Asian Steak Kabobs

We’ve been kabob happy lately, and it’s all because of this man:

click on photos to see where we were!

and this man:

My kids want to be Adam when they grow up.

These two men wrote this book:

Get this book! I know you’ll love it! Chicken and Waffles on a Stick? hells yeah! You can see more photos from the book on Matt’s site.

How to make Asian Steak Kabobs

Okay, back to the kabobobobobobs….(I love sayin’ that)

Here’s what I chose for the kabobs:


The beef

For steak kabobs, I always choose sirloin: it’s cheaper, perfectly shaped for cutting into kabob chunks (with virtually no waste at all) and it’s got an intense beefy flavor.  These black angus sirloin steaks are from  my client, Sweetbay Supermarket (by the way, I’m giving away $250 gift certificate to Sweetbay).

There’s very little work to be done with the sirloin, except to trim away the outer fat if you’d like.

Then cut into 1½” cubes, oh about this size.

The vegetables

To make the perfect kabobs, it’s not just about the right mix of vegetables (the type of vegetables are totally up to you and what your friends and family prefer) but also how you cut the vegetables.

Ideally, the steak and the vegetables cook in harmony, coming to the right temperature and level of doneness at the same time. You wouldn’t want charred vegetables and undercooked meat, nor would you want perfectly grilled steak but undercooked vegetables.

I’ll go through each type of vegetable for you:

Zucchini or yellow squash should but cut into ¾” thick rounds. If the squash is small, just leave them as rounds. If they’re big ‘n fat, like mine, I cut them into half-moons. You want to make sure that the squash isn’t cut any thinner than ¾” thick – it’s a soft, delicate vegetable that breaks easily when skewered.

For bell peppers, I get every single color – red, green, orange and yellow. Slice the pepper in half first.

Then use your fingers (or a paring knife) to remove the seedy section.

Slice each half into 4 strips (3 if your pepper is small)

Then cut each strip into 3 squares.

For mushrooms, I prefer the meaty portobello. The problem you might run into with mushrooms is that they’re incredibly soft and tear easily when trying to skewer them.

Large portobellos cut thick work great. Slice into 1-inch thick slices, then halve each slice.

For onions, we enjoy both red onions and sweet Vidalia onions. Cut in half, peel away the skin and cut off the stem.

Cut each half into thirds (or half if using small onions)

Then cut each piece in half again.

Cherry tomatoes are left whole. The next step is to marinate. Put all vegetables EXCEPT the mushrooms into a big bowl. We’ll add the mushrooms in later.

I like having the steak and vegetables marinate separately, and in different sauces. For this recipe, I’ve got an Asian flair to the kabobs. To make it easy, I use store-bought salad dressing or marinades.

 The marinade

You can make your own marinade – it’s easy enough (2 tsp freshly grated ginger + 2 garlic cloves, finely minced + 1 teaspoon sesame oil + 2 tablespoons soy sauce)

Or you can cheat and use store-bought dressing:

By the way, San-J has a whole entire line of Asian style gluten-free marinades and dressings – love their stuff. The Makoto Ginger Dressing is found in the refrigerated produce section – you’ll love it, it’s one of my favorites.

What I like: marinate the sirloin steak in one type of dressing and the vegetables in a different type – that way I get a big hit of flavor, different in each bite. 

I place all the sirloin into a large bowl, season with salt, pepper and the ginger dressing. Cover and refrigerate.

For the vegetables, I chose the San-J Orange Sauce. Just season with salt, pepper and toss with the dressing.

Once you’ve tossed the vegetables, add the mushrooms on top and just leave them there.

The mushrooms are too delicate to toss and you want to keep the mushrooms relatively dry to stay meaty. Wet mushrooms get soggy, shrink down and are hard to skewer.

Cover and refrigerate if you’re marinating overnight. If you’re only marinating for a few hours, it’s fine to let the bowl sit on your counter. If you’re like me, refrigerator space is limited!

When you’re ready to cook, skewer the meat and vegetables together. Preheat your grill – one side high heat, the other side on low heat. Start the kabobs on high heat, searing both sides and move them to the lower heat to finish off.

You’ll see that the vegetables and the meat cook evenly together when you take the time to cut your vegetables nicely!

Who’s comin’ for dinner?


Asian Steak Kabobs

Servings: Serves 6 Prep Time: 2 hours Cook Time: 12 minutes
asian steak kabobs recipe-22


3 pounds Sweetbay Black Angus Sirloin
3 bell peppers
1 red onion
1 sweet Vidalia onion
1 pint cherry tomatoes
2 zucchini
2 portobello mushrooms
salt and pepper
1 cup Asian dressing or marinade of your choice (you can use two different types, ½ cup each)
bamboo skewers


1. Cut the sirloin into 1½” cubes. Place in large bowl, season with salt and pepper. Pour in ½ cup of dressing or marinade of your choice. Cover and refrigerate a couple of hours or up to overnight.
2. Slice the vegetables as shown in the photos. Add all vegetables except for the mushrooms into a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Pour in ½ cup of dressing or marinade of your choice. Toss well. Add the mushrooms on top, but do not toss. Cover and refrigerate if marinating overnight. Otherwise, cover and set on counter until ready to cook.
3. While the ingredients are marinating, soak the bamboo skewers in water. When ready to skewer, alternate the steak with the vegetables on the stick.
4. Preheat your grill, high heat on one side and low heat on the other side. Grill the skewers on high heat, covered for 5 minutes. Then flip the kabobs, cover and grill another 5 minutes. Move the kabobs to the low heat, covered, to finish cooking, about another 2 minutes or so, depending on your desired level of doneness.

