Grilled Steak and Rice Bowls
One-bowl dishes like Grilled Steak and Rice Bowls are popular for a reason. They feature plenty of choices that allow people to customize their meals. Protein, carbs, and veggies all come together for a big group hug.
What is your go-to comfort food? I read an article several years ago that highlighted comfort foods as things we ate as children. People tend to eat these foods when sad, tired, or stressed.
Comfort foods are like psychological nutrition.
Many cozy foods are high in fat, calories, or sugar. When consumed, these elements tickle the area of your brain that recognizes rewards and makes you feel good. Macaroni and cheese, roast chicken, mashed potatoes, chicken soup, and spaghetti are high on the list for most Americans.
Other U.S. favorites? Pizza, chocolate, and ice cream. You can blame it on the neurotransmitters, but wow I feel better already.
Rice always appeared on the table when I was young, so anything with rice spells comfort to me. Something else from my childhood: grilled meats. I spent many weekends at parties, luaus, and fiestas while growing up in Hawaii and Guam and there was always grilled meat.
How to Grill Steak
Grilling steak is pretty straightforward but most people manage to mess it up. Well, that’s kind of harsh. But it’s true.
I follow the tips of grilling king and cookbook author Steven Raichlen and they have never steered me wrong.
The tips include:
1. Season the meat on both sides and let sit for an hour before grilling.
2. The grill needs a blistering hot zone for searing and a cooler zone to finish cooking.
3. Use a meat thermometer inserted into the side of the steak to determine doneness.
- Rare = 120 degrees
- Medium Rare = 130 degrees
- Medium = 140 degrees
- Medium Well = 150 degrees
- Well Done = anything over 150 degrees
4. Season again before serving with flaky salt, compound butter, or sauces.
5. Let it rest for 5 minutes before cutting into it.
Something fun to season your meat: Tajin.
Cooking with Tajin
Tajin is a Mexican seasoning that features sea salt, lime, and three types of dried chiles. The flavor is tangy and spicy. But not too spicy.
It is popular in Mexico where it is tossed on meats like chicken and shrimp. The citrus and chile combo is also sprinkled on fruits, popsicles, and candies. I like it used as a salted rim for margaritas.
Tajin isn’t as commonly used with steak as it is with chicken or fish. However, after having tajin-crusted steak fajitas not too long ago, I realized this was a good match! The seasoning added some zip without being overly spicy, which is good news for my middle-aged digestive system.
- Meat does not need to be at room temperature before going on the grill! It’s okay to go straight from fridge to barbecue. Steven Raichlen said so.
- A meat thermometer comes in handy to check for the level of doneness. But the touch test works too and is one I use most often.
- Think of the components of this recipe as a template. You can change up the steak seasoning, the beans, the type of rice, and the garnishes and still have a delicious meal in a bowl. Escabeche would be a delicious accompaniment!
- 1 ½ lb London Broil or flank steak
- 1 Tbsp Tajin seasoning
- 2 cups cooked rice
- 1 can (14 oz) black beans
- ½ cup sliced red onion
- Garnishes: salsa, chopped cilantro, lime wedges
- Pat the meat dry and season both sides with Tajin. Let sit for 1 hour before grilling.
- Heat the grill so there are two temperature zones. One side with very hot direct heat (450 to 500 degrees) and the other with medium indirect heat (275 to 350 degrees).
- Place the steak on the scorching hot side. Sear for 2 minutes, then flip and sear the other side for 2 minutes.
- Move the meat to the not-so-hot side of the grill and allow it to cook to your desired doneness. Each piece of meat is different, so the meat thermometer is your friend. Or, you can use the touch test.
- Remove the meat from the grill and allow it to rest for 5 minutes.
- Prepare the bowls by arranging rice, beans, and onions in serving bowls.
- Slice the meat against the grain and into bite-size pieces. Add the meat to the bowls. Top with cilantro, salsa, and a squeeze of lime.