Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

London Broil

London Broil
T. Susan Chang for NPR /

"London broil" simply refers to a cut of lean meat that's marinated, grilled or broiled, then sliced thin across the grain. Flank steak, cheap and juicy, used to be the most popular cut for London broil, but other steaks, such as top round, also can work. When I was young, my mother made a flank steak I adored. At the time, cooking meat was as mysterious to me as it is to any 6-year-old. I never dreamed how easy it could be to make something so delectable, provided that you have the necessary self-possession to work with very high heat.

Makes 4 to 5 servings

2 1/2 to 3 pounds London broil, 3/4- to 1-inch thick

1/2 large onion, peeled

1 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup rice vinegar

Juice of 4 limes

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons corn oil or canola oil

Prepare the meat by slashing the surface on both sides (I like a cross-hatch pattern) with a sharp knife, about 1/4-inch deep.

Drop all of the marinade ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until combined. Empty into a heavy-duty zip-top bag, and add the meat. Seal it securely (you can put the whole thing, bag and meat together, in a mixing bowl if you're concerned about leaks). Marinate for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days in the refrigerator.

Preheat the broiler or the grill. When it's very, very hot, remove the meat from the marinade (reserving the marinade) and sear quickly but thoroughly — so the exterior forms a nice caramelized (but not carbonized) crust on both sides, about 4 minutes a side.

Move the meat to a cooler part of the grill, or farther from the broiler, and continue cooking until interior is medium-rare to medium, another 7 to 10 minutes depending on the heat.

Remove the meat to a platter and tent with foil while you prepare the marinade. (This resting time makes the meat easier to cut and allows it to reabsorb its juices all the way to the center.)

Strain the marinade into a small saucepan. Bring it to a boil, lower the heat and reduce to a sauce-like consistency. Slice the meat finely across the grain and serve with the sauce.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit