Thai Coconut Lime Grilled Skirt Steak
This Thai Skirt Steak is sure to have you officially joining the clean-plate club. The steak is marinated in an easy Coconut Lime mixture that gives it a wonderful light and zesty Thai-inspired flavor. You’ll also find some easy tricks on how to get great results with grilled skirt steak!
Table of contents
Why We Love This Recipe For Thai Coconut Lime Grilled Skirt Steak
I have and always will be a sucker for Thai food, so it came to no surprise that I fell in love with this Thai Skirt Steak after only the first time making it. The coconut Thai steak marinade is like a flavor bomb! It will take the grassiest of grass-fed steaks and transport them to a coconut-lime-ginger paradise.
This healthy skirt steak recipe is great for entertaining, as I can promise you any friend or family member will be very impressed by the flavor. I’d serve it with a side of roasted broccolini or broccoli and fluffy jasmine rice. I also often serve it with lime wedges, toasted peanuts and a generous drizzle of Sriracha on top.
- It’s the perfect make-ahead recipe since you can leave the steak to marinate for several hours or overnight.
- Once the steak is marinated, you only need about 8 minutes of total cooking time.
- Skirt steak is relatively inexpensive so this recipe shouldn’t break the bank!
Key Ingredients For This Recipe
- Lite Coconut Milk: I prefer to use lite coconut milk to cut out some of the calories from fat, however, you can use regular fat coconut milk if you’d prefer. Look for the kind with no other added ingredients.
- Coconut Sugar: This you can often find in the baking aisle. If you can’t find it for some reason, use brown sugar instead.
- Lime: You’ll need both the zest and juice from the lime.
- Thai Fish Sauce: Thai fish sauce is one of those staple ingredients in Thai cooking. Just a glug or two here really pumps up the overall savory nature of the recipe. If fish isn’t an option for you, substitute for coconut aminos or soy sauce.
- Ginger Root: Fresh ginger is best for recipes like these. You can easily grate it with a microplane. If you don’t feel like grating it yourself though, you can get frozen pre-grated ginger cubes from Trader Joe’s.
- Skirt Steak: Skirt steak is flavorful, inexpensive, and easy to prepare if you keep a few things in mind. It’s very thin, so it is easy to overcook it. And you have to cut it across the grain to make sure it isn’t too tough. Don’t worry, I am here to walk you through it. I would also recommend buying grass-fed skirt steak, if possible.
- Kosher Salt
Step-by-Step Instructions to Make This Thai Skirt Steak
Step 1: Mix Thai steak marinade
Whisk together the coconut milk, coconut sugar, lime zest, lime juice, fish sauce and ginger in a small bowl. Place the skirt steak into a 1 gallon resealable bag. Pour the marinade over the steak, then press out the air and seal the bag shut. Refrigerate the steak for 4 to 12 hours.
Step 2: Preheat grill
Preheat the grill to high heat.
Step 3: Season steak
Drain the steak and discard the remaining marinade. Pat the steaks dry and sprinkle them with salt. Oil the grill rack and immediately place the steaks on the grill.
Step 4: Grill coconut steak
Cook the steaks, undisturbed, for 2 minutes, then turn a quarter turn to create a hash mark. Continue cooking for 30 to 90 seconds more on the first side. Then, flip the steaks over and continue cooking for 2 ½ to 5 minutes on the second side to desired doneness, 5 to 8 minutes total depending on the thickness of the steaks.
Step 5: Cut steak
Let steaks rest on the carving board for at least 4 minutes before cutting lengthwise across the grain. Scroll down to read about how to cut the steak perfectly.
How to Properly Cut Skirt steak
Before Cooking: Find the grain and go against it
Usually you can find skirt steak in criovac packages. Since flank steaks are so popular now and so expensive, skirt seems to be more readily available and a lot more affordable. When you take skirt steak out of the package, it’ll likely need to be unrolled or unfolded. When you do that, you’ll first notice that it can be very long. Like, twice the length of your cutting board sometimes! The trick is to cut it into short, manageable steaks, about 4 inches in length. Doing this will serve two important purposes.
1) Since the steak will be thicker on one end than the other, you’ll have smaller sections of relatively evenly thick meat. Some will be thinner than others and will require a shorter cooking time, and/or a cooler spot on the grill.
