Frequent readers of this blog should be well aware that during certain times of the year our local grocer marks down the beef tenderloin to a price more representative of sirloin. When this happens, we stock up. We have shared a few ways we prepare this: on the grill as bacon-wrapped fillets or in a pan with a rich cognac cream sauce and plenty of pepper – au poivre – or herb-crusted and grilled.
Occasionally however, I don’t feel like doing either one so a few weeks ago when I found myself in this boat, I scoured the kitchen to see what I could come up with. I found ginger, garlic, soy sauce, wasabi and honey (among other things) so I thought, why not try a teriyaki skewer? The result was an extremely tender, mouth-watering kabob that went perfectly with the spring vegetable fried rice that Shaina had going in the wok. In fact, the final product was so tasty we have already made them again. Now it’s your turn.
I started with two and a half pounds of trimmed tenderloin, cut into one-inch cubes.
In a zip-top bag combine soy sauce, honey, oil, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, mirin and white pepper. If you have wasabi, you could add that too for some extra punch, but it’s just fine to skip it too. Close the bag and shake well to combine.
Open the bag and toss in the beef cubes. Press out as much air as possible and reseal the bag. Allow it to sit in the fridge for an hour or so (more if you have the time, less if you are really hungry). While the beef is marinating, soak your skewers in water to keep them from burning on the grill.
After the hour is up, start your grill. Go inside and assemble your kabobs by skewering four or five cubes per stick. Don’t squish them; leave a little space between each piece to let them cook more evenly. Once you are done, give your grill a good scrape down and adjust the heat so the temperature is around 400° F.
Place the kabobs on the grill at a slight angle and close the lid, but don’t go too far, you are going to be flipping these in about three minutes.
When those three minutes are up, quickly flip each one and close the lid for another three minutes. During this time head inside and prepare a plate with foil.
The beauty of this dish is the short cooking time. Back at the grill give a few cubes a gentle press with your tongs, they should feel slightly springy, but not too firm. Once you determine they are done, remove them to your plate and wrap them in foil for about five minutes.
Pair these with your favorite Asian sides. We like fried rice, cream cheese wontons or spring rolls. Be sure you make enough because the finished product is super tender, and with its sweet and spicy kick, they won’t last long.
½ cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons sesame oil (other varieties are ok)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon mirin
1 teaspoon wasabi (optional)
10 bamboo skewers
Cut the tenderloin into one-inch cubes. Combine soy sauce, honey, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, mirin and wasabi in a one-gallon zip-top bag and shake to combine. Place the beef cubes into the bag and place in the fridge for at least one hour.
After marinating, skewer four or five cubes per stick. Grill at 400° F for three minutes and flip, grill for another three minutes and remove to a foil lined plate, wrap them with foil and allow them to rest for five minutes.
Makes 10-12 kebabs.