Steak Tacos, Hawaiian Style
I haven’t been back to Maui in approximately nearly two decades, but it’s still crystal clear in my mind. Out of all the places in the world we’ve traveled, it’s hard to beat the laid back vibes of island life.
Today, I’m showering some island flavors into these Grilled Steak Tacos and pineapple salsa, which are an instant hit at every cookout, every single time.
- These steak tacos are ideal for backyard parties and cookouts, as you can plan ahead and have most of it done in advance.
- The marinated steak is tender and succulent.
- The pineapple salsa can be made ahead of time, and tastes like you’re in Maui.
- All you may need besides a heaping plate of steak tacos is a thirst quenching batch of Hawaiian Mai Tai to go along with it…
What Are Key Ingredients for the best steak tacos?
- Flank steak is popular for steak tacos. However, I most often reach for boneless New York steaks, as it’s my favorite for tenderness and flavor. If you find boneless NY steaks on sale, definitely grab those.
- Plenty of freshly chopped onions, ginger, and garlic provide wonderful aromatics.
- Regular strength soy sauce, sugar, and vinegar work together to balance out the salty, sweet, and tangy fusion
- Pineapple juice helps tenderize and flavor the steak, and provides that Hawaiian flavor. Plus, leftover pineapple juice is aces for Mai Tai.
- Be sure to use Asian toasted sesame oil; it’s not the same as regular sesame oil. You’ll find the dark amber Asian sesame oil in the ethnic food aisles of most major grocery stores. It smells amazing.
What goes into the Hawaiian Salsa?
- We’ve got our usual key players in salsa: tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, lime, and seasonings.
- Add some pure honey for sweetness and diced pineapple to take it to an Island level. Fresh pineapple is best, but canned pineapple can be used in a pinch.
- Save some extra lime slices for garnish.
Tips for the most flavorful, tender steak tacos:
- Whisk together the marinade ingredients and allow steak to marinate at least several hours to overnight
- Boneless NY steak is my choice for fail-proof flavor and tenderness
- Pierce steaks throughout with fork prior to marinading, to allow flavors into the steaks as they sit
- Grill only until medium-rare, for best tenderness. For me, it’s usually about 3 min per side, but it really varies depending on how hot your grill is and the thickness of your steaks
- Always allow cooked steaks to rest 5 minutes before slicing into them. Slicing too early will cause steaks to lose their juices and possibly dry out
- Did I mention: make a big batch of Hawaiian Mai Tai (make-ahead!)
More to Cook and Eat:
- Garlic Marinated Ribeye Steaks
- Hawaiian Huli Huli Chicken
- 30-Minute Steak Teriyaki
- Steak with Chimichurri Sauce Recipe
Try This Beef Barbacoa for tacos and rice bowls, too:
Hawaiian Grilled Steak Tacos
For the Marinated Steaks:
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 6 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 piece about 1-inch fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
- 2 cups pineapple juice
- ½ cup regular strength soy sauce
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 5 TB apple cider vinegar
- 1 TB Asian sesame oil
- table salt
- 4 boneless New York steaks, about 1 inch thick
- Freshly chopped cilantro for garnish, lime slices for garnish, and soft corn tortillas
- Marinade the Steaks (do ahead): In a large bowl, whisk together the onion, garlic, ginger, pineapple juice, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, and Asian sesame oil. Whisk until sugar is dissolved and marinade is well incorporated. Marinade can be prepared up to 24 hours ahead of time.
- Use paper towels to thoroughly pat-dry the steaks. Use a fork to pierce steaks throughout. Lightly sprinkle on both sides with table salt. Toss steaks in bowl of marinade to coat well. Cover and chill several hours or overnight. Be sure to turn pieces over halfway through, if all pieces aren't completely immersed in marinade.
- Make the Hawaiian Salsa (do ahead): Combine all salsa ingredients in a bowl, toss well, and let chill until ready to use.
- To Serve: Grease and heat outdoor grill (or indoor grill pan) to medium-high. Remove steaks from marinade and grill (basting with marinade as desired) taking care not to over-cook, until medium-rare. For me, it's about 2 to 3 min/side, but cook time largely depends on your grill heat and thickness of your steaks. Discard any remaining marinade. Let cooked steaks rest at room temp 5 minutes, then slice thinly.
- Serve with salsa with soft corn tortillas, garnishing as desired.
Did you make this?
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