Grilled Asian Steak with Cilantro Basil Chimichurri

You will be convinced this Asian steak marinade is pure magic and the absolutely best Asian steak marinade for grilling or for anything at all.  Because it tastes like it!


If you grill only one steak this summer, let it be this Grilled Asian Steak with Cilantro Basil Chimichurri!  It’s seeping with so much savory goodness from hands down the best steak I marinade I have ever tried – SO flavorful for a crazy juicy, tender, amazing steak!  

Grilled Asian Steak with Chimichurri - this marinade is hands down the best steak marinade I have ever tried - SO flavorful for a crazy juicy, tender, amazing steak!

The Inspiration for This Asian Steak

As with all my recipes, I get inspiration from all sorts of places – from magazines, cookbooks, family recipes, Food Network, restaurants, even MasterChef, etc.  The inspiration for this grilled Asian steak will always hold a special place in my heart as it came surrounded by friends, laughter, the scenic Pacific and lots and lots of great food.  The actual memory is captured below, with (going around the table from left to right), food bloggers Chelsea from Chelsea’s Messy Apron, me, Nagi, from Recipe Tin Eats,  Meggan from Cullinary Hill, Holly from Spend with Pennies and Rachael from Eazy Peazy Mealz.

Nelsons Terranea

It’s always nothing short of wonderful to get together with food blogger friends who “just get you” and everything you do.  And it’s nothing short of magical when you get together at the scenic Terranea Resort on the coast of Los Angeles.  This hidden gem is a paradisaical escape nestled on the coastline just 15 minutes away from LAX.  In addition to breathtaking views everywhere, luxury accommodations,  oceanfront spa and pool, award winning golf course, the friendliest service, Terranea has the best food, much of which comes from their own gardens! 

Mar'sel-Terranea-5

As food bloggers, I like to think we know our food, and every single bite from all the appetizers of Jalapeno Popper Fondue, Lobster Tacos, Hot Bavarian Pretzels,  Avocado Dip and Crab Cake Sliders at Nelsons (pictured above), to the melt-in-your-mouth Tenderloin Tips with Chimichurri at Nelsons (yes, we devoured appetizers, waited a few hours and continued with lunch),  to the lunch buffet at Catalina’s Kitchen (too much amazingness to list here), to the Oregon Morels on Toast, New Orleans Style BBQ Shrimp, and Filet Mignon at Mar’sel (below), each and every one of us were BLOWN AWAY by the food.  

There was not one bite short of perfection.  And there were a lot of bites.

Mar'sel-Terranea

And just a little more gushing about Terranea by my friend, Nagi, because it deserves it, “The best designations are those that create lasting memories. From the moment we pulled up to Terranea, when we single handedly cleared an entire tray of complementary macaroons at check in, to savoring every bite at Terranea’s many restaurants, drinking in the beautiful vistas and being treated to a personal tour of Terranea’s own produce gardens, this was one of those getaways that I will never forget. Our time at Terranea was filled with belly aching laughter, incredible food, impeccable service at every turn, and a luxurious yet ‘home away from home’ atmosphere. I WILL BE BACK!!!!”

Here is just a sampling of the deliciousness and gorgeousness that is Terranea:

To bring a memory of this magic home with me,  I wanted to recreate the tender Steak with Chimichurri – but with an Asian flair and that is how this Asian Steak with Cilantro Basil Chimichurri was born.  Traditional Chimichurri is a South American sauce typically comprised of parsley, garlic, red wine vinegar and chili pepper flakes and adds a dynamic, fresh, often spicy flavor to steak. 

To play with the flavor profile, I swapped parsley for cilantro, basil and mint, swapped red pepper flakes for jalapeno, red wine vinegar for rice wine vinegar and spiked it all with ginger, fish sauce and toasted sesame oil.   The resulting Asian Chimichurri is so bright, fresh and flavorful, you will want to put it on everything from fish, to chicken to salad, to bread!  But, my favorite, of course, Asian beef.

With the flavor bursting chimichurri, I thought it only right we add some of this flavor to the dynamic marinade, so the steak is marinated in 2 tablespoons Asian chimichurri whisked with soy sauce, brown sugar, fish sauce, rice wine vinegar, Asian sweet chili sauce and toasted sesame oil.  I can honestly say I have never had a more flavorful steak in my life.  I can’t wait for you to say that too!

Just remember, if you grill only one steak this summer, let it be this Grilled Asian Steak with Cilantro Basil Chimichurri! 

