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Grilled flank with tomatoes and chilli-tamarind dressing

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for grilled flank with tomatoes and chilli-tamarind dressing.

By Lisa Featherby
  • Serves 6 - 8
  • 35 mins preparation
  • 4 hrs cooking plus resting
Grilled flank with tomatoes and chilli-tamarind dressing
Grilled flank with tomatoes and chilli-tamarind dressing

Flank is one of those wonderful flavourful cuts of meat that suits low and slow barbecuing. You could serve this with sticky rice.


  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp kecap manis
  • 2 flank steaks (1kg each)
  • 1 tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 6 heirloom tomatoes, such as red and yellow oxhearts, thickly sliced
  • 2 golden shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup (loosely packed) Thai basil
Fried shallots
  • 6 golden shallots
Chilli-tamarind dressing
  • 75 gm tamarind pulp, dissolved in 100ml boiling water
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 8 small red birdseye chillies, chopped
  • 80 ml (1/3 cup) grapeseed oil
  • 4 red shallots finely chopped
  • 100 gm dark palm sugar, crushed
  • 100 ml fish sauce, or to taste


  • 1
    Combine light soy, kecap manis and 200ml water in a small roasting pan, add flank steaks, cover tightly with foil and barbecue over low heat, turning steak occasionally and adding more water to the pan if it starts to dry out, until the meat can be pulled apart easily (2 hours). Remove steak from pan, brush with oil and char-grill over high heat until caramelised (5-10 minutes). Set aside.
  • 2
    For fried shallots, heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat, add shallots and stir continuously until golden (2-4 minutes). Drain and set aside.
  • 3
    For chilli-tamarind dressing, strain tamarind pulp in a coarse sieve, pressing to extract all liquid. Set aside and discard solids. Pound garlic and a large pinch of sea salt to a paste with a mortar and pestle. Add chillies and pound to a coarse paste. Sauté chilli paste and shallots in grapeseed oil in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until caramelised (10-15 minutes). Add palm sugar and stir occasionally until fragrant and the sugar is caramelised (3-5 minutes). Add fish sauce and tamarind liquid, remove from heat, cool briefly, then add lime juice and season to taste; it should be hot, sweet and sour.
  • 4
    Shred steaks and arrange on a platter with tomatoes, and fresh and fried shallots. Drizzle with half the dressing, and scatter with Thai basil. Serve with remaining dressing on the side.


Drink Suggestion: An elegant, perfumed Margaret River cabernet. Drink suggestion by Max Allen