The Washington Post

Sesame Salt and Pepper Steak

Sesame Salt and Pepper Steak 2.000

Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Dinner in Minutes Sep 4, 2018

It takes just four ingredients and no marinating to do something unexpectedly wonderful to a lean piece of flank steak.

You'll need an instant-read thermometer for monitoring the meat.

Serve with a peanut-sauced Asian noodle salad.

Click here to see step-by-step photos for this recipe.

Make Ahead: Leftover sauce can be refrigerated for up to several weeks.

2 - 3

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 2-3 servings

  • For the steak
  • 1 pound flank steak (about 3/4-inch thick)
  • 1 tablespoon neutral-tasting oil, such as grapeseed or canola
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher or sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • For the sauce
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons pure sesame oil (not toasted)


For the steak: Preheat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Rub the meat with the grapeseed or canola oil all over, then season with the salt and pepper.

Place in the skillet and cook, undisturbed, for 3 or 4 minutes, until a crust forms on the bottom. Turn the steak over (it should release fairly easily from the pan; if not, give it another 30 seconds); cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the internal temperature registers about 140 degrees on an instant-read thermometer (medium-rare; 150 to 155 degrees for medium-well). Transfer the steak to a cutting board to rest for 10 minutes.

While the steak is resting, make the sauce: Whisk together the salt, pepper and sesame oil in a small bowl, until well blended. (The salt won't quite dissolve, but it should be thoroughly moistened.)

Cut the steak against the grain into thin or thick slices. Drizzle some of the sauce over the top, or serve it alongside, for dipping.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from “A Common Table: 80 Recipes and Stories From My Shared Cultures,” by Cynthia Chen McTernan (Rodale, October 2018).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (based on 3, using half the sauce): 320

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 20g 31%

Saturated Fat: 5g 25%

Cholesterol: 95mg 32%

Sodium: 740mg 31%

Total Carbohydrates: 0g 0%

Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%

Sugar: 0g

Protein: 33g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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