Hawaiian Ribeye

  • DISCLAIMER: Steak should be marinated overnight (at least 20-24 hours) for maximum flavor!

If you’ve ever heard of Houston’s or Hillstone restaurants….you’ve heard people talk about the Hawaiian Ribeye. At Houston’s in Atlanta, this steak is celebrated in such a way that I thought, it’s gotta be overhyped.  I mean, Houston’s never even came to mind when I think about my top 5 places to have a fantastic steak.  I roll my eyes every time I hear someone rave about how amazing Benihana’s overpriced fried rice is, and I was certain that this was going to be a similar situation. In comparison to a lot of other meat-eaters I know, I’m more of a snob when it comes to steak.

I’ve sampled cuts at practically every steakhouse within a 20-mile radius of the city, and at several others both nationally and abroad. From the swanky five-star establishments down to the little known 2-star Churrascarias, I can say I’ve tasted some truly award-winning slabs of beef in my day. So after hearing so much about this so-called legendary Hawaiian Ribeye, I decided to go to Houston’s and investigate it for myself.

In my honest opinion, it’s good. Again, it takes a lot for me to call a steak “great” because this title is reserved for my top five. And it ain’t coming close to any of those. But, I will say I can definitely see why so many people love this thing. It’s the marinade. It was subtly sweet and blended beautifully through each succulent slice of charbroiled meat.

I’ve had Hawaiian-style barbecue’d steak before, and the flavor on this ribeye definitely made me reminisce about that time. It was at a food truck in Los Angeles. From what I remembered the chef telling me, his steak was soaked in a ‘sweet-soy’ marinade for 1-2 days then grilled over an open flame. Similarly, Houston’s menu described this ribeye as  ‘soy-ginger-pineapple marinated.’ So after having enjoyed this one, I decided to create my own rendition from home–and spend a lot less than $36.

Being that I don’t have an outdoor grill at my disposal, I decided to sear mine in a good ol’ fashioned cast iron skillet on the stove, then let it finish in the oven. But honestly, it doesn’t matter how you cook it (grill/skillet/oven broiled) because the marinade is what’s key. However, if you have an outdoor grill and appreciate a smokier flavored steak with beautiful grill marks (like Houston’s does) then I’d definitely recommend using it. Also, I used both an NY strip and a ribeye, because I wanted to see how different cuts turned out. So I would say use your preferred cut of steak if you don’t want a ribeye. Any will do!

For my marinade, I started with LOW SODIUM soy sauce. Whatever you do, DO NOT use regular soy sauce. It will damn near ruin the meat and make it entirely too salty. You must use a kind that’s labeled as “low” or “less” sodium. I went with brown sugar because from my barbeque experience, it just feels more appropriate than white sugar. I used pineapple juice, freshly shaved ginger root (although you can totally use ground ginger from a shaker), and chopped up some white onion, garlic, and pineapples from the can. As well, a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar–as I often like to do with most beef marinades. After that, I poured the mixture (along with my steaks) into a Ziploc bag, sealed it and threw it in the refrigerator to do it’s thing overnight. If you aren’t as impatient as I am, let the meat marinate for up to two days instead of one–thank me later.

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