A ham steak is a sliced piece of ham, usually ranging in thickness from about 0.5-2 inches (1.27-5.08 cm). It is normally just a cut piece off the ham shank or leg, and can be convenient to use when you’d like a little ham, but don’t wish to prepare a whole ham roast. Most ham steaks are not cooked, so though they may look like deli “boiled” ham, be sure to heat them thoroughly before eating them.
You’ll find ham steak in both bone-in and boneless versions. Most of them are also heavily salted, and the amount of salt in the steak varies significantly with brand. A general rule is that generic and off brands tend to be saltier. In fact, some may find them simply too salty. There is a way to rescue a ham steak you think will be salty. You can soak it in water for about 10 minutes prior to cooking it. This will remove some of the excess salt but still leave you with a very tasty steak.
The convenience of this cut of meat for cooking really can’t be underestimated. You can certainly pan-fry, broil or grill a whole ham steak, or it’s quite easy to chop to be used in a variety of recipes. A ham and cheese frittata for instance, is delicious with ham steak, or chop and fry small pieces of ham steak for a variant on pork fried rice, as part of an egg scramble, or an omelet. You can also cut the steak into portions and make great ham and cheese sandwiches on toasted bread or buns.
When you cook a whole steak, you can use a variety of glazes or toppings to give it more flavor and interest. Honey mustard flavors are some of the most popular, either mixed together, or used separately. A glaze with brown sugar and rice vinegar can impart tang and sweetness at the same time. Cooking time varies according to your method, and frequently the instructions on the package. You should follow these, as they will usually be the best guides for how long you should cook the steak.
If you chop the steak up for use in various recipes and plan to sauté it, cooking time in a frying pan is usually only a couple of minutes at most. You don’t have to precook ham if you plan to use it in stir-fries, frittatas, quiches, or other things that will cook for a time. You should consider pre-cooking chopped steak if you plan to include it in omelets or scrambles, since the eggs may cook more quickly than the chopped ham steak will.