A simple flank, top round or sirloin steak, marinated in a soy sauce-based dressing and then broiled or grilled, is one of those easy, fast dishes that never seem to go out of style. I understand the appeal, but with today's meat-on-the-side, vegetables-in-the-middle sensibility taking hold, it's time for an update.
That same steak, thinly sliced and mixed with snow peas, carrots and shiitake mushrooms, becomes a main-course salad that beautifully blends meat and vegetables.
Teriyaki Steak, Snow Pea and Shiitake Salad
MAKE AHEAD: The vegetables can be cut, cooked where needed and refrigerated for up to a day before assembling. The steak can be cooked up to 2 days in advance. The salad is best the day it's assembled but can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.
For the steak
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons light or dark brown sugar
1 pound top round, sirloin or flank steak, preferably 1 to 1- 1/2 inches thick
For the salad
6 ounces snow pea pods
3 tablespoons mild olive or peanut oil
8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced into1/4-inch strips
1/2 medium sweet onion, finely chopped ( 1/2 cup)
1-ounce piece fresh ginger root, peeled and finely chopped or grated
2 small carrots, well scrubbed, then grated (4 ounces total)
2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar or sushi vinegar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon toasted white or black sesame seeds (see note)
For the steak: Combine the soy sauce, toasted sesame oil and sugar in a gallon-size zip-top bag. Add the steak and seal, pressing out as much air as possible. Massage through the bag to coat evenly. Refrigerate for 4 to 12 hours, turning the bag over every few hours if possible.
Broil or grill the steak to medium-rare or to the desired doneness. Cool to room temperature, then thinly slice into strips about 1 1/2 inches long.
For the salad: Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. Fill a bowl with cool water and ice cubes.
Lightly salt the boiling water, then add the snow peas and cook for 1 minute. Drain, immediately transferring the snow peas to the ice-water bath. Cool for 5 minutes, then drain and pat dry with paper towels. Cut each snow pea pod lengthwise into 2 or 3 strips (discarding the strings) and place in a mixing bowl.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive or peanut oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shiitake strips; cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the mushrooms wilt. Add the chopped onion and the ginger; cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes, just until the onion starts to soften. Transfer the vegetables to the mixing bowl to cool.
Add the grated carrots and sliced steak, along with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, the vinegar, toasted sesame oil, soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of the sesame seeds. Toss to combine thoroughly. Let stand 15 minutes, then toss again. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed. Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with the remaining teaspoon of sesame seeds and serve.
NOTE: Toast the sesame seeds in a small, dry skillet over medium-low heat for several minutes, until fragrant and lightly browned. Cool before using.
NUTRITION Per serving: 230 calories, 20 g protein, 9 g carbohydrates, 13 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 40 mg cholesterol, 200 mg sodium, 4 g dietary fiber, 3 g sugar