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Chile-Maple Skirt Steak Salad

5 mins
20 mins
Nathan Congleton / TODAY
5 mins
20 mins


  • pounds skirt steak
  • 1/3 cup dark maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 red Fresno chile, sliced
  • 3 large cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • Salad dressing
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 lime, zested
  • 3 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 shallot
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Salad
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 4 cups baby kale
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 small handful cilantro, coarsely chopped (optional)
  • 2 ripe Hass avocados
  • Chef notes

    Rich dark maple syrup, smoky spices, and fresh lime juice add sweet and sour contrast to this easy steak and salad combo. The maple caramelizes on the grill as it cooks, adding savory charred flavor and beautiful grill marks.

    Technique tip: For the best flavor, marinate the skirt steak for at least an hour or even overnight.

    Swap option: If you can't find skirt steak, substitute hanger, flap or another loose-grained cut that will allow the meat to absorb maximum flavor.


    For the steak:


    Cut the skirt steak into smaller 6- to 8-inch pieces. In a shallow baking dish or storage container, whisk together maple syrup, lime juice, sliced chile pepper, garlic, salt, chili powder, cumin, paprika and cayenne. Add the meat and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour, and up to overnight.


    When ready to cook, remove steaks from refrigerator and pat with paper towel to remove excess marinade.


    Heat a grill pan or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Brush with vegetable oil. Grill steak in batches, about 1-3 minutes per side, depending on thickness of meat and desired doneness.


    Transfer to a cutting board and let rest.

    For the dressing:

    In a blender, combine the maple syrup, lime, lime juice, olive oil, garlic, shallot and salt. Puree until smooth and emulsified.

    For the salad:

    In a large bowl, mix the spinach, kale, sliced onion, bell pepper and cilantro. Add the dressing, a couple tablespoons at a time, to taste (you will have extra dressing). Toss to coat and transfer to serving bowl or platter.

    To serve:

    Slice the steak thinly against the grain and serve on top of salad. Slice avocados and arrange in little fans around the platter.