Tag Archives: sesame oil

Beef and Broccoli on the Grill

I christened the Weber® Wok I got at the end of last season’s grilling period with beef and broccoli. Good choice. It was really quick and really good. In hindsight, I would make one significant change to how I cooked the beef, because the grill cooks so much hotter than the indoor stovetop. I’ll add a note in the recipe on how to do that better.

Whether you’re cooking such a dish indoors or on the grill, having all the ingredients ready and at hand is important, so that nothing is overcooked while you’re fumbling for the next ingredient. I used marinated flank steak strips for the beef, but you could also use skirt steak or sirloin. I forgot to weigh or measure the mushrooms and broccoli, but have a pretty good idea of how much I used.

I chose to cook the vegetables first, so they wouldn’t cause the meat to be overdone as the broccoli cooked. When the meat was done (in a virtual minute) the vegetables were just tossed back in to reheat with the remaining sauce.

Beef and Broccoli on the Grill

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1/2-3/4 lb flank steak cut across grain in thin strips
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (unsweetened)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch (see note about marinade)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4-8 tablespoons vegetable oil, depending on the vegetables you use
  • 3-4 cups broccoli florets (if you use stems, plan for longer cooking)
  • 2 cups shiitake mushroom caps, sliced
  • salt & pepper
  • cooked rice for serving (I used brown basmati)


  1. Marinate the beef strips for 2-4 hours in the next 6 ingredients—soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, garlic, ginger. *Note about marinade: Usually, I like to have the cornstarch in the marinade, which thickens quickly on cooking, but the grill was too blazing hot for that and I think some of the cornstarch burned off right away. I’m suggesting instead that the cornstarch be added to the 1/2 cup water and added after the meat is cooked and the vegetables are tossed back in.
  2. Prepare grill for direct heat at about 400° using about 60 briquettes in a chimney starter. Spread the ash-covered coals in the center of the grill under the cooking grate no more than two coals high, so they don’t actually touch the bottom of the wok.
  3. Place the wok in the grill, close the cover, and heat the grill and wok to about 400°. The bottom of the Weber® Wok, a cast iron wok, sits below the grill grate; if you are using a wok of a different material and/or that sits on top of the grate, your cooking times may differ.
  4. Mushrooms: pour 2 tablespoons oil in the wok, then add the sliced mushrooms and toss for a few minutes. Mushrooms will soak up oil, as you probably know, so you’ll need more for the broccoli.
  5. Broccoli: pour in up to 2 more tablespoons oil into the wok and add broccoli florets. Toss for a few minutes, then close the grill cover for a 2-3 minutes to cook through. Alternatively, you could place a large lid on the wok itself.
  6. Scoop out the vegetables and set aside. Wipe out the wok with paper towels, if needed.
  7. Beef: Add another two tablespoons oil to the wok and allow the grill to reheat. Add the meat and marinade and spread out the meat to cook for 2-3 minutes. Alternately, you could strain the meat and marinade, adding only the meat first and the marinade after it is done.
  8. Toss in the vegetables and the 1/2 cup water and cornstarch (and the strained marinade if you did that). Toss until the sauce is thickened, which is almost instantaneous.
  9. Remove to serving bowl and serve over rice.

Don’t leave your wok on the hot grill to burn; remove it to a heatproof space to cool to make cleaning a little easier. I cleaned mine with warm water and kosher salt.




Dishing Out the Holiday Food

First, I have a hard time calling Memorial Day a holiday, having had a parent die in a war, but while it’s not all fireworks and getting drunk around here, I do make food like I would make for any seasonal celebration.

Since there are just the two of us here, I can’t justify making a feast like what a big gathering might have, so I’m making three good meals and spreading them out over the three days of the long weekend. Yesterday, we had potato salad—a big favorite around here—with a grilled venison backstrap. No dessert, because, well, we think of potato salad as dessert, itself!

Tomorrow, it will just be your typical grilled burgers with skewers of grilled summer squash, your choice of yesterday’s potato salad or today’s slaw, and a little leftover dessert from today.

Today, I’m grilling some baby back ribs, brined in an orange-Asian marinade and basted with a spicy orange-Asian glaze. Cole slaw for a side and for dessert, a blueberry clafoutis. The ribs are not going to be like the last ones, cooked low and slow with a charcoal snake, but cooked over an indirect higher heat, around 350°-400° for two hours, periodically basted with the glaze. They are more of a wet rib, but one that doesn’t require a thick drippy sauce. The glaze cooks down to a thick, sticky coating that complements the marinated pork.

