Wasabi Flank Steak and Miso-Glazed Potatoes

Saw this recipe in SOC’s Food & Wine magazine (Japanese-style home cooking issue, June 2009 or thereabouts), and it looked delicious (as recipes in glossy magazines often are). I’ve been wanting to use wasabi in cooking, because I like the way wasabi feels on the sinuses (note: a study showed that wasabi is actually not a decongestant, even if it feels that way – it might actually cause more congestation). Also, I already had a large jug of michiu and a package of miso from making the Miso-Glazed Sea Bass, so I thought I’d leverage ingredients that I already had.

-2 tablespoons wasabi powder
-2 tablespoons water
-2 tablespoons drained horseradish (I substituted the same amount of Dijon mustard instead)
-1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
-4 teaspoons canola oil (I eyeballed it, didn’t bother to measure)
-Salt and freshly ground pepper
-1 2-pound flank steak

-1 pound fingerling potatoes
-1 tablespoon miso
-1 tablespoon michiu or mirin
-1 bunch watercress, stemmed (didn’t use this)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and preheat a cast-iron grill pan (the one I used is from Cuisinart). Also, begin boiling a pot of water for the potatoes.

In a bowl, combine the wasabi powder and water, and then stir in the horseradish and soy sauce. Rub the steak with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Grill the steak over high heat until the bottom side is lightly charred (about 5 minutes), and then flip over. Spread the wasabi sauce over the charred side and let the other side cook for another 3 minutes or so. Transfer the steak to a roasting pan and then roast for about 10 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer reads about 135 degrees (medium-rare) at the thickest part. Transfer to a wooden cutting board and let it cool about 5-10 minutes before cutting.

Toss the potatoes into the boiling water and cook for 15 minutes (to soften the inside). Drain and let the potatoes cool. Meanwhile, heat up a sauce pan, add oil and add the potatoes, cooking for about 5 minutes. Then, add the michiu and miso mixture to the potatoes, cooking until the potatoes are coated, about 2 minutes.

Cooking Notes:
Can substitute Dijon mustard for the horseradish. I read that some people buy the horseradish root to freshly grate, while others buy the horseradish prepared. There actually was a small jar of prepared horseradish in the fridge, but I had no idea when it was bought (must’ve been over a year ago, if not five), and didn’t want to take my chances. Besides, prepared horseradish loses its zing after about 3-6 months in the fridge.

Another good idea is to perhaps double the amount of wasabi sauce and reserve half as a sauce to be used on the side, per people’s tastes. Can also add cream to the side sauce.

For the potato miso-mixture, I also added some white sugar. Would’ve preferred brown sugar, but I didn’t have any on-hand at the time.

Previously Made:
-April 4, 2011: Purchased 1.75 pounds of flank steak from Trader Joes, for $7.49/lb. For three people, ended up with perhaps a quarter-pound leftover, so 1.50 pounds might’ve been sufficient. Picked up the potatoes ($2.99 for 2 pounds of the “White Delights” from Fresh & Easy, on the way back from Montara). I also added beech mushrooms to the potatoes. Served with steamed baby broccoli from TJ (no seasoning) and white rice. Cooking-wise, should’ve left the steak in the oven longer (ended up being on the very rare side when I took it out of the oven the first time, after a little less than 10 minutes). In the end, though, it turned out great!

Referenced Source:

-1 2-pound flank steak

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