Grilled Asian Steak with Chimichurri - this marinade is hands down the best steak marinade I have ever tried - SO flavorful for a crazy juicy, tender, amazing steak!

Asian Steak Marinade Ingredients

The star of this recipe is the Asian steak marinade. It’s so simple to make and requires just a few key ingredients:

  • Vegetable oil: Because this marinade is packed with so much flavor, you want to use a neutral-flavored oil as the base.
  • Soy sauce: Use reduced sodium soy sauce or your grilled flank steak will be too salty.
  • Brown sugar: Balances the tangy vinegar and umami of the soy.
  • Fish sauce: Can be found in the Asian aisle of most supermarkets. You can use leftover fish sauce in curries, dressings, and more!
  • Rice wine vinegar: Adds tang to the marinade.
  • Asian sweet chili sauce: Adds spicy-sweet heat to the marinade.
  • Toasted sesame oil: Can be substituted with regular sesame oil, but the flavor won’t be as pronounced.
  • Asian chimichurri: I’ve given detailed instructions in the recipe card below on how to make the cilantro chimichurri sauce.

What Cut of Steak Should I Use?

I used my favorite cut of steak – tri-tip roast.  It’s a thick, incredibly juicy steak with rich flavor, relatively lean and inexpensive and soaks up marinades like a sponge.  The term “tri-tip” is derived from the fact that the roast is triangular in shape (tri) and it is the tip of the sirloin (tip).

The only foreseeable problem with tri-tip is that since there are only 2 tri-tips on each cow, it can be harder to come by in supermarkets outside of California (the cut is very popular in California, a local specialty in Santa Maria and even called, “Santa Maria Steak”, but I digress,) although Costco nationwide always seems to carry it.  If you can’t find tri-tip for whatever reason, feel free to use a thick sirloin or your favorite cut of steak and adjust grilling time accordingly.

Showing how to make Grilled Asian Steak by making the Chimichurri sauce.

How to Make Asian Steak Marinade

  1. Make the Cilantro Chimichurri: Detailed instructions given in the recipe card below.
  2. Make the Asian Marinade: In a large bag, whisk together all of the Asian Steak Marinade ingredients. Pierce steak all over with a fork and add to marinade. Massage marinade into steak and seal bag. Refrigerate 5 hours up to overnight, turning bag occasionally.
  3. Grill the steak: When ready to grill, remove Chimichurri and steak from refrigerator to bring to room temperature (about 30-45 minutes). Grease and preheat grill to 400 degrees F. Sear roast for 3-5 minutes per side, cover, and turn heat down to 350 degrees F. Grill for 15 minutes, flip, cover, and cook an additional 10-20 minutes, depending on the size of your steak cut and how well done you want your steak.

Tips for Making Asian Steak

  • Pound the steak to an even, thin thickness to tenderize and for even cooking.  
  • Don’t marinate much longer than 12 hours or the muscle fibers can break down and become mushy but please aim for 12 hours for optimal flavor and juiciness. 
  • Bring steak to room temperature before cooking by letting it sit on the counter for 30-60 minutes. 
  • Clean the grill very well before cooking for beautiful grill marks and to prevent sticking.
  • Grease the grill very well with a wad of oiled paper towels using tongs.  NEVER use spray oils once the grill is on.
  • Don’t add the steak until the grill is hot to achieve a beautiful sear.
  • Only flip/touch your steak once for the perfect caramelized crust.
  • Only use tongs to flip the meat because a fork will pierce the meat and you will continuously loose juices and tenderness.
  • Don’t overcook or your steak won’t be as juicy. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness and grill to 140 degrees for medium.  The steak will rise to 145 degrees after it rests. 
  • Let steak rest 10 minutes before slicing so it has time to reabsorb the juices that have accumulated in the middle of the steak to redistribute throughout the steak.
  • Slice steak across the grain to shorten the muscle fibers for tender steak.
Showing how to make Grilled Asian Steak by marinading the steak  adding Chimichurri sauce.

