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Grilled Five Spice Flank Steak

  • Serves: 4
  • Calories: 400
thin slices of grilled flank steak marinated in hoisin and five spice next to an asian salad on a plate

A Chinese five spice-hoisin marinade sinks into scored flank steak like nobody's business, and turns a simply grilled flank steak into a total flavor bomb.

Five-Ingredient, Five Spice Flank Steak—Say That Three Times Fast!

Or don’t. Instead, maybe just grill that easy, five-ingredient flank steak and eat it up! When summer hits, the days just fly by and all we want to do is be outside in the sunshine. And dinnertime is no exception! Grilling means we don’t have to go inside to cook, or risk heating up the house by cranking up that oven. Grilling also happens to be the ideal way to cook a steak—seared to medium-rare perfection over an open flame is clearly the best way to cook steak.

flank steak, asian salad, sesame seeds, hoisin, Chinese five spice
scored flank steak with hoisin and Chinese five spice marinade

Hoisin Sauce + Five Spice Powder = The Best Flank Steak Marinade Ever.

Sure, you could whip up a fussy flank steak marinade with a zillion ingredients and it’d probably be delicious. But when you can make the best flank steak marinade ever with just two ingredients, why bother? Plus, grilled steak is all about simplicity—you just want to slap that steak on a hot grill, flip it and eat it. No muss, no fuss. If you’re not yet familiar with the greatness of these two Chinese ingredients, let us show you the way!

  • Hoisin sauce. The sticky, sweet-salty condiment of your dreams, hoisin sauce is an Asian sauce that’s become a new pantry staple for us. Made from a mixture (that varies recipe to recipe) of soybeans, garlic and spices, the sauce is assertive and complex, and pairs especially well with beef—like this flank steak—and pork.
  • Five spice powder. In much the way that hoisin sauce does, Chinese five spice powder packs a ton of flavor into one little jar. A blend of star anise, Szechuan peppercorns, fennel, cinnamon, and clove, it’s warm, complex and a bit sweet

The Secret To Tender Grilled Flank Steak? Scoring!

We’re telling you to score the flank steak before you marinate it. But do you really have to? And if so, why? Well, first of all, no—you don’t absolutely have to. But it takes an extra 30 seconds to do, and scoring the steak will really pay off! Scoring the meat does two things. First, it tenderizes a traditionally tough-ish cut of beef. Second, it creates lots of wonderful nooks and crannies for the hoisin-five spice marinade to seep into the steak, ensuring that those gorgeous flavors permeate the whole juicy steak.

raw flank steak marinating on a rimmed baking sheet
grilled flank steak marinated in hoisin sauce and Chinese five spice on a baking sheet

How To Make A Really, Really Easy Steak Dinner

Big flavors, a hot grill, and a couple little short cuts are the secret to getting a satisfying, healthy steak dinner on the table super fast.

  1. Score that steak! Use a sharp knife to make shallow cuts against the grain in one direction and then cut again in the other direction to make diamond shapes on the surface of the meat.
  2. Marinate it for an hour. If you go a little over, that’s OK, but try not to go for less than an hour.
  3. Grill it! The general rule of thumb is about six minutes per side for a medium-rare flank steak, but use a meat thermometer—135°F is medium-rare—to check for doneness.
  4. Serve! And here comes the ultimate shortcut—bagged salad! Yep, on a busy weeknight, those bagged salad kits with dressing included are the difference between serving veggies and not serving veggies. We love to serve this with the kind that have lots of crunchy bits and a sesame dressing, usually labeled “Asian chopped salad” or “Asian chopped slaw”, but you can also feel free to serve this grilled steak with whatever salad you love best.
thin slices of grilled flank steak marinated in hoisin and five spice next to an asian salad on a plate

Tools You’ll Need:

  • A grill! We’ve written the recipe for a gas grill, but you could also use a charcoal grill, or even cook the flank steak under a broiler in a pinch.
  • A sheet pan. We marinate the flank steak on a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Sharp knife. We know, we always say this, but for this recipe it’s especially essential! You’ll need it to score the steak, and to slice it after grilling. Remember, always slice the steak against the grain of the meat.

More Grilled Steak Recipes to Try This Summer!

Ah, summer. Slap a steak over those hot coals and dinner is DONE.

thin slices of grilled flank steak marinated in hoisin and five spice next to an asian salad on a plate
thin slices of grilled flank steak marinated in hoisin and five spice next to an asian salad on a plate

Fire Up That Grill!

All summer long, friends. We hope you give this five spice flank steak a spin! Let us know how you like it! Snap a photo of your steak and salad dinner, and maybe even a video of the beautiful people you feed it to. Tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

Grilled Five Spice Flank Steak

  • Serves: 4
  • Calories: 400

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lb Flank steak
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ½ cup Hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp Chinese 5 spice
  • 1 bag “asian” salad kit (grab one with sesame dressing if possible)
  • 1 tbsp Sesame seeds (optional)

Method

  1. Lightly score the surface of the flank steak with a sharp knife (see post for tips). Sprinkle it with salt on both sides.
  2. Mix the hoisin and Chinese five-spice in a small bowl. Pour over the flank steak on a rimmed baking sheet and coat it entirely. Marinate in the fridge for at least one hour.
  3. Heat grill to 350°F. Cook the flank steak on both sides to your desired doneness. Normally about 6 minutes per side for medium rare. We suggest using an instant read thermometer.
  4. Rest the meat for 5 minutes before thinly slicing against the grain.
  5. Toss the salad and all the fixings in a bowl. Serve the steak with extra hoisin sauce over the salad sprinkled with sesame seeds.

Steak Doneness Temperatures
Medium Rare 130° F
Medium 140° F
Medium Well 150° F
Well Done 160° F +