Warm steak salad with spicy soy and ginger sauce

Neil Perry
Umami army: Warm steak salad with spicy soy and ginger sauce.
Umami army: Warm steak salad with spicy soy and ginger sauce. Photo: William Meppem

Japanese flavours take command in this simple, quick-to-prepare dish.


3 tbsp sunflower oil

3 cloves garlic, finely sliced

800g sirloin steak, cut into 2cm cubes

2 tbsp dry sherry

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup finely shredded white cabbage

1 cup watercress sprigs

4 red radishes, finely sliced on a mandolin

1 bunch chives, cut into 1 1/2 cm lengths

For the sauce

3 tbsp soy sauce

3 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tbsp sugar

3 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tbsp grated onion

1 tsp finely grated ginger

¼ tsp cayenne pepper


TO START THE SAUCE, combine soy, vinegar and sugar in a saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer for a minute. Remove from heat, pour into a mixing bowl and set aside to cool to room temperature.

HEAT THE SUNFLOWER oil in a large non-stick frying pan over low heat. Fry garlic until golden brown, being careful not to burn it. Remove garlic, drain on paper towel and reserve for garnishing the salad. Keep the garlic-infused oil in the pan and increase heat to high for the steak.

ADD THE STEAK PIECES and cook for about a minute. Don't move the steak until the bottom browns and it comes away easily from the pan. Flip pieces and continue cooking until nicely browned all over.

POUR IN SHERRY and shake pan to evenly distribute. Immediately remove from heat if you want it medium-rare. For medium, continue cooking for a minute more. Remove from heat, add a good grind of pepper and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

ADD REMAINING INGREDIENTS for the sauce to the mixing bowl. Whisk together and check seasoning.

ARRANGE THE CABBAGE, watercress, radishes and half the chives on a large serving plate. Place the steak pieces on top. Spoon the sauce over the top, garnish with the remaining chives and fried garlic pieces, and serve.