HELPFUL TOOLS FOR THIS Grilled STEAK RECIPE

  • Instant-read thermometer:  you need an instant-read thermometer for the juiciest steak, chicken and pork AND for perfectly fried everything! It allows you to cook any protein to the exact temperature every time and allows you to heat oil to the correct temperature for frying.
  • Grill brush:  is essential for keeping your grill clean!  This grill brush with scrapers cleans stubborn stains deeply and efficiently. 
  • Quality Knives: a chef’s knife will be your most used kitchen tool by far! Quality knives make prep time much quicker, are important for safety and essential for finely slicing steak. If you’re concerned about moola, please remember that your best chef knives, depending on how hard you use them and how well you take care of them, can easily last 25 years or more. I love my Wusthof but there are hundreds of less expensive knives with great reviews such as this one.
  • Cutting Board:  I use my big solid cutting board daily so it’s worth the investment.  This extra-large cutting board allows you to prep all your veggies on one surface and the bamboo is easier on knives than plastic
Close up of Grilled Asian Steak with Chimichurri sauce on top.

CAN I MAKE Asian STEAK AHEAD OF TIME?

This Asian steak is best if marinated up to the time of grilling but you can make the marinade ahead of time.  Whisk the marinade together in an airtight container up to 5 days ahead of time and store in the refrigerator WITHOUT the steak.

HOW TO STORE AND REHEAT Asian STEAK

  • Storage:  transfer Asian steak to an airtight container.  Store in the refrigerator for up to five days.
  • Microwave:  transfer sliced steak to a microwave safe plate. Microwave for 60 seconds then at 15 second intervals as needed.
  • Skillet: warm sliced steak in a skillet on the stove top over medium heat, stirring often until warmed through.
  • Oven: transfer steak to a baking sheet, cover with foil and reheat at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes or just until warmed through.

HOW TO FREEZE Asian STEAK

You may freeze the flank steak either after it is cooked or as soon as it’s added to the marinade.

  • Freeze Marinating Steak: Add steak to the marinade in a freezer bag, squeeze out excess air, label and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight then use immediately.
  • Steak: After you have cooked the steak, let it cool completely then transfer it to an airtight container or plastic freezer bag and squeeze out any excess air. Freeze for 2 to 3 months.
Top photo of of Grilled Asian Steak with Chimichurri sauce on top.

What to Serve with Asian Steak

Grilled steak pairs well with pretty much everything from salad to pasta salad, to potatoes rice to fruit. We particularly love serving them our favorite backyard barbecue foods.  You can go as simple as chips and watermelon or amp it up with pasta salad, fruit salad and grilled corn. 

Here are some of our favorite sides to serve with Asian steak:

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©Carlsbad Cravings by CarlsbadCravings.com

Asian Chimichurri Steak - this marinade is hands down the best steak marinade I have ever tried - SO flavorful for a crazy juicy, tender, amazing steak!

Grilled Asian Steak with Cilantro Basil Chimichurri

Servings: 8 -10 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ - 4 lbs tri-tip roast (also known as triangle steak or bottom sirloin cut)*

Asian Chimichurri

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cilantro leaves and stems, packed
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, packed
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled, roughly chopped
  • 4 green onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 jalapeno deveined, seeds separated, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (may sub soy sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Asian Steak Marinade

Instructions

  • Asian Chimichurri: Pulse the cilantro, basil, mint, garlic, ginger, green onions, and jalapeno (without seeds) in food processor until coarsely chopped, pushing sides down as needed. Add olive oil, rice wine vinegar, fish sauce, toasted sesame oil and salt and pepper and continue to pulse until finely chopped and well combined. Taste and add desired amount of jalapeno seeds for additional heat (optional). Remove 2 tablespoons Chimichurri to a large resealable plastic bag. Refrigerate the remainder separately.
  • Asian Marinade: To the Chimichurri in the plastic bag, whisk in all of the Asian Steak Marinade ingredients. Pierce steak all over with a fork and add to marinade. Massage marinade into steak and seal bag. Refrigerate 5 hours up to overnight, turning bag occasionally.
  • Grill: When ready to grill, remove Chimichurri and steak from refrigerator to bring to room temperature (about 30-45 minutes). Grease and preheat grill to 400 degrees F. Sear roast for 3-5 minutes per side, cover, and turn heat down to 350 degrees F. Grill for 15 minutes, flip, cover, and cook an additional 10-20 minutes, depending on the size of your steak cut and how well done you want your steak. Watch closely that your temperature stays around 350 degrees F.
  • Check for doneness with a meat thermometer inserted right in the middle of the steak. Thermometer should read: 135 degrees F for medium rare, 145 degrees F for medium. The outside of the roast will get quite dark with a charred crust which is exactly what you want with this cut of steak.
  • Remove steak from grill, loosely tent with foil and let rest 10 minutes before slicing THINLY across the grain. Serve with Asian Chimichurri.

