Steak Bites

By Ann Fulton

Lightning fast cook time and exceptional flavor may just earn these easy steak bites a spot on the weekly dinner rotation. Round out the meal with rice and a vegetable of choice.
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Lightning fast cook time and exceptional flavor may just earn these easy steak bites a spot on the weekly dinner rotation. Round out the meal with rice and a vegetable of choice.

 

I have long been drawn to the incredibly easy prep and quick cook time of this flavorful steak dish. My family enjoys the bite-size nuggets as is, often with a side of roasted broccoli and rice.

Alternatively, you could use the beef, which becomes lightly glazed during the quick stint in the hot skillet, as the protein in an Asian-inspired veggie or grain bowl. In addition to broccoli and rice, mushrooms, onions, roasted potatoes (regular or sweet), edamame, greens, bell peppers, and avocado will all provide complementary, color, and texture flavor to the bowls.

I’ve been making this recipe for enough years that, before posting here, I shared it with several friends and readers. Since so many of us appreciate reading when other people have made a recipe and enjoyed, I saved some of the feedback:

  • From Stacy: “I made the Asian steak bites–they were so good! Will definitely keep in the rotation. I used sirloin because I can usually find it on sale. Served with yellow rice and steamed green beans. Everyone enjoyed dinner tonight!
  • From Heather: “Only marinated for 15 minutes or so and was pleasantly surprised the meat took on so much flavor in such a short amount of time. A keeper for sure.”
  • From Alexis: “Realized as I was cooking that it was Fulton night again. (For non-locals, the Fulton is also a fabulous theater in Lancaster, PA!) Must be a subconscious play on words or something–making Ann Fulton’s recipe when going to the Fulton. 🤗 Or I knew I needed a reliable source for a busy night and you fit the bill….again!

If you happen to make this or any other recipe, I welcome your comments and encourage you to click on the 5 stars if you feel the recipe is deserving. (This actually serves a new purpose–it will tell Google that the recipe is worth ranking in their search engine, helping others to discover it.)

 

What is the best cut of beef to use?

I recommend flank steak in this recipe. It’s widely available and happens to be one of the leanest cuts of beef. Similar and equally worthy alternatives include skirt or flatiron steak.

Ounce for ounce, these cuts have fewer calories and more protein than fattier cuts like ribeye and porterhouse. There’s a place for all of them; the differences in composition simply mean that different methods of cooking work better for each of them.

How do you maximize flavor and tenderness in lean meats?

Because these cuts of beef are so lean, quick cooking to medium-rare is the best way to ensure the meat stays tender and juicy. When prepping, slicing the steak across the grain will further ensure the cooked meat does not become tough. 

 

Lightning fast cook time and exceptional flavor may just earn these easy steak bites a spot on the weekly dinner rotation. Round out the meal with rice and a vegetable of choice.

Start by slicing the steak across the grain into ½-inch wide strips. Then cut each strip into bite-size pieces, approximately ½” – ¾” in size.

Lightning fast cook time and exceptional flavor may just earn these easy steak bites a spot on the weekly dinner rotation. Round out the meal with rice and a vegetable of choice.

Place the beef into a medium size bowl. Pour the sauce over top and stir to coat well. If possible, let the meat marinate for 20-30 minutes or up to several hours.

Lightning fast cook time and exceptional flavor may just earn these easy steak bites a spot on the weekly dinner rotation. Round out the meal with rice and a vegetable of choice.

Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add the oil and swirl to coat. You want just enough oil to lightly coat the pan. Add the meat to the pan in a single layer. 

Lightning fast cook time and exceptional flavor may just earn these easy steak bites a spot on the weekly dinner rotation. Round out the meal with rice and a vegetable of choice.

Let the beef cook for about a minute, or until it has browned. (It won’t take long.) Flip the pieces with tongs or a spatula and cook for an additional minute or two, or until just barely cooked through the center. 

