Salpicón de Filete a lo Japonés

Rick Cooks Home Salpicón de Filete a lo Japonés (Gingered Steak and Napa Cabbage Salad)

This is another salpicón recipe that we prepare often, because it´s our favorite. It´s not really a Japanese recipe, but it takes advantage of the fact that our local markets carry ingredients favored by the Japanese-heritage members of our community.

The "meat" of this salad (essential in any salpicón) is filet mignon, but you can also use ahi tuna.

You should prepare the steak in a skillet, bistro-style, so as to use the pan drippings and leftover marinade to make the dressing. However, you can grill the meat if you like, and use your grill's side burner to make the dressing.

Mizuna is a Japanese salad green. If you can't find it, use arugula. If you can't find arugula, move to another city, because any city that doesn't know arugula probably doesn't know shiitake mushrooms either.

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Salpicón de Filete a lo Japonés

(Gingered Steak and Napa Cabbage Salad)
*Serves 4*

For marinade:
2 T soy sauce
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 T red-wine vinegar
1 T grated peeled fresh gingerroot
1 garlic clove, minced and mashed to a paste with ¼ t salt
¼ t dried hot red pepper flakes, or to taste

For salad:
2 1-inch-thick filets mignons (¾ lb or 340g), any fat trimmed 2 t vegetable oil
½ lb fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps sliced ½ t salt
¼ c water
1 T honey

1 small Napa cabbage (about 1½ lb or 680g), trimmed and sliced thin crosswise 1 c packed mizuna leaves or arugula, washed well and spun dry 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 Asian pear or firm-ripe Bosc pear, cut into ¼-inch (0.5 cm) julienne strips 2 scallions, sliced thin
½ cup packed fresh cilantro sprigs

Make marinade:
In a shallow bowl stir together marinade ingredients.

Add filets to marinade, turning to coat, and marinate at room temperature 15 minutes. Remove filets from marinade, letting excess drip off, and reserve marinade. In a 10-inch non-stick skillet heat oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and sauté filets about 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare meat. Transfer filets to a cutting board.

In any drippings remaining in skillet cook mushrooms with salt, stirring frequently, until golden, about 3 minutes. Add reserved marinade, water, and honey and bring to a boil. Remove skillet from heat and cool mixture 10 minutes.

In a large bowl combine cabbage, mizuna or arugula, bell pepper, pear, scallions, and all but 4 sprigs coriander. Add mushroom mixture and toss to coat. Cut filets into thin slices. Mound cabbage mixture on 4 dinner plates and arrange steak slices on top. Garnish with reserved coriander sprigs.