You’ll taste a bold blend of ginger, garlic, lemongrass and the sweet/salty flavor of coconut aminos in every bite of these intensely flavored and aromatic strips of beef. Served with crispy coconut-sesame kale on the side, this is perfect party finger food and pretty great as a main course, too.
If you haven’t cooked with coconut aminos before, think of it as a soy-free, gluten-free replacement for soy sauce and tamari. Made from aged coconut sap and sea salt, the flavor is both sweet and salty. It doesn’t taste like soy sauce, but has the same mysterious umami quality that adds an interesting dimension of flavor. It’s great with beef and also works well as a marinade for fish.
The addictive crispy kale served on the side is an especially tasty version of the ubiquitous kale chip. A blend of coconut and sesame oils, plus a generous hit of salt, turns kale into a snack that’s better than a bag of chips. If you’re looking for a side dish instead of a snack, try roasting the leaves a little less, so they’re still slightly tender with a only a little bit of crunch.
Time in the Kitchen: 30 minutes, plus 2 hours to marinate
Beef Skewer Marinade
2 pounds (900 g) beef top sirloin steak or flank steak, sliced thin across grain into strips about 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick (3mm to 6mm)
1 tablespoon grated or finely chopped ginger (15 ml)
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 cup coconut aminos (60 ml)
1 tablespoon fish sauce (15 ml)
2 tablespoons coconut oil (30 ml)
1 teaspoon ground coriander (5 ml)
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric (a generous pinch)
1 tablespoon minced lemongrass (15 ml)
Crispy Coconut-Sesame Kale
2 bunches lacinato kale leaves (torn off the stems), roughly chopped
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil (45 ml)
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil (5 ml)
Salt to taste
In a large bowl whisk together the ginger, garlic, coconut aminos, fish sauce, coconut oil, coriander, turmeric and lemongrass.
Mix the beef into the marinade so it’s completely coated. Cover the bowl and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
(If using wood skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes.)
Preheat a grill for high heat and lightly oil the grate.
Thread 2 to 3 pieces of the marinated meat onto each skewer.
Grill the skewers for 2 to 3 minutes then flip them over. Grill the second side for about 3 minutes then flip the meat once more. Keep the meat on the grill for another minute or so until the meat is lightly browned and a slightly crispy around the edges.
To make the coconut-sesame kale, preheat the oven to 350 ºF (176 ºC).
In a large bowl mix together the coconut oil and sesame oil.
Add the kale leaves and toss really well, using your hands to rub the oils into the leaves until evenly covered. Sprinkle lightly with salt.
Spread the kale out in a single layer on one or two large baking sheets. Roast 15 minutes, stirring once. If the kale is not crispy enough for you, roast it a few minutes more but make sure it doesn’t burn.
Immediately after coming out of the oven, toss the kale leaves with more salt to taste.