used the power of Google and, somewhat embarrassingly, found the recipe in 5 seconds. In any case, here's the exact Bon Appetit recipe, recorded here so that we remember to make it again next summer!


Meat and Marinade
1 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup fish sauce (such as nuoc nam or nam pla)
2 tablespoons palm sugar or (packed) light brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
6 garlic cloves
4 red or green Thai chiles, stemmed
2 lemongrass stalks, bottom third only, tough outer layers removed
1 1 1/2" piece ginger, peeled
2 pounds tri-tip, top sirloin cap steak, or rib eye, fat cap left on

Scallion Dipping Sauce
15 scallions, very thinly sliced
1/4 cup fish sauce
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons chinkiang (black) vinegar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Basting Sauce
1/2 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 garlic cloves, crushed


Meat and Marinade
Purée all ingredients except steak in a blender or a food processor until smooth.
Trim strip of fat (sometimes called a fat cap) from meat.
Cut fat into 1/4"-1/2" cubes; cut meat into approximately 1" cubes.
Place fat and meat in a large bowl.
Add marinade and toss to coat; cover and chill overnight.

Remove fat and meat from marinade, brushing off excess.
Thread onto skewers, alternating meat with fat, so that pieces are touching but not pressed tightly together (which would slow down cooking).
Leave at least 1" of space at the ends of skewers for easy turning.
Discard marinade; save excess fat for basting liquid.

Scallion Dipping Sauce
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl just before you begin grilling; stir occasionally.

Basting Sauce
Mince any reserved leftover fat.
Transfer to a small saucepan.
Cook over medium-low heat until fat is heated through, about 3 minutes (fat will not melt completely).
Add all ingredients and cook until just heated through; keep warm.

Final Cooking
Build a medium fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to medium-high.
Grill skewers, brushing with basting sauce and turning every 2 minutes, for 10 minutes.
Stop basting and cook, turning every 2 minutes, until browned around edges and cooked through, about 6 minutes more.

Serve with scallion dipping sauce on the side.

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