Make some Asian-style beef brochettes for a protein-packed appetizer. It only takes 5 minutes to grill, then you can serve these appetizer bites alongside a peanut dipping sauce.
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This type of appetizer can go by many different names. Sometimes they're called brochettes, other times they're called pinchos, or sometimes skewers, or kabobs.
These are one of my new favorite appetizers because they only need 5 minutes to cook on the grill.
What Are Brochettes?
Brochettes are small skewers filled with beef, poultry, fish, shellfish, or vegetables. Typically, brochettes are marinated, then cooked (either on the grill or in the oven) and served with a dipping sauce.
When making brochettes, be sure to keep these things in mind:
- Decide whether you'd like to cut the meat or vegetables on the skewers in cubes or in long strips. Whatever you decide, make sure to keep the size consistent.
- Brochettes should be relatively small (toothpick size) when you're serving them as appetizers. I've found 3.5 inch toothpicks work great!
- Be sure to leave a small part of the skewer exposed on the end so people can easily pick them up and eat.
Ingredients You Need
Here are the ingredients you'll need for steak brochettes.
- Low sodium soy sauce: Regular soy sauce will work as well, but I like the less salty taste that low sodium provides.
- Canola oil: Another neutral-flavored oil, such as grapeseed oil, will also work as a substitute.
- Lime juice: I always prefer freshly squeezed lime juice. It has a more powerful flavor compared to bottled lime juice.
- Fish sauce: This is an Asian-inspired ingredient that adds an umami taste.
- Brown sugar: You'll just need a bit of sugar to round out the flavors of the dish. I use light brown sugar.
- Crushed red pepper: This ingredient adds some heat to the dish.
- Garlic: In a pinch, jarred garlic can work as well.
- Lemongrass: Lemongrass adds so much aromatic flavor to the dish. Be sure to watch a quick video guide on how to cut lemongrass if you've never worked with this ingredient before.
- Green onions: This ingredient serves a dual purpose as a flavor enhancer and a garnish.
- Beef top sirloin steak: It's important to select a cut of beef that's tender. Something that doesn't have a lot of connective tissue. We also need a cut of beef that cooks quickly, which means something like a sirloin steak.
- Unsalted peanuts: These make a great garnish without adding additional saltiness to the dish.
You'll also need a few additional ingredients for the peanut dipping sauce. Those are also pictured in the photo above.
How To Make This Recipe
Here's a step-by-step photo guide to making appetizer beef brochettes.
Marinate the Sirloin Steak
1. First, we're mixing up a marinade with soy sauce, canola oil, lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar, crushed red pepper, garlic, lemongrass, and green onions. Make sure you build the marinade in a bowl that's large enough to hold the beef.
2. Next, slice up the beef. If there's any excess fat around the outside of the steak, remove that with a sharp boning knife. Then, slice each steak into ½ x 4 inch strips.
3. Add the sliced sirloin steak to the marinade. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and then place in the refrigerator for 2 - 3 hours to allow the flavors to meld together. Since there's an acid in the marinade, you don't want to marinate for too long. It can chemically cook the meat and destroy the protein structure.
4. Finally, place the toothpick skewers in a bowl of water for about 1 hour. This will prevent the wood on the toothpicks from burning on the grill.
Cook The Brochettes
5. Once the sirloin steak is done marinating, it's time to preheat the grill to high heat (around 450°F). Then, thread the marinated sirloin steak on skewers.
6. You'll cook the beef brochettes covered over direct heat for 4 - 5 minutes, flipping halfway through. I like to use a digital thermometer to temp the meat. It should read 125°F for rare doneness.
Make the Peanut Dipping Sauce
7. Finally, to finish the dish, we're making a peanut dipping sauce. Add peanut butter, water, lime juice, soy sauce chili garlic sauce, and ground ginger to a high-powered blender.
Blend on high until the mixture comes together. You're looking for a sauce consistency that easily falls off a spoon when you pick it up. If the sauce is too thick, add 1 additional tablespoon of water at a time until desired consistency is reached.
8. Transfer the peanut sauce to a small serving bowl, then plate it alongside the brochettes on a serving platter.
- If you can't find sirloin steak or need a cheaper option, look for flat iron steak. This cut also works well for beef brochettes.
- Always use a digital thermometer to ensure the steak is cooked to the correct temperature of 125°F for rare doneness.
- For a beautifully plated appetizer, take the time to plate the brochettes on a serving platter and garnish with green onions and peanuts. This will help the dish look appetizing so people are excited to dig in and eat it.
Fresh lemongrass is easy to cut. All you need to do is cut off the ends and remove the tough outer edges. Then, finely dice the inside of the lemongrass. Here's a video tutorial if you need some more help.
No. Generally, it is not recommended to marinate sirloin over 4 hours. Because there is an acid in the marinade, it can begin to chemically cook the meat and destroy the protein structure. Avoid marinating the sirloin steak longer than 4 hours.
Yes, you can cook the sirloin beef slightly longer. However, I recommend not cooking it over medium rare (135°F).
Yes, the peanut dipping sauce can be made 24-48 hours ahead of time. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Allow it to come to room temperature before serving.
I like serving these brochettes with some Jasmine rice and green beans.
More Appetizer Recipes
For the Beef Brochettes
- ½ cup low sodium soy sauce
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 ½ tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon firmly packed light brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 stalks lemongrass tough outer layers removed, finely diced
- 2 green onions sliced on the bias, divided
- 2 pounds beef top sirloin steak excess fat on outside removed, sliced into ½ x 4 inch strips
- ¼ cup unsalted peanuts roughly chopped, for garnish
For the Beef Brochettes
- Add soy sauce, canola oil, lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar, crushed red pepper, garlic, lemongrass, and half of the sliced green onions to a large mixing bowl. Add in sliced sirloin steak and mix until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 - 3 hours.
- Meanwhile, soak 3.5-inch toothpicks or skewers in a bowl of water for about 1 hour to help prevent them from burning on the grill.
- Thread marinated sirloin steak on the toothpicks. Preheat a gas grill to high heat (around 450°F).
- Cook brochettes covered over direct heat for 4 - 5 minutes, flipping halfway through. Test doneness by reading the internal temperature of the beef. It should read 125°F for rare doneness.
- Plate brochettes on a large platter. Garnish with remaining green onions and chopped peanuts. Serve immediately alongside peanut dipping sauce.
For the Peanut Dipping Sauce
- Add peanut butter, water, lime juice, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, and ground ginger to a high-powered blender. Blend on high until everything is well incorporated, scraping down the sides as needed. The sauce should easily fall off a spoon when you pick it up. If the sauce is too thick, add 1 additional tablespoon of water at a time until desired consistency is reached.
- Transfer sauce to a small bowl and serve alongside brochettes.