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Comments 48

  1. Kim Beaulieu

    I am suppose to be making pasta today and now I am craving kabobs. What`s a girl to do. These are the prettiest kabobs I have ever seen. I am going to try your tip about two marinades. Thanks for sharing with us. And a book about stuff on a stick, the guy is my newest idol. My kids friends will love when I host a stuff on a stick party. Love it.

  2. Sara B.

    I am definitely a lover of kabobs as well and these looks gorgeous! I should definitely try this recipe soon. I am trying to avoid red meat a little more, but I bet this would be delicious with chicken as well!

  3. Trish-in-MO

    Jaden! Please get set up on Google+ and put a following link on your site! I’ve adored your recipes since I first saw you a while ago on PW’s site! Thanks!!

  4. Donna

    These Kabobs look great! We will be grilling Kabobs tonight, can’t wait! Thanks for posting

  5. RIchard,

    Hi Jaden, I just wanted to say we absolutely LOVE your site and also Mattbites. You are the two food bloggers that inspired us to launch our own version of a food blog. We cant wait till your next seminar in Florida, our pinstriped suits are pressed, hats steamed and waiting for the occasion! Thank you for all that you do so well!


  6. love cooking

    Look so delicious. I like grill vegetables. But I have never marinate my vegetables before. It seem that I did the wrong way all these years. Learning new things again… 🙂

  7. Nina

    These kabobs look so delicious. I will definitely try this recipe. Thank you for detailed instructions and pictures.

  8. Steve

    There is nothing better then food on a stick over an open flame. My wife and I like it so much it’s what we served at our wedding, along with ribs and corn of course.

  9. Forks Knives and Spades

    Oh we’ve been kabob crazy here too. Sometimes we get sick of the same old chicken on the grill. These look amazingly juicy too. I can’t stand having the meat and veggies cook at different times. What’s the point?! Great photos, too. It’s 7:17 am here and I just may have kabobs for breakfast…

  10. The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh

    I just remembered I have some steak hiding in the bottom of the freezer and the Mr has been craving kabobs. We’re off to the Farmers Market Saturday so it’s safe to say kabobs will be on the menu for Sunday! Thanks for the reminder!

  11. Pingback: BBQ Grail’s Best Of The Week: July 19, 2011 | The BBQ Grail

  12. Eleanor Hoh (WokStar)

    I LOVE your new way of posting each individual ingredient, cool! These kabobs look scruuumpcious!!! Just want to say, you keep moving ahead with new ways to do stuff, inspiring! Keep us on our toes, thanks for that.

  13. John Mercadante

    For those who love kabobs but are on a tight schedule like me, consider a grill basket/grill wok–
    Skewering the kabobs is very labor intensive and you can enjoy the great flavor without all that labor. It also lets you add veggies that don’t skewer very well like bean sprouts, broccoli and water chestnuts. Just toss the veggies with a **light** coating of olive oil, salt and pepper. Too much oil and they will catch fire. Cook the veggies and set aside. Add the meat to the basket and cook. When it is almost done, add the veggies back to warm them. If you try to cook them together, the veggies will burn before the meat cooks. For an added treat, throw a dozen peeled shrimp on top of the meat before adding the veggies. Yum!

  14. Justina

    Ooooh! Can I come for dinner? 🙂 Is there a secret to cutting vegetables nicely? No matter how hard I try, they never seem to come out in even pieces.

  15. kate blue

    I cheated…I just did steak and onions since I haven’t been to the grocer since we’ve been away for a week…yummy anyway..but I always add a little space in between my meat and veggies n the skewer for cooking, forgot where I read that tip….and if you haven’t tried the mentioned Makoto dressing, family has been hooked on this for years! It makes great coleslaw too! Mine is in the fresh produce part of my grocery, not where the salad dressing aisle is.

  16. Kim in MD

    These look incredible. I must buy that book! Now, I don’t know whether to make these for dinner or your chicken satay!?? Maybe both? 😉

  17. Pam

    These photos make this look utterly delicious and a fabulous idea for the next time we plan to barbecue dinner. Your veggies are soooooooooo pretty!

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  19. [email protected] Juicers

    Love the way you explained how to make kabobs. Like your explanation on choosing the right slice of meat. Next time, I’m going to try sirloin cuts for my kabobs.

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    My partner and I enjoyed reading this write-up; I just wanted to know do you trade featured articles or blog posts? I am always trying to find somebody to make trades with and simply thought I’d ask.

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  23. Chef Ed

    I wanted to introduce a new menu item for outdoor public events, and we were working with a Japanese steakhouse theme. I got the idea to do kebobs, so I went looking for a recipe just to get portions and an easy ingredient list. I have to say, this was the best laid-out and organized recipe I’ve seen in quite a while, if ever. I decided to act out of character and make these as close to the recipe as possible and I’m glad I did. (I have killer pics, I’ll see if I can post them on our site today or tomorrow) and are now added to the menu permanently.

    The only changes I made was to use our homemade sauces (they’re pretty authentic, nobody ever asks for name brands) and the product as we sell it has beef tenderloin instead of sirloin, although the test version was made with marinated sirloin.
    A+, thank you very much and your great recipe is now served to thousands!

  24. Mina

    Hi :). this looks delicious, I would love to make this tonight but wanted to ask you how long you should leave the marination on the food before cooking it. I get home from work pretty late and need a quick recipe …. Thanks

  25. [email protected] caviar

    These look great! My favorite baked good for breakfast is a good old fashioned Pecan Sticky Bun! Soooo goooood!

  26. Greg Baker

    I tried this recipe on my new grill i got as a gift from my wife “Kabobeque BBQ Grills”.
    the kabobs came out amazing, they were juicy, soft and flavorful. A++ recipe

    The grill i got automatically rotates 13 skewers, so this kabob recipe was a fast n fun thing.

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