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Thai Beef Salad with Papaya and Toasted Coconut

Serves 4



  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 green or red chile, seeded and sliced into thin strips
  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon date paste or 2 Medjool dates, mashed
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


  • 1 pound steak, such as filet mignon, new york strip, ribeye or flank
  • 2 cups shredded purple cabbage ( 1 small head)
  • 8 to 10 scallions, sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 2 red bell peppers, peeled, seeded, and cut into matchsticks
  • 1 ripe papaya, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into matchsticks
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ½ cup thinly sliced fresh mint leaves
  • ½ cup dried unsweetened coconut, toasted
  • 2 Kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded, or grated zest of 1 lime
  • ½ cup cashews, toasted

Directions for dressing:

  1. In a small bowl, stir together the lemon, lime, and orange juice, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, chile, sesame seeds, date paste, cayenne, salt, pepper. 
  2. Set aside for 1 hour to allow flavors to blend, then cover and refrigerate.

Directions for the salad:

  1. Preheat grill to high. 
  2. Season the steak with salt and pepper and grill for 7 to 9 minutes on each side for medium rare.  Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for at least 5 minutes. 
  3. Scatter the cabbage, scallions, onions, carrots, bell peppers, papaya, and cucumber on a large serving platter. 
  4. Slice the steak on the diagonal, against the grain, as thinly as you can. Fan out the slices on top of vegetables.  Sprinkle with cilantro mint, coconut, lime, and cashews.  Drizzle the dressing over all and season with salt and pepper before serving.