Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Story of Frank's Steak

Growing up, I watched my mom, the wife of a Japanese "salaryman," entertain many of my dad's colleagues at our home over the years.

Japanese love beef and when they go overseas, many expect to be served beef. And when we lived in the US where beef was readily available, she made an effort to serve up beef for company.

One beef dish she often served, she called, "Frank steak."

It's beef that is marinated overnight in a lot of grated ginger, soy sauce and massive amounts of sake, grilled to perfection, served in nice thick slices. It's delicious.

As kids, we would stand around the kitchen as she sliced and plated it up for company, in hopes that she would give us the end pieces.

I never really thought much about why it was called "Frank steak." I had assumed that a famous American man named Frank invented the recipe -- not really realizing that soy sauce, sake and ginger weren't exactly mainstream here in the US in the early 70's.

I also thought that she meant to call it "Frank's steak" but assumed her English wasn't good enough....?

Then I went off to college and asked Mom for the "Frank steak" recipe, I found out that the cut of beef was flank steak.

Oh, got it. In Japanese, "Flank" and "Frank" are the same.

I still make "Frank steak" after all these years and my boys really enjoy it. And I chuckle at the thought of what my mother would have called it had it been "Frank's Flank steak."


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