Baby Back Ribs with Orange-Asian Glaze

  • Servings: 1 rack of ribs, about 3 lbs
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Overnight brine/marinade:
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1 -2 tablespoons grated garlic
  • 1-2 tablespoons grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil

Combine all ingredients and pour over ribs in large glass dish or in sealable plastic bags. I cut my rack in half and put each half in a plastic bag, dividing the marinade between them. Marinate in the refrigerator overnight, removing from refrigerator about 1/2 hour before cooking.

Orange-Asian Grilling Glaze:
  • 2 cups orange juice, reduced over medium-high heat to 1 cup
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 heaping teaspoon Huy Fong Vietnamese Chili Garlic sauce

After orange juice is reduced by half, remove to a measuring cup, then stir in other ingredients. Use to baste the ribs every 15 minutes on the grill.

Cooking the ribs:

1 three lb rack of pork back ribs, marinated overnight

Orange-Asian glaze

  1. Set up your grill for indirect cooking, so that you have enough coals for at least two hours. I started with 50 coals in the chimney starter, then dropped about ten more coals on the ash pile to make sure it would keep going.
  2. Place the marinated ribs opposite the heated side of the grill and close the cover. It should come up to about 400° and drop to around 350° by the end of the second hour. Keep in mind that the temperature drops every time you open the lid to baste the ribs.
  3. Set one timer for 1 1/2 hours and another timer for 15 minutes. Baste the ribs with the glaze every 15 minutes, resetting that timer. If after 1 1/2 hours, you think the ribs could go longer, try another half hour. I felt that the full two hours was good and that more time would not add anything significant to the recipe.

The ribs were moist and tender inside, sticky and spicy outside, without any added sugar, just the natural sugars in the orange juice.

Blueberry Clafoutis: See the recipe for Pear Clafoutis and substitute one pint of fresh blueberries for the pears.

Asian Beer Marinated Grilled Chicken

No it’s not Asian beer, it’s an Asian-oriented marinade that includes beer, a Belgian beer to be more exact. Blue Moon® beer is a wheat beer made with some orange peel, but I’m not really counting on it to provide noticeable citrus in the marinade—would be nice if it did. Unlike last year’s grilled chicken thighs, I marinated these overnight. Here’s the simple marinade:

  • 1 12 oz bottle Blue Moon beer (or your favorite)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce (for the saltiness)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese five spice powder
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro paste (convenient to not have to smell the stuff while chopping)

I poured the marinade over the chicken in a large sealable plastic bag, set in a large bowl, and put it in the fridge overnight. Take it out about an hour before grilling to bring it up to room temperature. The grilling itself, over indirect heat, takes about an hour for perfect, juicy chicken every time. It’s like cooking in a self-cleaning oven, only better because you also get the smoky grill flavors.

Asian-Marinated Country Style Ribs

Although this is another slow-cooked grill recipe, you could certainly make it in the oven in a roasting pan or even in a slow cooker. I just needed a change from my usual rub flavors of chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, and brown sugar. I still want the same tender, pulled pork in the end, but I’ll combine it with some Napa cabbage in a tortilla for a kind of fusion soft taco, drizzled with a honeyed hot sauce.

This marinade is wet, but thick, so it sticks to the meat better during the long cooking process.

Asian-Marinated Country Style Ribs

  • Servings: makes about 8 tortillas
  • Difficulty: easy
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Set up grill for indirect heat. I used the snake charcoal method to keep the heat between 250°-300° for at least 3 hours.

  • 3 lbs country style pork ribs—these are cut from the pork shoulder and may or may not have bones
  • Marinade:
    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 2 tablespoons grated ginger
    • 2 large garlic cloves, grated
    • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, unsweetened
    • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
    • 1 tablespoon Asian hot sauce, like sriracha or chili-garlic sauce
  • Napa cabbage, thinly sliced
  • tortillas, fajita or soft taco size
  • Drizzling sauce: 2 tablespoons Asian hot sauce, like sriracha or chili-garlic sauce; 2 tablespoons honey; 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  1. Combine marinade ingredients and pour over ribs in large zippered plastic bag. Marinate for at least 2 hours, turning occasionally.
  2. Place ribs on pre-heated grill over drip pan. Cook with lid closed for about 3 hours or until tender.
  3. Shred ribs into bit-sized pieces.
  4. Serve on tortilla with Napa cabbage, drizzled with hot honey sauce.