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Japanese-Style Steak With Garlic–Soy Sauce Marinade
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½ c
soy sauce
¼ c
olive oil
2 tsp
freshly ground black pepper
or so garlic cloves
bone-in steaks, each about 1½ inches thick and totaling about 3½ pounds
Flaky salt (optional)

Adapted from The Japanese Grill by Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat

The allure of this marinade is so obvious, so stupid-clear, I cannot believe I never thought to put these commonplace ingredients together this way. That’s why cookbooks matter, right? Use it on most any sturdy ingredient. Meat, definitely. But also eggplant and zucchini. It keeps for at least a week or two in the refrigerator, too, should you make more than you need.


  1. Preheat your grill, either charcoal or gas, so that there are two cooking zones: one that’s ripping hot and one that’s about medium.
  2. In a medium bowl, add the soy sauce, olive oil, and black pepper. Grate the garlic cloves into the bowl and whisk together. (The marinade can be refrigerated for a couple weeks. But you’re not here to store marinade, right?)
  3. You’re going to be grilling the steaks for a total of about 11 minutes. Have a timer or your phone ready. Here we go. Add the steaks to the hot side and cover the grill. Cook for 1 minute. Remove the cover and move the steaks to the medium side. After 4 minutes, flip the steaks, brush with the marinade and return them to the hot side. Cover the grill and cook for 1 minute. Remove the cover and move the steaks to the medium side. After 4 minutes, flip the steaks while moving them to the hot side. Brush the top with marinade and cook as is for 1 minute. Flip, brush, and repeat 2 more times. Use an instant-read thermometer at the part closest to the bone to see if the temperature has reached about 120℉. Cook a bit longer if not. If you don’t have an instant-read thermometer, cut into the thickest part with a small, sharp knife to see if the meat is your desired color.
  4. Remove the steak from the grill and place on a cutting board. Let rest about 5 minutes. Cut the steak against the grain into slices about ½ inch thick. Serve dusted with flaky salt, if you like.

Scott Hocker

Scott Hocker is a writer, editor, recipe developer, cookbook author, and content and editorial consultant. He has worked in magazines, kitchens, newsletters, restaurants and a bunch of other environments he can’t remember right now. He has also been the editor in chief of both liquor.com and Tasting Table.