Preparation / Directions:
The classic Asian combination of garlic and rich, toasty-brown sesame oil is hard to beat on many meats; beef and chicken, among them. This recipe produces a sweet, salty, zesty, crispy main dish that capitalizes on the grill's ability to "caramelize" the sugar on the outside of the steak, creating a terrifically toothsome texture and a sweet, smoky flavor. Feel free to shake a little red pepper into the marinade for extra kick, and to serve the steak traditionally (without the Korean-style lettuce-leaf wraps and dipping sauce)--it's got plenty of flavor.
Makes 6 servings
For serving: 1 head romaine lettuce, separated into leaves, rinsed and spun dry Garlic kabobs (place three peeled cloves crosswise on a toothpick for each guest, drizzle with sesame oil and salt and pepper, wrap loosely with foil, and grill for 20 minutes)
1. Make the dipping sauce: Combine all the dipping sauce ingredients in a medium-size bowl and stir until thoroughly mixed and the sugar is dissolved.
2. Prepare the beef: If using tenderloin tips, butterfly them to obtain broad, flat pieces of meat; each should be about 4 inches long and wide and 1/4-inch thick. If using the sirloin, cut it across the grain into 1/4-inch slices (placing meat in the freezer briefly makes this easier). Whichever cut you use, pound the slices between two sheets of plastic wrap with the side of a cleaver or with a rolling pin to flatten them to the thickness of 1/8 of an inch. Place the meat in a large nonreactive baking dish and set aside while you prepare the marinade.
3. Combine all the ingredients for the marinade in a small bowl and whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Pour the mixture over the meat in the baking dish and toss thoroughly to coat. Cover and let marinate, in the refrigerator, for 1 to 2 hours.
4. Preheat the grill to high.
5. When ready to cook, oil the grill grate. Add the garlic kabobs (if using) to the hot grate, and grill for 4 to 5 minutes. Then arrange the pieces of meat on the grate and grill, turning with tongs, until nicely browned on both sides, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Turn the garlic kabobs as the meat cooks. Transfer the meat to a platter when it is done and unwrap the garlic.
6. Pour the dipping sauce into 6 small bowls, one for each diner. To eat, take a piece of meat and a grilled garlic clove and wrap them in a lettuce leaf. Dip the leaf in the dipping sauce and eat at onc