Steak Dinner for One With Fish Sauce & Lime Butter

October 24, 2018

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: This recipe is a weeknight workhouse of a supper, something I like to cook for myself when I have time for nothing else. The real star here is the lime and fish sauce butter, which is, in my humble opinion, the best steak sauce in the world. Sweet, salty, and life-affirming, it's at once funky caramel and umami personified. One word of advice: Turn on your range hood vent.Eric Kim

Food52 Review: Featured in: A 5-Minute Steak Dinner for Those Nights When You Just Can't.The Editors

Serves: 1
Cook time: 5 min


  • 1 thin-cut boneless strip steak, 1/2-inch thick (about 7 to 8 ounces)
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil (or other oil with a high smoke point)
  • 1 small handful green beans
  • 1 lime (1/2 juiced, 1/2 wedged for serving)
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cold butter
In This Recipe


  1. Pat steak dry with paper towel and season both sides with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet until smoking slightly, then add oil followed by the steak. Pressing down with tongs, cook for 2 minutes on the first side and 1 minute on the second side, or until medium-rare.
  2. Plate the steak, then throw in green beans and toss in the fat, cooking for about 1 minute and 30 seconds. Plate the beans alongside the resting steak.
  3. Take the pan off the heat, then add lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar, and butter. Stir until the butter is incorporated. Pour the sauce all over the steak and beans and serve with the remaining lime wedges. Enjoy with a glass of red wine.

More Great Recipes:
Vietnamese|Lime|Steak|Quick and Easy|Weeknight Cooking|Dinner

Reviews (6) Questions (0)

6 Reviews

kathleen November 10, 2018
I tried this tonight and it was excellent. Fat, acid, salty, and sweet. It hit in all the right notes. Yumm! And simple, I had all these ingredients already. Definitely keeping this in the rotation. Thanks Eric!
Author Comment
Eric K. November 11, 2018
Sophie C. November 2, 2018
Words can't describe how good this recipe is. <br /><br />The day after I tasted it in the office, I begged Eric to send the recipe to me before it went live on the site so I could make it for my friends that night, who then all went home and made it for their boyfriends the night after.
Author Comment
Eric K. November 2, 2018
Aw! Thank you, Sophie.
FrugalCat October 27, 2018
Now I am afraid to make it as I have no range hood vent. Perhaps I can do this on a grill outside?
Author Comment
Eric K. October 29, 2018
Sure, this would be delicious on the grill (and you could make the sauce in a separate pan). But don't fear an indoor pan-seared steak! A couple things: If you're using an oil with a high smoke point (i.e. not extra-virgin olive oil) and your steak is thin like I call for here (1/2-inch), then the risk of smoking up your kitchen is pretty low. Part of the beauty of a 5-minute steak—it's dirty but quick!