[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]
While fajitas are more commonly made with skirt steak, flank steak makes a fantastic filling as well. It may seem out of place in a Mexican (or Meximerican) recipe, but soy sauce is actually quite a common fajita marinade ingredient. I mix mine with oregano, ground ancho chile (or if I’m lazy, chili powder), cumin, garlic, and sugar, oil, and lime juice. You can go all out and serve it restaurant-style with grilled peppers and onions, but that’s just gilding the lily—well-cooked meat doesn’t need much more than a squeeze of lime, some chopped onions and cilantro, and s bit of fresh salsa.
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon dried ground ancho chile (or 1 tablespoon chili powder)
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- four cloves garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 2 1/2 pounds flank steak (about 1 whole flank steak)
- 1/3 cup oil
- 1 large yellow onion, finely diced
- 12 to 16 flour tortillas, warmed
- 2 whole limes, cut into wedges
- Salsa, sour cream, and/or guacamole for serving
Combine soy sauce, ground chile, cumin, oregano, lime juice, sugar, garlic, cayenne, and 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves in a medium bowl. Whisk until sugar is dissolved. Slowly add oil, whisking constantly. Place flank steak inside a gallon-sized zipper-lock bag with marinade. Press out air, seal bag, and allow meat to marinate, turning occasionally, for at least 1 hour and up to 12.
Remove steak from marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Ignite a large chimney full of coals and wait until they’re covered in grey ash. Spread evenly over 1/2 of grate, leaving the other half empty. Put the cooking grate in place, cover, and allow grill to preheat for 5 minutes. Scrape cooking grates clean, then place flank steak over hot side of grill. cook until well charred, about 3 minutes. Flip steak and continue to cook until second side is well charred, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer steak to cooler side of grill, cover, and cook until the center of the steak registers 125°F on an intant-read thermometer for medium-rare, or 135° for medium, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer to a cutting board, tent with foil, and allow steak to rest for at least 5 minutes.
Slice steak thinly across the grain, then cut each slice into 1/2-inch pieces. Serve immediately with warm tortillas, diced onions, chopped cilantro, lemon wedges, and salsa as desired.
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