Seared beef & papaya salad with tamarind soy dressing

Seared beef & papaya salad with tamarind soy dressing

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(7 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 5 mins


Serves 2
Tropical papaya pairs well with beef, prawns or pork in Asian salads. The sweet dressing and crispy onion topping tie the whole recipe together

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal406
  • fat10g
  • saturates4g
  • carbs43g
  • sugars37g
  • fibre4g
  • protein35g
  • salt1.8g
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  • 300g sirloin beef steaks, fat removed



    The classic choice of meat for a British Sunday roast. Beef is full of flavour, as…

  • vegetable oil, for greasing
  • 100g bag baby spinach leaves
  • 2 ripe but firm papayas, peeled, deseeded and sliced



    Native to tropical America, papayas are a large fruit also known as paw-paws. They have vibrant…

  • 1 small pack coriander, leaves picked
  • 1 small pack mint, leaves picked



    There are several types of mint, each with its own subtle difference in flavour and appearance.…

  • ½ large cucumber, sliced
  • 4 spring onions, thinly sliced
    Spring onions

    Spring onion

    sp-ring un-yun

    Also known as scallions or green onions, spring onions are in fact very young onions, harvested…

  • 1 red chilli, thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp crispy onion



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

For the dressing

  • 2 tbsp tamarind purée



    A seed pod from the tamarind tree that is used extensively in South-East Asian and Indian…

  • 1 tsp grated garlic



    Part of the lily, or alium, family, of which onions are also a member, garlic is one of the most…

  • juice 2 limes



    The same shape, but smaller than…

  • 3 tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 1½ tbsp fish sauce
    Fish sauce

    Fish sauce

    A seasoning often used in Vietnamese and Thai cooking. In Vietnam it is usually made from shrimp…

  • large pinch chilli flakes


  1. Season the steak well. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan. Sear the steaks for 2 mins each side, then remove and leave to rest for 5 mins. When rested, thinly slice.

  2. Mix the dressing ingredients together with 1 tbsp water until the sugar is dissolved. Arrange the spinach, beef, papaya, herbs, cucumber, spring onions and chilli on a platter. Pour the dressing over half the salad and sprinkle with the crispy onions. Serve the remaining dressing on the side or save for making another salad.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Sarah Cook's picture
Sarah Cook
2nd Oct, 2018
This was really quite delicious. Other than the soggy crispy onions it was even more tasty the next day!
20th Jul, 2015
I thought I'd left a review of this but it's not appeared so I'll try again! This was great - my new favourite salad and the best salad I've had since I was in SE Asia. I wasn't sure whether crispy onions are an ingredient that you'd buy already prepared that are prepared in a certain way, but I just fried some standard onions until crisp and used a little less fish sauce as I don't like fish, but it was amazing!
4th Jun, 2014
This was really nice. I was a bit sceptical as I put it together but it tasted great. I didn't use mint (too cold and wet to go outside to get some!), put a white onion on the griddle after I'd done the beef (instead of the spring onion and crispy onions) and used 1 lime and 1 papaya between 2 of us which was plenty on both counts. I served it with noodles with some green beans to make it into a dinner (need my carbs!). Very nice.
badzilla's picture
25th Jan, 2014
The recipe is for two and it was easy to half to make for one person. I used a small piece of sirloin steak and one ripe papaya along with half a red chilli and two spring onions. To avoid getting the proportions wrong I made the dressing as printed for two people so there was a little wastage. For my complete review blog and photo, check out
16th Apr, 2016
You didn't need to throw the dressing away. It goes well with most salads
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