Photo by Ken Goodman
Skirt and flank steaks are some of our favorites to grill, but when it’s fancy time we go for the New York Strip, a nice 1-inch-thick center cut. You can’t go wrong with this. It’s a little on the pricey side, but in our opinion the beef flavor and chew are superior. Like soy sauce, tamari is made from fermented soybeans. But this Japanese condiment is slightly thicker with a more complex, less salty flavor. It is also gluten-free, which is an advantage for many people.
The key here is to build an even, high fire. If it’s too low, you won’t get the crust that rocks people’s world. With this dish you want a deep golden brown crust and a perfect medium rare inside. Don’t forget to rest your meat for five minutes after cooking it. We know you’re hungry, but you’ll ruin an awesome steak by cutting into it too soon because all of the juices will run out.
We feel it’s really important to pull our steaks out of the refrigerator 30-40 minutes before starting to cook them. This way they temper, meaning that they come to room temperature, and cook more evenly.
Step 1: Make the glaze: In a medium bowl, mix the tamari, agave, vinegar, sugar, cayenne and white pepper. Set aside.
Step 2: Build a hot direct fire. Spread an even layer of unlit charcoal in the bottom of the grill. Fill a chimney with charcoal. Stuff two sheets of newspaper in the bottom of the chimney and light it. When the coals are fully engaged—you should see flames peeking over the top—pour them over the unlit charcoal. If using a gas grill, light the gas and adjust temperature on both sides to high.
Step 3: When you can hold your hands over the fire for no more than 3-5 seconds, clean the grill grate. Season steaks with salt and pepper and place on grill. Cook for about 2-1/2 minutes, then rotate 90 degrees and cook for about 2-1/2 minutes more. At this point you should have a deep golden crust. Flip steaks over and repeat. Using an instant-read thermometer, check the internal temperature. Steaks should be 125 degrees F-130 degrees F. Brush liberally with the glaze, flip over and caramelize for 20 seconds; repeat on the second side. Remove from the grill and place on a cooling rack set in a baking sheet for 5 minutes. If you have any glaze left, pour some over the steaks while they are resting, reserving some to drizzle just before serving.
Step 4: To serve: Evenly distribute the Sticky Rice among 4- 6 plates, mounding the rice on each plate. Make a shallow well in each mound with the back of a spoon, and pour a liberal spoonful of the Sweet-and-Spicy sauce into each, drizzling a little around the base. Slice the steak and arrange it in overlapping layers over the rice. Drizzle with any remaining glaze.