2) It will give you a smaller piece to slice once it has been grilled. Which brings me to my terrible drawing. (Please ignore the fact that I chose to make this masterpiece with a dried out marker from my girls’ art bin.)
Look at terrible drawing #1. The grain in a skirt (unlike a flank) runs across the width. To make your bites of steak more tender, once it has been grilled, you’ll want to cut through that grain (picture #2.) In other words, you have to cut the steak first crosswise into steaks, grill it, then slice it lengthwise into strips. If you hadn’t done step one before grilling, then step two would require you to slice the steak in ridiculously long unmanageable two-cutting board length long sections. I hope that makes sense!
After Cooking: Let it rest then slice it against the grain
It is really important with grass-fed meat that you give it a nice rest after it comes off the grill. This will allow the meat to settle down, the fibers to relax and the moisture to redistribute through the steak. If you skip this, the juices will spill out onto the cutting board, and the meat will be dry and tough.
Look back at drawing terrible #2 to see how to cut the steak. (That’s supposed to be a carving knife!) So you’ll be cutting from cut end to cut end, through each fiber.
FAQS and Expert Tips
Store the steak in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 to 5 days. To reheat, simply microwave your portion until just warmed through, 1 to 2 minutes.
Contrary to popular belief, marinating doesn’t really make steak more tender. Go ahead scroll right down to the comment section and put up your dukes if you want. But I have read many geeky culinary science books and issues of Cooks Illustrated and listened to hours of the splendid table, and I can verify that marinade only permeates the outer layer of the meat, so it only really breaks down the outer cells of the steak. The texture difference will be negligible. Marinating is really only mostly for flavor.
You’ll want to drain and dry the steak off before you grill it. As you know, moisture is the enemy of caramelization, so you’ll want to blot these dry with paper towels before they hit the grill. Cooking a skirt steak requires full attention. It happens so fast, you can easily overdo it. And with grass-fed meat, you can make the meat seize up really fast because it is leaner. The front edge of my gas grill or the outer edges of the kettle grill is where I position my thinnest cuts, and over the hotter areas is where the thicker ones go.
On the first side of grilling, cook the meat part way, then slide your spatula under the meat and rotate the meat 90 degrees. Not 180. Just a quarter turn. This will move the meat over the heat so that if there is one side that is cooking too fast, it will even out. And it will give you that food stylist’s dream hash mark.
This is a great make-ahead recipe since it requires marinating the steak for several hours before cooking. You could even marinate the steak up to 24 hours in advance if you need to!
What To Serve With This Thai Steak Recipe
- These simple Sesame Noodles are a great make ahead option and go with a variety of Asian inspired flavors.
- My Asian Green Beans with shiitakes, fermented black beans and garlic or my Simple Skillet Green Beans would be a simple green veggie to pair with this steak.
- This Asian Coleslaw with sesame and ginger is super fast and colorful.
- Make a simple Peanut Sauce to drizzle over it, and serve it with rice.
Additional Steak Recipes to Try
- This is a great way to use up some of the bounty of summer tomatoes: Grilled Tomato Herb Flank Steak
- Cajun Flank Steak: A simple recipe with minimal ingredients but tons of spicy flavor!
- Chili Garlic Steak with Mint Napa Cabbage Slaw with tips on how to broil flank steak!
- Grilled Sirloin with Chimichurri Sauce it’s a classic combo for a reason- you gotta try it!
Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free weekly menu plan and the latest recipes right to your inbox. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought!
Happy Cooking! ~KatiePrint
Grilled Skirt Steak with Thai Flavors
- Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
This Thai coconut lime grilled skirt steak is so juicy and flavorful! Even better, this easy steak recipe requires less than 15 minutes of hands on prep work!
- ½ cup lite coconut milk
- ¼ cup coconut sugar
- 2 teaspoons lime zest
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 teaspoons Thai fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons grated ginger root
- 1 pound beef skirt steak, preferably grass fed, cut into 4-inch lengths
- ½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- Whisk coconut milk, coconut sugar, lime zest, lime juice, fish sauce and ginger in a small bowl. Place skirt steak into a 1 gallon resealable bag. Pour marinade over the steak. Press out air and seal bag shut. Refrigerate the steak 4 to 12 hours.
