I could eat a good steak salad one to three times a week and be a very happy woman. Usually, I throw a ribeye on the grill but decided to try pan-seared flank steak instead.
A few years ago, when I worked in a fine dining restaurant, we served finely chopped flank steak raw for steak tartare. So, for this cold steak salad I decided to sear the flank steak just until medium rare, about 3 minutes per side.
Of course, you can just as easily cook the steak to medium, if you prefer (about 4 minutes per side).
How to Tenderize, Cook, and Serve Flank Steak
What’s more important than the cook is that you tenderize the steak prior to cooking, let it rest before cutting, and slice it very thinly against the grain. Since flank steak is a lean and tough cut, these 3 things will go a long way in making the steak tender and less chewy.
To tenderize flank steak, use a meat tenderizer or a sharp knife at an angle to pierce 3/4 of the way through the steak. If you see any silvery white skin, be sure to trim it away prior to cooking.
Ingredient Tip: For the best beefy flavor, look for grass fed beef which has the omega-3 to omega-6 ratio balanced.
Serving the Cold Steak Salad
To serve the steak as a salad, I like to use thinly shaved cucumber instead of lettuce for a refreshing and crunchy texture. Yuzu and mustard create a punchy vinaigrette with olive oil, making for some really bright flavors to contrast the savoriness of the beef. To serve the beef cold, I usually just let it rest for about 10 to 15 minutes while I make the vinaigrette.
A recipe like this is also great for using leftover steak where heating would ruin the texture. I think this steak salad makes a great lean and clean high protein lunch or dinner as-is. If you’re looking to bulk it up a bit though, you could serve it over bulgar or rice.
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Cold Steak Salad with Cucumber and Yuzu-Mustard Vinaigrette
- ½ pound flank steak
- 4 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 small shallot minced
- 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
- 2 tablespoons yuzu
- 1 cucumber thinly sliced
- 1 green onion thinly sliced
- Heat a large pan coated with 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high. Pierce the steak with a sharp knife at an angle almost all the way through about 1-inches apart. Season both sides with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Pan fry steak 4 minutes each side until well browned for medium (or to your desired doneness). Remove to a cutting board. Let stand 10 minutes. Slice thinly against the grain, then cut strips in half.
- Meanwhile, In a small bowl, combine the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, shallot, mustard, and yuzu. Whisk together.
- To serve, spread the cucumber out on a plate with the steak. Drizzle the yuzu sauce over top. Garnish with green onion.
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