Why This Recipe Works
This Southeast Asian street food should be simple enough, but more often than not it is tough, bland, and boring. We wanted tender meat that could easily be pulled apart into small bites right off the skewer, with great Southeast Asian flavors like garlic, chiles, and cilantro. Choosing the right cut of meat proved to be more about texture than flavor. Flank steak was the winner. We used two special techniques to slice it, first freezing the meat to firm it up enough to slice cleanly, then cutting the beef across the grain to keep it tender. Since the meat is so thin, cooking it was a breeze. Placing the skewered meat on a wire rack set over a baking sheet and cooking it 6 inches from the heating element proved just right. We found our marinade ingredients in the supermarket (Asian chile sauce is now commonly available) and added generous amounts of cilantro and garlic.