Kiawe-Grilled Flank Steak and Spicy Green Papaya Salad

  • Recipe courtesy of Executive Chef James Babian, The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii
Total Time:
10 hr 45 min
25 min
Inactive Prep:
10 hr
20 min
4 servings


  • 2 ounces salad oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemongrass, minced (lower part of inner stem)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons patis (fish sauce)
  • 4 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
  • 1 Hawaiian or Thai chile pepper, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sambal (chili paste)
  • 8 ounces flank steak
  • 1 green papaya, skinned, seeded and julienned
  • 1 Maui onion, julienned
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and julienned
  • Hawaiian sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Mixed greens, for garnish
  • 10 to 15 fresh mint leaves
  • 1/8 cup fresh cilantro leaves


    Place all dressing ingredients in blender and puree until smooth. Divide in half.

    Marinate the steak covered and refrigerated overnight in half of the marinade/dressing. Remove steak and discard the marinade. Season with salt and pepper. Grill to medium rare and let rest 15 minutes. When slightly cooled, thinly slice across the grain.

    In a mixing bowl, toss the sliced steak, green papaya, onion, red pepper, and remaining dressing. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve on a platter or over mixed greens.

    Note : Allow the flavors to marry by chilling the salad a couple of hours before serving. This salad holds very well and is good the next day. Can also be prepared a day ahead.