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Soy-and-Cola-Marinated Steak



SoyAndColaMarinated Steak on a rectangular platter with tongs to the side
Photograph by Scott Semler, food styling by Mieko Takahashi, prop styling by Emma Ringness

Marinating steak in Coca-Cola is a pro grilling move practiced by experienced cooks, including Korean grill masters, who rely on the soda to give bulgogi and kalbi an extra pop, and my own Midwestern mom. Soda’s unique blend of high acidity and sugar both tenderizes the meat and speeds up caramelization on the grill for the perfect char. This recipe borrows the technique, marinating skirt steak in a salty-sweet mix of Coca-Cola, soy sauce, garlic, and white miso. Be sure to use regular (not diet) cola, and don’t worry if the miso doesn’t dissolve while mixing; it will blend in as the steak marinates.

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What you’ll need

Recipe information

  • Total Time

    30 minutes (plus 2 hours for marinating)

  • Yield

    4–6 servings


6 garlic cloves, finely grated
1 12-oz. can or 1½ cups cola
½ cup white miso
⅓ cup soy sauce
2 lb. skirt steak, cut into 6"-long sections
Vegetable oil (for grill)
3 scallions, pale and dark green parts only
1 medium Fresno chile, thinly sliced


  1. Step 1

    Mix together 6 garlic cloves, finely grated, one 12-oz. can or 1½ cups cola, ½ cup white miso, and ⅓ cup soy sauce in a 1-gal. resealable plastic bag or large baking dish. Add 2 lb. skirt steak, cut into 6"-long sections, to marinade and turn to coat. Seal or cover; chill, turning occasionally, at least 2 hours and up to 12 hours. (Marinate at least 4 hours if you can.)

    Step 2

    Prepare a grill for medium-high heat; oil grate with vegetable oil. Remove steak from marinade, letting excess drip back into bag or dish; discard marinade. Grill steak, turning every 2 minutes or so, until medium-rare (an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part should register 125°), 5–7 minutes. Transfer steak to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes.

    Step 3

    Meanwhile, cut 3 scallions, pale and dark green parts only, crosswise into 2"–3" pieces; cut each piece in half lengthwise, then in half or thirds again to create matchsticks. Combine scallions and 1 medium Fresno chile, thinly sliced, in a medium bowl of ice water and let sit 5 minutes. Drain; transfer to a kitchen towel or paper towels and pat dry.

    Step 4

    Thinly slice steak against the grain. Arrange on a rimmed platter and drizzle juices from cutting board over. Top with scallions and chile.

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How would you rate Soy-and-Cola-Marinated Steak?

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  • Marinated for 24 hours and used cherry coke because I’m like that. Great recipe.

    • Awesome Bill from Dawsonville

    • Dawsonville, GA

    • 6/26/2024

  • Delicious. And the leftovers were just as good! I definitely want to try more soda marinades in the future.

    • Claire

    • Baltimore, MD

    • 6/29/2024

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