Grilled Steak and Jicama Salad
This dish was inspired by two recipes I saw on the Sally’s Place food blog, both of which used the interesting root vegetable known as Jicama. One was a salad which paired the raw vegetable with Beef and Snow Peas, and the other served slices straight from the grill with Salt and Lime Juice. Here, I am grilling the Jicama and the Beef and serving them in a cold salad with Snow Peas, and a sweet and spicy dressing.
The above picture shows the Jicama I am using here. The texture is a bit like Water Chestnut, and the taste is somewhat similar, but with sweet notes. If you haven’t tried this yet, it is well recommended.
The Recipe Card below calls for a blend of Sesame Oil and Vegetable Oil. Indeed, I am actually using a commercially prepared blend of the two. The idea is to have sufficient oil in the dressing but keep the Sesame notes from dominating too much, but you can vary from a 50-50 mix to whatever suits your taste.
The Sugar Snap Peas will need to be prepared by blanching, but first you need to ‘de-string’ them. Grasp the little ‘point’ at the stem-end and snap it, allowing you to pull it away along with the fibrous strings along the hull. If necessary, repeat the operation with the little fibrous protrusion at the other end. Next, blanche the pods by immersing them in boiling salted water for about a minute before plunging them into ice-cold water to arrest the cooking.
To make the dressing, toast the sesame and cumin seeds in a dry pan and then put them in a small bowl along with the ginger, chopped chili, a small pinch of salt and pepper, and one tablespoon of the sugar. Blend it well with ¼ cup of the sesame oil blend and the lemon juice and set it aside to marry the flavors for at least one hour before you assemble the salad.
Next, mix the remaining oil and sugar with the Rice Wine in a small bowl and keep it aside to use as a ‘glaze’ for grilling the beef and jicama.
Now you need to peel the Jicama and cut away the tough top and bottom sections as you would with an onion. When this is done, cut down through the curved sides so that you are left with a large ‘cube’ of Jicama and then slice the cube into sections roughly a half-centimeter in thickness. The curved edges that you trim away are not needed for this recipe and you can use them elsewhere. They are very nice sliced into wedges and served with some salsa on the side for dipping.
To grill the Jicama, first sprinkle lightly with salt, and then brush each side with some of the ‘glaze’ made with the Rice wine. Heat a frying pan, preferably a ‘ridged’ one so as to make nice ‘grill marks’, until it is hot enough to vaporize a drop of water instantly and then grill all the sections of Jicama so that they are toasted on the outside but still firm and just barely cooked at the center. If you have a barbecue handy, then by all means cook the slices on this instead.
The beef gets the same treatment as the Jicama, but in this case, sprinkle the salt on a little bit more liberally before brushing with the glaze. Turn it a couple of times and give each side about three or four minutes so that it ends up cooked medium, or medium-rare. Then, set the meat aside to rest.
Your final preliminary step is to slice the major ingredients attractively. Slice the beef across the grain about a half-centimeter wide and then cut the Jicama slices into similar size strips, making sure you do so at right angles to the grill marks. Cut the red pepper and the scallion into thin slivers.
Finally, toss the main ingredients in a bowl with the reserved dressing and let sit for about 30 minutes or so. Then, plate attractively and serve.
Your Recipe Card:
Grilled Steak and Jicama Salad
- ½ lb. good quality Beef steak
- 1 small Jicama approximately one pound
- 1 Scallion green part only
- ¼ of a small Red Bell Pepper sweet, not hot
- 12-16 small Sugar snap Peas
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp. Sesame/Vegetable oil blend
- 2 tbsp. Sugar
- 1 tbsp. Rice Wine
- 2 tbsp. Lemon Juice
- 1 tsp. chopped Red Chili
- 1 tsp. Black Sesame Seed
- ½ tsp. minced Ginger
- ½ tsp. Cumin Seed
- Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
- De-string and quickly blanch the Pea pods in boiling salted water for a minute or so before plunging them into cold water to arrest cooking and preserve the color.
- Toast the sesame and cumin seeds in a dry pan and add to a small bowl along with the ginger, chili, a pinch of salt and pepper, and one tablespoon of the sugar.
- Add ¼ cup of the sesame oil blend to the dry ingredients along with the lemon juice, blend well and aside for at least one hour before use.
- Next, mix the remaining oil and sugar with the Rice Wine in a small bowl and keep it aside to use as a ‘glaze’ for grilling the beef and jicama.
- Peel the Jicama, trim to a cubic shape (reserving the trimmings for other uses), and cut this into slices about ½ to 1 cm thick.
- Lightly salt the Jicama slices, brush with the glaze, and grill them until toasted on the outside and just barely cooked on the inside.
- Liberally salt the beef, brush with the glaze and grill to desired degree (approximately 3 – 4 minutes for medium rare).
- When cooled, slice the beef across the grain into half centimeter strips and slice the Jicama sections into similar sized strips. Cut the Red Peppers and Scallions into long thin slivers.
- Toss the ingredients in a bowl with the reserved dressing, allow to sit for about 30 minutes, then plate for service.