- Preheat grill to high heat.
- Drain steak and discard marinade. Pat steaks dry and sprinkle with salt. Oil grill rack and immediately place steaks on the grill.
- Cook 2 minutes and turn a quarter turn to create hash mark. Continue cooking 30 to 90 seconds more on first side. Flip steaks over and continue cooking 2 ½ to 5 minutes on the second side to desired doneness, 5 to 8 minutes total depending on thickness of the steaks.
- Let steaks rest on carving board at least 4 minutes before cutting lengthwise across the grain.
Tips For Slicing Skirt Steak
To cut the grains into shorter lengths, you have to cut the steak first crosswise into steaks, grill it, then slice it lengthwise into strips.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 8 minutes
- Category: Main Course
- Method: Grilled
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 3 1/2 ounces each
- Calories: 302
- Sugar: 13 g
- Sodium: 611 mg
- Fat: 14 g
- Saturated Fat: 6 g
- Carbohydrates: 15 g
- Fiber: 0 g
- Protein: 28 g
Keywords: grilled skirt steak, lime steak marinade, skirt steak recipes, healthy steak marinade
I read this post your post so quite an exceptionally instructive post much obliged for sharing this post, a Great article. Couldn’t be composed much better! Keep it up
It is a very healthy dish thanks for sharing
You had me at coconut milk
Beautiful preparation and fabulous flavors! Can’t wait to share with my family.
This skirt steak was delicious! And thanks for the helpful tips on how to slice it!!
Can you use regular sugar if you don’t have the coconut sugar and can it be done on the stove top in a grill pan?
Hi Elisse. Yes you can use regular sugar instead of coconut sugar. I don’t recommend a grill pan because it is difficult to keep them hot once the steak hits them. Then it would weap and not get that good sear. IMO, skirt best over a hot fire because it is so thin. If you don’t have a grill, I have detailed broiling instructions for flank steak. Not that it’s the same thing, but it may help https://www.healthyseasonalrecipes.com/chili-garlic-steak-with-minty-napa-cabbage-slaw/
Excellent recipe! I loved the cucumber cabbage slaw too. I appreciate the detailed grilling directions. I tend to get nervous around the grill, but you helped me master this steak. This might be our new favorite summer meal. Thank you!
That’s awesome news! Thank you so much for coming back to let us know you loved it! I appreciate it when readers do so, it’s super helpful.
Can the sugar be omitted or subbed with honey?
Yes you can omit it or use honey. I think maple or agave would make a better flavor match though. Enjoy!
We actually made this last night, it turned out well, I’d give it 4 out of 5. I actually found the coconut sugar at our grocery. Wife and son went back for seconds.
I am glad you liked it. Thank you for giving it a star rating. I appreciate it.
I’ll be trying this tonight! Wish me luck. Thanks for the recipe!
I hope you like it! Thanks so much for coming by Yaz.
I am allergic to fish
Can I omit the fish sauce or substitute with soy?
That sounds like a good idea Jane. Hope you enjoy it!
I have this marinade in the fridge now with a 2.5lb. flank steak. I did tweak however. I used stevia (powder form) and full fat coconut cream. I tasted the marinade in the bowl and holy wow it’s amazing. I’m so anxious to see how it turns out.
That sounds like a reasonable swap. I’d love to hear how it comes out Megan! Happy cooking!
Thank you for the pictures explaining the grain. I finally got it lol. First time I made the skirt steak it was so tough I couldn’t figure out why people would like it but since I buy in bulk I had to eat it. This time was much much better. Next time will let it marinade longer, couldnt wait this time. Only thing I changed was I was 2 tbs. of maple syrup for the sugar.
Hi and thank you so much for the recipe. Great Thai flavirs and balance.
A comment on the use of a marinade as a tenderizer. I think one way to say it is that marinades don’t tenderize meat ALL of the time. “Marinades add flavor but don’t always tenderize” is a common quote.
Ginger, pinapple, papaya and kiwi contain enzymes that break down the muscle fibers. Lime juice is a nice acidic component that also tenderizes.
The art in the science is to not use too much of these materials and marinate for too long.
Many thanks again for using skirt steak – quite popular in some Asian and Puerto Rican food. A real tast winner with the marinade and the attention to cutting across the grain.