Not every meal needs something totally off-the-charts different; sometimes a simple riff on a classic will do.
This time of year, when I’m in San Francisco and the rain is slanted sideways and the fog so thick I feel alone in a city of nearly 1 million people, that’s when I crave easy recipes that are simple riffs. That’s when I crave brunch dishes that are a bit heartier, like, say, steak and eggs. And a cup of coffee — French press served black, thank you very much.
But the steak and eggs? I want them only so simple. I want them low maintenance enough that I don’t need to put in too much effort, hearty enough to soak up the remains of last night’s libations, yet interesting enough that I don’t feel like I’m just eating another plate of steak and eggs. So, usually, I throw on my sunglasses, tug on a large hat, and stay out of the glare of the sun — not too much of a problem in a place like SF — and head over to my go-to brunch joint for spot-on steak and eggs.
But, when I’m not in San Fran and I can’t roll myself to the brunch joint for this classic dish? That’s when I throw it together myself, but, as I tend to do, I add my own twist — this time with some Thai flavor. The base is a seriously versatile Thai-inspired marinade that would work just as well coating shrimp, pork, or chicken as it does this steak. And, after a brief marinade and some quick stove time, breakfast is as simple as that. Or brunch, or lunch, or dinner, because, let’s be real, this type of dish has a place at the table any time of day. Usually, I serve it over just-steamed rice (so it can soak up the marinade) though it would be even more satisfying served with a simple hash, like these beets or sweet potatoes.
Spicy Thai-Style Steak and Eggs Recipe
Fish sauce is a ubiquitous condiment in Thai cuisine and it adds another dimension of flavor to dishes. Chili garlic sauce is a sauce made of just that — chili and garlic — it adds a good amount of spice to recipes; look for the Huy Fong brand — the one with the rooster on the front! These days a lot of grocery stores carry fish sauce and chili garlic sauce though you can also order them online.
- Makes: 4 to 6 servings
- Total Cooking Time: 25 minutes plus marinating time
- Hands-On Time: 20 minutes
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 1 to 2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce
- Juice and zest of 2 limes
- 8 peeled garlic cloves
- 3 tablespoons honey or brown sugar
- 1 (1 inch) piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 tablespoons canola, grapeseed, or peanut oil, divided
- 1 1/2 to 2 pounds skirt steak cut into 6-inch lengths or flank steaks left whole
- 4 large eggs
- 6 green onions
- Steamed rice, fried rice, or cooked wide rice noodles, for serving
Combine the fish sauce, chile garlic sauce (only 1 tablespoon if you don’t like spicy), lime juice, garlic, honey or brown sugar, and ginger in a mini food processor and puree until finely chopped (or grate the garlic and ginger by hand and stir it all together). Add the lime zest and 1 tablespoon of the oil and pulse until smooth. Place steak in a nonreactive container, pour the marinade over the steaks, and turn to coat thoroughly. Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes or cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
When ready to cook, let the steak sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a grill pan over medium-high until thoroughly warm. Grill the steaks, turning once, until medium-rare, about 5 minutes for skirt steak and 12 minutes for the flank steaks. Remove the steaks to a carving board, tent loosely with foil, and set aside to rest for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat up remaining oil in a medium nonstick frying pan over medium heat. When it shimmers, add eggs and cook until whites are set and the outer edges are just starting to curl up. If the edges start to curl before the whites in the center are fully cooked, remove the pan from the heat, cover with a lid, and set aside for one or two minutes until the whites are set.
Thinly slice the steak across the grain and serve with egg and a few scallions or over fried rice or noodles. Pass additional chile garlic sauce on the side.
Make Ahead: The marinade can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. The grilled steak can be refrigerated overnight; to serve, thinly slice and use cold with a salad or in a sandwich.