Spicy filet mignon and green papaya salad with ginger-lemon dressing

Growing up in Venezuela, I always had papaya in my diet—whether it was used for fresh smoothies, in a fruit salad, or poached in cinnamon and anise syrup for dessert. But after being introduced to Asian cuisines, like Vietnamese and Thai, I learned to use this old-time favorite ingredient for savory dishes as well; and I quickly became a huge fan. When unripe, papaya has a mild flavor and it is not as sweet. The green papaya salad has an amazing combination of flavors—ginger, lemon, sesame oil, coconut palm sugar— (and crunch!) that balance the spice and texture of the filet mignon. The mini heirloom tomato salad and fresh scallions make the perfect garnish. I love traveling to Asia right from my kitchen!


Filet Mignon

  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp garlic, grated
  • 1 tbsp Asian chili paste
  • 2 tbsp grape seed oil, divided
  • 2 (10 oz) filet mignon
  • Freshly ground pepper

Green Papaya Salad

  • Ginger-Lemon Dressing (recipe below)
  • 2 cups green (unripe) papaya, peeled, seeded, and julienned
  • ¼ cup carrots, julienned

Ginger-Lemon Dressing

  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp grape seed oil
  • 1 tbsp coconut palm sugar
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely grated
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Tomato Salad

  • 1 cup mini heirloom tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tsp jalapeño, seeded and finely minced
  • 1 tbsp red onion, finely minced
  • 2 tsp peanut oil
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp scallion greens, thinly sliced (diagonally)


Filet Mignon

Whisk soy sauce, honey, garlic, chili paste, and 1 tbsp of grape seed oil together in a small bowl. Place the steaks in a large re-sealable plastic bag; add marinade, seal, and turn to coat. Let marinate for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator and remove 30 minutes before cooking.

Remove steaks from marinade and pat dry. Season both sides with pepper. Heat 1 tbsp of grape seed oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add steaks to skillet and cook to desired doneness, about 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer steaks to a large plate and let rest for 4-6 minutes. Slice into ½”-thick slices.

Green Papaya Salad

Ginger-Lemon Dressing: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk vigorously to emulsify. Cover and refrigerate for up to a day. Reserve 2 tbsp of dressing to drizzle over plated dish.

In a large bowl, combine papaya and carrots; add ginger-lemon dressing and toss salad to coat. Serve immediately.

Tomato Salad

Toss mini heirloom tomatoes, jalapeño, and red onion in medium bowl. Drizzle with peanut oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

 Serve papaya salad on a plate and arrange filet mignon slices. Top with mini heirloom tomato salad, drizzle with remaining ginger-lemon dressing and garnish with scallion greens. 


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