Vietnamese Grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurri and Cucumber Salad

Vietnamese Grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurri and Cucumber Salad

First time ever making flank steak here. We had quite a few mouths to feed, and I thought a flank steak (or three) would fit the occasion, so I called my dear friend, Kate, and asked her what I should do with all the steak. I was looking for something low maintenance and not spicy. She fired back with this recipe by Melissa Clark from NYTimes Cooking, and it was exactly what I was looking for. Kate shied away from using fish sauce in the salad dressing, but I didn’t. I shied away from using jalapeños in the salad, but she didn’t. In the end, we were both happy with our choices. They original recipe calls for both and, also, scallions in the cucumber salad. We were out of scallions, but had the ingredients for a mild chimichurri sauce to top the steak with, which took about 10 minutes to make.

This recipe serves about 5 adults, but if you are feeding a crowd you can easily double or triple it, and aside from slicing some extra cucumbers, it will take you the same amount of time. Grilling this steak is quick. 3-4 minutes per side!

Short Cuts:

  • Opt for the store-bought chimichurri, instead of the recipe below. I really love the one from Trader Joe’s!
  • Store-bought rice noodles are a win. They cook so fast and everyone loves them.
  • The Vietnamese steak marinade in this recipe doubles as a salad dressing to save you time.

Vietnamese Grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurri and Cucumber Salad

August 17, 2022

The classic Vietnamese sauce serves two ways as a marinade for the steak and a dressing for the cucumber salad. The key ingredients to this tasty dish- fish sauce, brown sugar and garlic. Add on the mild chimichurri as a side and some store-bought rice noodles. It's truly a crowd pleaser.


  • 1 flank steak, about 1½ pounds
  • ½ cup fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon packed lime zest
  • ⅓ cup fresh lime juice (from about 3 limes)
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, or garlic paste
  • 2 seedless English cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 1 large bunch of radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 1 handful of flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Cooked rice noodles, for serving (optional)
  • Sesame seeds, for serving (optional)
  • Step 1 In a small bowl, combine the fish sauce, lime zest, lime juice, brown sugar and 2 cloves of grated garlic or garlic paste. Pour ½ of the mixture over the flank steak, add jalapeños and shake or mix to coat. Let marinate at room temperature for at least 30 minutes (or refrigerate for up to 24 hours). Let meat come to room temperature before cooking if necessary.
  • Step 2 Combine the sliced cucumbers and radishes. Pour the remaining marinade over the salad to coat.
  • Step 3 Make the mild chimichurri using an immersion blender for a fine chop by blending 1 roughly chopped shallot, 3-4 garlic cloves, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 1 tsp. kosher salt, 1 handful of cilantro leaves, half as much flat-leaf parsley leaves, 1 Tbsp. dried oregano, 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil. Pulse and add more oil, 1 tbsp at a time to consistency, if needed.
  • Step 4 Light the grill to high. Pat steak dry with paper towels. Grill until done to taste, about 3 minutes per side for rare, 4 minutes per side for medium rare. Transfer steak to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes covered in foil, and steak will continue to cook.
  • Step 5 Thinly slice steak and serve over cooked rice noodles. Garnish the top of the cucumber salad with a handful of chopped cilantro, and mix. Garnish the steak with sesame seeds and serve with chimichurri sauce and cucumber salad as sides.