Thai Beef Skewers With Pickled Cucumbers

Total Time:
2 hr
Prep:
1 hr 50 min
Cook:
10 min

Yield:
4 to 6 as an appetizer
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • For the pickled cucumbers:
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar (unseasoned)
  • 1/2 Asian cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 small hot red or green chile, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • For the beef skewers:
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoons rice vinegar (unseasoned)
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons mirin
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes or Thai chili paste
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 pound sirloin, rib-eye or New York strip steak, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 scallions (white and light green parts), cut into 1-inch lengths, plus additional, sliced for garnish
Directions
  • Pickle the cucumbers: In a small saucepan, heat the sugar, salt, vinegar and 1/4 cup water over medium-high heat until the sugar and salt dissolve; remove from the heat. Put the cucumber, chile and red onion in a medium bowl and pour the hot brine over them. Let cool, then add the cilantro. Chill.

  • Make the beef skewers: In a medium bowl, mix the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, fish sauce, mirin, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, sesame seeds and red pepper flakes. Pour half of the mixture into a serving bowl, add the lime juice and reserve as a dipping sauce. Put the beef cubes in a zip-top bag and pour in the remaining marinade. Seal the bag and massage the marinade into the meat. Put in a bowl and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours.

  • Preheat a grill to high. Drain the meat, discarding the marinade. Thread the cubes onto skewers (1 to 4 per skewer), separating each cube with a piece of scallion. Grill directly over the coals, turning once, until nicely charred, about 3 minutes per side.

  • Sprinkle with sliced scallions. Serve warm or cold with the reserved marinade for dipping and the pickled cucumber and chiles on the side.

  • Soak wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes to keep them from burning on the grill.

  • Photograph by Antonis Achilleos


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    This recipe is featured in:

    Great Grilled Mains