Sunday, May 19, 2013

Surf n Turf with Funk-Busting Star Fruit Salsa

Sometimes we get ourselves into a funk. We’re not sure where it came from or how long it’s going to stay and we just have to ride it out orr hope that something comes along to move it on. Even here in Thailand, despite the sunshine and the beaches and the delicious food on every corner, the funk can find its way in. In my case, it came along and gave me chronic bloggers’ block.

Until last Friday when I received my first ever home delivery ‘munching box’ of organic locally produced fruit and vegetables from Raitong Organic Farm.  Purple long beans, green eggplants, spinach, mangosteens, green mangoes, spring onions and other tropical leafy delights covered my kitchen counter and lifted the cloud instantly. The star of the show was undoubtedly the bright yellow star fruit. How can anyone be in a funk when they have organic star fruit beaming up at them?

Funk busted, my tummy started rumbling and creative juices flowing. This was the first time I ever cooked with star fruit. They have a sweet yet earthy flavour and a delicious crunch, which makes for the most delicate salsa. With a fat juicy steak and whopping great Thai prawns, it was a match made in heaven.

Time: 15 mins prep time, 5 mins cooking time + marinating time
Rating: Super easy
Serves: 2


2 medium-sized steaks (I used sirloin)
4 tiger prawns
2cm fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic
Generous slug of olive oil

For the salsa:
1 star fruit
1 red bell pepper
1/3 of a cucumber (or two baby cucumbers)
1 spring onion
1 large red chilli (mild)
1 small bunch fresh coriander
Juice of 1 large lime
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil


  1. Start by marinating the steak and prawns. Crush or grate the garlic and ginger and place in a shallow dish with the olive oil. Peel and devein the prawns and place in the dish with the steak, making sure they are all covered in the marinade on both sides. Cover and leave in the fridge for a couple of hours.
  2. Next make your salsa. Finely chop the star fruit, leaving one slice intact to use as a garnish. Chop the red pepper, spring onion, cucumber and coriander and combine in a bowl.
  3. Make the dressing for your salsa. Finely chop the chilli and combine with the lime juice, soy sauce, sugar, and sesame oil. If you are making this ahead, don’t add the dressing until the last minute as it will make the salsa soggy.
  4. Shortly before you are ready to cook the prawns and steak, remove them from the fridge to let them return to room temperature.
  5. Heat some olive oil in a griddle pan until smoking. For medium-rare steaks, cook for about 2.5 mins on each side. Don’t turn them over until you get a good sear mark on the first side. Once they are cooked, remove and leave them to rest in a dish. This will let the juices run out before you serve. While they are resting, cook the prawns in the same way for about 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side (depending on their size). They should have turned from grey to pink and be cooked through but not rubbery.
  6. Dress the salsa and toss.
  7. Serve the steak, prawns and salsa together, using your star fruit slice as a garnish.