Lightning fast cook time and exceptional flavor may just earn these easy steak bites a spot on the weekly dinner rotation. Round out the meal with rice and a vegetable of choice.

A garnish of sliced green onions or toasted sesame seeds is an option. To avoid overcooking the tender beef in the residual heat of the pan, however, it’s best to immediately transfer it to a plate. 

Originally adapted from Barefeet in the Kitchen, this recipe serves 2-3 people. If more servings are desired, simply cook the steak in batches. Avoiding an overcrowded pan will ensure the meat cooks evenly and sears rather than steams.

Lightning fast cook time and exceptional flavor may just earn these easy steak bites a spot on the weekly dinner rotation. Round out the meal with rice and a vegetable of choice.

The bites are delicious as is, although a side of rice and/or vegetables rounds out the meal beautifully.

If you’d enjoy a side of rice with the beef, Cilantro Lime Rice will offer a flavorful upgrade to Perfectly Cooked White Rice or Brown Rice. Funny enough, I sometimes make the former without the cilantro, and the resulting “lime rice” is still delicious. Cauliflower Rice provides a complementary low-carb option for those who may need it.

Asian Steak Bites
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 13 minutes
Yield: 2 - 4 servings, depending on appetite and precise amount of steak used
Thanks to the easy prep and a lightning fast cook time, these juicy bites might just become a regular on the weekly dinner rotation. The flavor belies their utter ease and they truly need no adornment. But if you'd like to get fancy, a dusting of toasted sesame seeds or sliced scallions is lovely.
Ingredients
  • ¾ – 1 pound flank steak (skirt or flatiron steak work well, too*)
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) low-sodium soy sauce or tamari (use GF option if needed)
  • 1 tablespoon (20g) honey
  • ½ tablespoon chili paste**
  • 2 – 3 teaspoons olive, avocado, or other neutral-flavored oil
Instructions

Prepare the meat: Slice the steak across the grain into ½-inch wide strips. Cut each strip into bite-size pieces, approximately ½” – ¾” in size. Place the chunks of beef into a medium size bowl.
For the sauce: In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, honey, and chili paste. Pour over the beef and stir to coat well. If possible, let the meat marinate for a minimum of 20-30 minutes or up to several hours.
Quick cooking: Heat a 12-inch skillet (I like cast iron) or wok over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add the oil and swirl to coat. You want just enough oil to lightly coat the pan. Add the meat to the pan in a single layer. Let it cook for about a minute, or until the meat has browned. (It won’t take long.) Flip the meat with tongs or a spatula and cook for an additional minute or two, or until the pieces are just barely cooked through the center. Immediately remove the meat to a plate to limit the residual heat that will continue to cook it. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

*Because of the brief cook time, stew meat would likely produce tougher steak bites. Leaner flank steak and the specified substitutes cook quickly and are ideal here.
**I’ve been using harissa lately because that’s what I have on hand. Other options are Sambal Oelek or something simply labeled roasted red chili paste, like the Thai Kitchen option that is widely available. You want paste preferably, not sauce, although in a pinch you could try sriracha sauce.

A few more things:
• If you’d like to double the recipe, cook it in two batches so that the meat sears rather than steams.
• If the pan begins to smoke, it’s too hot. In this case, reduce the heat slightly and continue cooking.
 Technique tips: I use tongs to transfer the beef pieces from the bowl to the pan, and once I have flipped them to the second side, I pour the residual marinade into the pan. That way, the beef gets a good sear going and the remaining marinade can cook down as the beef finishes cooking – and it can be left to simmer in the pan after the beef is removed if you want to thicken it further, like a glaze, and then toss with the cooked beef. That said, I’ve also dumped the entire contents of the bowl into the pan (there really isn’t that much liquid, although there tends to be more if the beef has marinated for several hours) and it still ends up tasting great. To ensure juicy, tender meat, just be sure not to overcook.

 

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