Thai Steak

It has been awhile since we have had beef, so I figured since the weather has finally been improving that I would fire up the grill, splurge on some steaks and get to town. This time instead of just salt and peppering the steak, I decided to go with a Thai steak. It was a great decision on my part. This marinade would be fantastic with any protein, but it goes really well with beef.

If you want to use leftovers, try making my Thai steak McMuffin sandwich, that is if you have any leftovers (I’m surprised I did).

Grilled Thai Steak
Grilled Thai Steak

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 New York strip steaks, or t-bone steaks
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp shaoxing rice wine
  • 2 tbsp dark sesame oil
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 2 pinch of salt, to taste
  • 1 shallot, minced

Combine all of the ingredients, excluding the meat, in a large bowl.

Grilled Thai Steak
Grilled Thai Steak

Add in the steak, mixing to coat all of the beef. Let this marinate for 1-4 hours. When you are ready to cook, heat up your grill and grill to your liking. We go medium for the most part on the steaks. Serve with rice and vegetables. Enjoy!

Thai Steak McMuffin

The weather was so nice this past weekend in the Milwaukee area. When I say nice, let’s just say it around 60 degrees. You don’t know what that did to us. It lifted us up, we opened windows, we were smiling, and I could probably keep going on and on. It’s funny what a change in weather can do for you to lift the spirits. With that said, my first instinct, instead of going (or making) a Friday night fish fry was to fire up the grill, and with beef being on sale, I decided to splurge and buy some steaks for the family. I knew exactly what I was going to do with it, and that was to make some Thai beef.

I was surprised to say the least that we had leftover beef after dinner, but that actually drew some excitement within me because I knew that was going nowhere to waste. So the following morning I figured I would make a Thai steak mcmuffin. I know that mcmuffin is trademarked and all, but anything I put on a n English muffin becomes a ‘mc’ something!

Thai Steak McMuffin Recipe
Thai Steak McMuffin Recipe

You can make this easy breakfast sandwich without going Thai style, and that recipe will be coming shortly, but the combination of tender steak with creamy eggs and cheese really makes a great weekend morning.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole eggs, beaten until frothy
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
  • steak, cooked medium, thinly sliced
  • 1 slice cheddar cheese
  • English muffin, sliced and toasted
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter

Start by heating a skillet on medium-low heat. Add the butter and let it come to a bubble. Swirl that butter around. Season your eggs with salt, pepper, and water. Mix that up.

Add the sliced steak to warm it up (or warm it through via a microwave). Remove the steak from the skillet and set it aside.

Add the eggs to the skillet, and using a spatula, move it around. Swirling if you will.

Thai Steak McMuffin Ingredients
Thai Steak McMuffin Ingredients

Once the eggs are nice and fluffy, add the steak back into the skillet and top it with a slice of cheddar cheese.

Toast your English muffin, and once toasted, slide the egg, steak and cheese onto the base of the English muffin. Top with the remaining muffin, push down a bit (get excited) and dig in.

The result is a great, and subtle punch of the Thai steak along with the creaminess of the egg and cheese as well as the crunch from that toasted muffin. I could probably eat one of these every day (or week), and is something that should be made by all of you. Yes, it’s that good.  Enjoy, and have an amazing week!

Grilled Octopus Salad

After a quick lunch at one of my favorite taco joints in Milwaukee, I decided I would shop around. I was really only looking for some tortillas for my kids, and an avocado for my wife, but I decided I would browse. Browsing typically gets me into trouble when I am at a grocery store. Go figure. This time around I checked into the seafood section and found an octopus. I have been thinking of octopus for some time now and wanted my family to experience it. I grew up trying octopus from time to time, along with conch and snails. My parents were good like that so I figured I would make attempts to let my kids experience that as well. The first thing that came to mind was a grilled octopus salad, and that is what I stuck with.

Grilled Octopus Salad
Grilled Octopus Salad

This octopus salad is not only really easy to make, but it is super refreshing.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs octopus, rinsed and cleaned
  • 2 cloves of garlic, rough chop
  • 1 serrano chili pepper, optional
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorn
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 lemons, 1 juiced
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Start by bringing a large pot of water to a boil. Season the water with some salt, lemon, black peppercorn, and serrano chili. Place the octopus in the water and boil for 45 minutes.

