Kitchn Love Letters

This Umami-Packed Steak is One of My Family’s Most Cherished Recipes

published Aug 3, 2022
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grilled steak with grilled onions and peppers
Credit: Lauren Miyashiro

My favorite cookbook isn’t one of the classics from Julia or Ina or Dorie. It’s not written by a world-renowned chef or a popular food personality. It’s a book filled with treasured recipes curated and written by my dad, Rich Miyashiro. And the page I go back to again and again (and again) is a recipe for Grilled Marinated London Broil from the May 1994 issue of Gourmet magazine.

My dad is a man of few words, but he exudes a ton of warmth and confidence — especially in the kitchen. While others might stress over someone dropping by last-minute for dinner (me! I stress!), my dad thrives. He doesn’t just love to cook, he loves to feed people. This steak is one of his go-tos when the family is gathering. He loves it so much that he notes not once but twice that it’s an “All Time Favorite!” in the cookbook. And you know he really means it because you can see his marinade splatters on the scanned magazine clipping. 

Credit: Lauren Miyashiro

Even though he turns to it frequently, I know he never really follows the recipe. In fact, in all my life, I don’t think I’ve ever seen the man use a measuring cup. When making the marinade, he eyeballs the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and herbs. When I make it, measuring cups or not, it’s never quite as good as his. It used to drive me mad. 

My dad, on the other hand, never really loses his cool when something doesn’t go his way — even if he overcooks the steak. Instead of getting frustrated or embarrassed (like I definitely do), he just kinda smirks and shakes his head — most likely wearing a Life Is Good T-shirt. He knows that the dish itself isn’t really the point. As annoyingly earnest as it sounds, it’s about spending time together and showing the people that you’re cooking for that you care. 

I’m not going to lie. On many nights, I struggle just to get something (anything!) on the table for me, my husband, and my 2-year-old. Soon enough, my 6-month-old will also be partaking in these family suppers, and I can only imagine the post-work, pre-dinner hustle is going to get more intense. As a person working in food media, it can make me feel like a fraud. But flipping through my dad’s cookbook always comforts and inspires me. It restores my patience and reminds me that good food doesn’t need to be super current or cool or surprising.

This ’90s-era recipe is now one of my “All Time Favorites!” It’s easy — mostly requiring ingredients you already have on hand for the marinade — and incredibly flavorful. The soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce add a ton of umami, and the Dijon and balsamic vinegar make it zippy and irresistibly tangy. Even if my steak never comes out as good as Dad’s, cooking it helps me channel his Life-Is-Good energy and enjoy the food — and the company — more.

Credit: Lauren Miyashiro

If You’re Going to Make Grilled Marinated London Broil, a Few Tips

  • You can use different cuts of meat. If you want to splurge for flank or skirt steak, go for it! You’ll just need to reduce the cooking time accordingly. (You can also get away with a much shorter marinating time!)
  • Don’t add salt. You may notice it’s missing from the marinade ingredients list, but that’s not a mistake. The Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce add flavor — and plenty of salt.
  • Swap in fresh herbs. I prefer to make this with fresh thyme if I have it, but I usually use dried oregano. I also skip the dried basil because it’s not a dried herb I use in any other recipe.