Pulehu Steak Tip Skewers with Maui Onion Finadene Sauce

Pulehu Steak Tip Skewers with Maui Onion Finadene Sauce
© Provided by Food & Wine

By Sheldon Simeon, Food & Wine

Pulehu is Hawaiian for “to cook over hot coals.” In this grilled steak tip skewer recipe from Hawaiian chef Sheldon Simeon, a punchy, bright basting sauce of sake, soy sauce, brown sugar, sherry vinegar, garlic, ginger, and scallions flavors the beef. Pulverized toasted barley is the secret ingredient in the sauce—it thickens the sauce and helps it coat the beef so it gets crispy when grilled. Simeon layers on even more flavor into finadene, a soy-based sauce, to serve with the skewers, with the addition of sweet Maui onions and Agrumato lemon olive oil, a citrusy finishing oil produced by pressing whole lemons and olives.

Active: 45 mins
Total: 1 hr 30 mins
Yield: 8



  • 1 small sweet onion, such as Maui, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 Hawaiian chiles or red Fresno chiles, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Agrumato lemon olive oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic


  • 1/2 cup uncooked pearl barley
  • 1 cup mirin
  • 1/2 cup sake
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 6 scallions, roughly chopped
  • 1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 3 pounds hanger steak, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Read More: How to Cook Filet Mignon


Make the finadene

Step 1

Stir together all ingredients a small bowl. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour.

Make the steak tips

Step 1

While finadene stands, grind barley to a fine powder in a spice grinder. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high; add barley, and cook, tossing constantly, until golden brown and toasted, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool in skillet 2 minutes. Return skillet to medium-high; whisk in mirin and sake until smooth. Add soy sauce, brown sugar, sherry vinegar, garlic, scallions, ginger, and peppercorns, cook, stirring often, 15 minutes. Pour mixture through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a bowl; discard solids. Set sauce aside for basting.

Step 2

Sprinkle steak pieces with salt and pepper. Thread steak pieces onto 8 (12-inch) skewers. Brush with basting sauce; let stand at room temperature while grill preheats.

Step 3

Open bottom vent of a charcoal grill completely. Light charcoal chimney starter filled with briquettes. When briquettes are covered with gray ash, pour onto bottom grate of grill. Adjust vents as needed to maintain an internal temperature of 550°F to 600°F. (If using a gas grill, preheat to very high [500°F and up].) Place skewers on oiled grates. Grill, uncovered, flipping and basting with sauce until steak pieces are charred in some spots and a meat thermometer registers 125°F, about 8 to 10 minutes for medium-rare.

Step 4

Transfer skewers to a cutting board, and let steak rest 5 to 10 minutes. Serve with finadene.

See more at Food & Wine

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Food Magazine: Pulehu Steak Tip Skewers with Maui Onion Finadene Sauce
Pulehu Steak Tip Skewers with Maui Onion Finadene Sauce
In this grilled steak skewer recipe from Hawaiian chef Sheldon Simeon, a punchy basting sauce of sake, soy sauce, brown sugar, sherry vinegar, garlic.
Food Magazine
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