Notes

*You can find tri-tip roast at Costco or ask your butcher. You may also substitute a thick cut of sirloin (try to find one 2” thick) and adjust cooking times accordingly.
**Total prep time does not include marinating as this will differ among individuals.

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I was not compensated for this post, however, Terranea Resort provided us with complimentary accommodations and some meals to experience their resort. I am under no contractual or other obligation to provide a favorable opinion.  I loved Terranea Resort and am honored to share my experience with you!  

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24 Comments

  1. Dorothy Dunton says

    Hi Jen! This steak is making my mouth cry! Sirloin is one of my favorites steaks, it is so flavorful! And you grilled it perfectly! We just picked up some beautiful 1-1/2″ thick porterhouse steaks so I’m thinking I will use one of those.

    • Jen says

      YES, please do! I am so in love with this recipe, I can’t wait for you to make it! You are such a chef, I love hearing everything you are making!

  2. Chelsea says

    Jen this is amazing!!! I love that we both did variations on steak and chimichurri 🙂 I need to try this Asian flair ASAP. So fun to spend time with you in LA!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Chelsea! It was the BEST hanging out together – I’m definitely going through some Chelsea withdrawal! We need to get something else on the calendar after all the summer craziness! xo!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Melinda, I hope this becomes a new favorite!

  3. Marisa Franca @ All Our Way says

    I can hardly write! I’m having to wipe off the drool so it doesn’t get on my keys. I wouldn’t want to short-circuit my computer 🙁 The meat is cooked to perfection. We definitely need to make the chimichurri. Have a great week.

    • Jen says

      Hi Marissa, sorry for my delayed response as I am just getting back from Lake Powell without any service but thanks for making me smile again! I am so glad this recipe is making you drool but definitely don’t want you to short circuit your computer – hopefully you can print it out and try it soon! Hope you are having a great week 🙂

  4. Denise says

    This was Fabulous! Made the chimichurri and marinade on Sunday, but grilled on Tuesday. I ate leftovers for lunch and hubby had the rest again for dinner. The chimichurri stayed fresh and Delish! Thank you!

    • Jen says

      Hi Denise, sorry for my delayed response as I am just getting back from Lake Powell without any service but thank you so much for your comment! I am so happy you both loved this steak and that the chimichurri stayed fresh – sometimes leftovers are even better :)!

  5. Erin says

    The marinated steak was fantastic and the chimichurri was so good, I used it the next day on freshly sliced tomatoes to use it up. DELICIOUS! Thank you for this recipe.

    • Jen says

      Hi Erin, sorry for my delayed response as I am just getting back from Lake Powell without any service but I LOVED coming home to your comment! This is one of my favorite recipes so I especially love hearing when others love it too – thank you!!

  6. Susan says

    I’ve been wanting to try this for a while now and finally did last night : WOW!!! It was amazing! We used the tri tip, and followed the chimichurri recipe exactly. Even my husband who is a complete steak purist, and considers putting anything other than salt pepper and garlic on a steak to be sacrilege, absolutely loved it. He ate every bite with chimichurri sauce, and asked me to make it often. Thank you for your wonderful recipes. And for sharing your story! May God continue to bless you with much love, and a life well lived!
    Susan
    Juneau, AK

    • Jen says

      Thank you Susan, I am SO happy this recipe did not disappoint and I am so flattered/relieved that your steak purist husband loved it as well – yay and phew! 🙂 Thank you for reading my story and for your well wishes, you are absolutely lovely! God bless you and yours as well! xo

  7. Brian says

    Hi! Can this recipe be cooked in the oven?

  8. Lora says

    I made this for dinner tonight and it is delicious. Yet another fantastic recipe!

    • Jen says

      Awesome Lora, I’m so happy you enjoyed it, thank you so much!

  9. Annette says

    Looks fantastic! Can I use this on a pork roast!

    • Jen says

      Absolutely! The cooking time will vary but the flavors will be delicious!

  10. Cindy says

    Hi sorry but what kind of basil do u use? Thai or Italian ty!

    • Jen says

      Hi Cindy! I use the readily available Italian 🙂 Enjoy!

      • Cindy says

        Aww ok ty so much I’m planning on making this for Super Bowl Sunday!!

        • Jen says

          oh yum! This would be fabulous for Super Bowl! Have fun!