Kate Heyhoe

Kate's Global Kitchen


Steak in Indonesian-Java Marinade

by Kate Heyhoe
Serves 4 to 6, at least


When I started messing around with coffee marinades, I began thinking about the origins of the beans. Wine and food pairing often begins by selecting a wine from the same region where a dish's main ingredients come from, such as the cheese or meats. Using this same approach, I mixed a Java coffee bean with ingredients commonly found in Indonesian cooking: cinnamon, cloves, ginger, soy sauce, onion and garlic. In lieu of Indonesian palm sugar, I substituted dark brown sugar and added a mainland ingredient: Chinese black vinegar (see Note). The smokiness of the vinegar reinforces the deep smoky flavor of the coffee, as does a hot charcoal grill.


Indonesian-Java Marinade:
Makes about 1-1/2 cups marinade

1 cup strong coffee,
   preferably brewed from Java beans
1/2 medium onion, chunked
1/4 cup Chinese black vinegar (See Note)
3 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 cloves peeled garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (the powdered kind)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or to taste

1 (2 to 3 pound) beef "London Broil," flank or top round steak


Combine all ingredients except beef in blender or food processor. Blend or process until onion and garlic are puréed.

Lightly score beef steak on both sides in a criss-cross pattern (this helps the marinade permeate more deeply). Marinate steak with coffee mixture at least 8 hours or overnight, turning occasionally.


Chinese black vinegar has its own unique smoky flavor. Look for it in Asian markets. Or, substitute other vinegar. A 50-50 mix of balsamic and red wine vinegars work well.



Kate's Global Kitchen for April, 2001:

04/07/01 Wild Sex, Death, and Guilt-free Dining
04/14/01 Cures for the Spring Ham-Over
04/21/01 Dining with Joe...Cooking with Coffee
04/28/00 Little Korean Dishes


Copyright © 2001, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.


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