On the BBQ: Sesame-Crusted Beef Fillet Steaks with Barbecued Zucchini and Chilli Butter

The difference between a good steak and a great steak is the marinade. Pair this flavourful recipe with grilled zucchini and herb butter for the perfect summer plate. 

Words & recipes: Ruth Pretty  Styling & photos: Carolyn Robertson


½ cup tamari soy sauce
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons mirin
2 teaspoons ginger, finely grated
8 x beef fillet steaks (each steak 120g to 150g)
½ cup black sesame seeds
½ cup white sesame seeds
canola oil


Put the soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, sesame oil, mirin and ginger in a bowl and mix well. Add the steaks and turn to coat. Leave at room temperature for 20 minutes, then drain well and discard marinade. Combine the sesame seeds on a tray. Roll sides of steak into sesame seeds.

Heat a barbecue flat-plate to medium hot. Drizzle surface of barbecue with a little oil and wipe off with paper towels. Lightly brush oil on all sides of the steaks. Place each steak on barbecue cut side down. Brown on each side, then use tongs to turn steak gently onto seeded sides to let them brown. Allow 8 to 10 minutes for cooking in total, aiming for medium rare.

Remove from barbecue and rest away from heat, covered with a clean tea towel, for 5 to 10 minutes. Top each steak with a disc of Herbed Chilli Butter and serve with Barbecued Zucchini.

Barbecued Zucchini

Cut 8 zucchini into 1cm-thick wedges and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Cook on a medium-hot barbecue for 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until just tender. Transfer to a bowl and season with flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper before serving. Serves 8

Herbed Chilli Butter

Put 250g diced, softened butter in a bowl and add ⅓ cup finely chopped parsley, 2 cloves crushed garlic, freshly grated zest of 1 lemon, 1 deseeded and finely chopped red chilli and ½ teaspoon salt. Beat together and form into a 3 to 4cm diameter log. Wrap in foil and refrigerate until required. When ready to use, cut 8 discs from the log and refrigerate or freeze the remainder to use another time.

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NZ Life and Leisure This article first appeared in NZ Life & Leisure Magazine.
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