Crew Mess: Grilled steak and orzotto

Jul 24, 2013 by Capt. John Wampler

I like ponzu. OK, there, I said it. I not only like it served with tuna tataki and Asian dumplings, but I also like to dip my sushi rolls in it. This month, let’s take ponzu one step further.

All of the ingredients were found in a local supermarket; the garlic cooking cream in the cream cheese section and the basil paste in the refrigerated vegetable department. In case you cannot find bottled ponzu, I have included my simple recipe. Enjoy.


1 cup olive oil mayonnaise

1/4 cup ponzu sauce

1 tbsp hot pepper sauce

1 1/2 pounds rib eye or strip steak

1/2 tsp sea salt

3/4 tsp black pepper

1 gallon zip-top bag

1 cup orzo pasta

2 tbsp basil herb paste

1 cup bell pepper, tomato and onion, diced

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1/3 cup garlic cooking cream


Combine mayonnaise, ponzu sauce and pepper sauce. Season the steak with salt and pepper.  Place 1/3 cup sauce mixture into the zip-top bag. Kneed the bag to coat the steak evenly.

Cook steak on a preheated grill for 2-3 minutes on each side for medium rare, or until interior temperature is 145 degrees. Serve steak with remaining sauce.


Bring 2 cups water to a boil. Add orzo and cook for 4-5 minutes until tender and most of the water is absorbed. Make sure to stir so it won’t stick.

Stir in the basil paste, pepper-tomato-onion medley, Parmesan cheese, garlic cooking cream and 1/4 tsp of black pepper.


My Ponzu Sauce

1/2 cup fresh lime juice

2 tbsp rice vinegar

1/3 cup soy sauce

2 tbsp mirin (sweet rice wine found in the oriental section of the store)

2 tbsp light brown sugar

1 pinch red pepper

Whisk together all ingredients. Let sit at least 1 hour to marry flavors. Store covered and refrigerated for up to three days.

Capt. John Wampler has worked on yachts big and small for more than 25 years. He’s created a repertoire of quick, tasty meals for crew to prepare for themselves to give the chef a break. Contact him through Comments on this column are welcome at