Chocolate Week: Chocolate Dry Rub Steak

C – Yes, I’ve married a picky eater.

Cooking for my husband can sometimes be a challenge. He’s picky in a particular way. I finally put a nail into what he’s so picky about. He can’t eat savory things with sugar in them. After two years of making savory things with sugar, I figured it out.

It’s the Asian way of cooking. There’s sugar in everything. His stomach starts to feel funny and he ends up not eating much of my food. He tries to eat enough to not make me feel bad and not go hungry. I see it in his face; he definitely doesn’t like it.

So, I stopped adding sugar to my savory dishes. Sometimes I’d have to reinvent a recipe to make it taste similar without adding sugar. Now, I look at his plate and it is clean at every meal. I am amazed. A clean plate. A happy, full and satisfied husband. A sane life for me.

My husband is also a lover of chocolate everything. When he suggested putting chocolate in our savory dishes my mind about exploded. Chocolate usually has sugar and I am sure he wasn’t going to like it in savory dishes.

I was right. But I wasn’t going to give up on adding chocolate to savory dishes. So, after trial and error, I made a spice rub with cocoa powder. I rubbed it on steak and cooked it sous vide. The flavors were quite amazing.

The first time I made this recipe, I made two different steaks. One with just salt and pepper … just in case the chocolate spice rub didn’t work out well. We politely fought over and finished the chocolate spice rub one. The salt and pepper one was a leftover.

The chocolate spice rub had different levels of flavor. It had an earthy flavor from the cocoa and paprika. It was also spicy from the chili, mustard, ginger and cinnamon. And, It was savory from the onion and garlic.

Chocolate Week: Chocolate Dry Rub Steak
Recipe type: Mains
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 1 hour 6 mins
Total time: 1 hour 21 mins
Serves: 2
  • ½ tsp cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp mustard powder
  • ¼ tsp ginger powder
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon powder
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • Grapeseed oil, enough to cover the steak and sear the steak
  1. Preheat water with a sous vide machine to 54 degrees C.
  2. Mix all the spices in a small mixing bowl.
  3. Sprinkle over the steak.
  4. Drizzle oil over the steak.
  5. Massage the oil and spices so they mix into the steak.
  6. Place in a ziplock or cryovac bag, remove all the air and seal the bag completely.
  7. Place bag into water and let cook for at least 1 hour.
  8. Remove steak bag from the water and remove steak from the bag.
  9. Place steak onto a hot frying pan with oil and cook until charred on the outside.
  10. Let rest for 5 minutes before cutting.
  11. Cut steak on a bias.
  12. Serve.
  13. Enjoy!


I was amazed how you could taste the individual spices, and they all mingled so well. Of course, the best part was that you could taste the wonderful steak. The spices didn’t overpower the steak at all. Just enhanced it.

Sometimes, having a picky eater can be a curse. Other times a picky eater is a blessing. I am grateful we figured out what made him so picky. Now, I can be aware of how to change a recipe so my husband will feel great after eating the meals I make for him.