Remove the octopus and place in a large boil and rinse it with cold water. Drain the water and then drizzle with 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Let the octopus rest for about 30 minutes.

Grilled Octopus Salad
Grilled Octopus Salad

Chop into large pieces and heat up your grill.

Once your grill is heated, place the octopus parts onto the grill, and cook for about 5 minutes, turning along the way. Your goal is to get some of that grill char onto the octopus.

After 5 minutes, remove the octopus from the grill and place into a large bowl. Add the remaining oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, onions, parsley and bell pepper. Give that a good toss and get ready to serve.

Grilled Octopus Salad
Grilled Octopus Salad

I loved it. The texture of the octopus is spot on and the flavor from the great olive oil and lemon juice is super refreshing. Did my kids like it? Not sure but at least they tried! This grilled octopus salad would be really great during the summer months so I suspect I will return to that seafood aisle at my local Mexican grocery store and have them try it again. Have you tried octopus, and do you enjoy it?

Isan Grilled Chicken

Isan, or Isaan is a northeastern region of Thailand, bordering Laos and Cambodia that has its own style of food. Not that it stems too far away from the main culture, but I find it to be a bit spicier, and commonly the food is eaten with sticky rice (known as khao neow).  This grilled chicken is common in the region and is one that you will really love, whether you grill it (preferred) or bake it until you have crispy skin. I have made variations of this style of chicken over the last 15 years or so, but this one is a bit different as I brined the chicken in advance to make it even more juicy. If you are looking for in introduction into Northern Thai cooking, and one without a ton of spice but packed with tons of flavor.

Isan Grilled Chicken Recipe
Isan Grilled Chicken Recipe

I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs on this particular recipe, but feel free to use a halved chicken, or spatchcock a chicken and go that route, especially for a crispy skin.

Ingredients for the brine:

  • 1 gallon of water
  • 1/2 cup of kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup of white sugar
  • 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces, or 6 boneless and skinless chicken thighs

Ingredients for the Marinade: (if you have a mortar and pestle use it, otherwise your food processor)

  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup of thinly sliced lemongrass
  • 1/2 cup of cilantro, leaves and stems
  • 1/4 tsp MSG, optional
  • 3 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp curry powder, or turmeric
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp canola oil

Start by bringing the salt, sugar and water to a boil. Once the sugar and salts dissolve into the water, remove from the stove and let it cool.

Once the brine is cool, add in the chicken pieces, cover, and let this brine for 4 hours, and up to 24.

Isan Grilled Chicken Ingredients
Isan Grilled Chicken Ingredients

Make the marinade, either by using your food processor which many of you probably have, or go the authentic route and use the mortar and pestle. Make the mixture into a wet paste. Scrape into a sealable jar until the chicken is ready.

When the chicken is ready, remove it from the pot, and rinse and pat dry. Add the chicken pieces to a large sealable plastic bag, and pour in the marinade. Massage the marinade into the chicken and marinate for another 4-24 hours. The longer the better in my opinion.

Before you are wanting to grill, set the chicken out to get some of the chill off of it. I grill over charcoal, but again you can grill over wood, gas, or cook at 400 degrees until you get your internal temperature. My preference is grilling over coal for a more authentic taste.

When you have your grill going, I like to heat one side of the grill with coals and keep a warmer side with no coals. This way I can adjust the heat if things get too hot.

Place the chicken on the grill, near the coals, cover, and adjust the vents. You kind of want to go low and slow with this, slowly cooking the chicken, while any skin will get nice and crisp.

Isan Grilled Chicken Recipe
Isan Grilled Chicken Recipe

As this is cooking, feel free to whip up some dipping sauce that includes fish sauce, lime juice, chili, and a bit of sugar. Also feel free to serve this with jasmine rice, or better yet sticky rice (this is take a bit more planning, but recommended). When the chicken comes to your desired temperature, remove, and serve. Again, I used thighs, so I ended up chopping mine up as my kids love to eat stove like this in the style of larb.

Dig in and enjoy. The flavors are out of this world. A bit smoky from the charcoal, juicy from the brine, and just packed full of awesome flavor from the marinade. This is a great introduction to Northern Thai food, so give this one a try. Hope you enjoy!