Quinoa Ssäm Salad with Australian Waygu Beef, Asian Pear-Fennel Kimchi, and Micro Thai Basil

Adapted by StarChefs.com
June 2011
Yield: 6 Servings


Asian-Pear Fennel Kimchi
1 large Asian pear, skinned and diced small
1 head of fennel, core removed, thinly sliced
1 English cucumber, diced small
½ onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup salt
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1¼ cup sweet chili sauce
1 ounce sugar
4 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
½ ounce Korean chili flakes
Wagyu Beef
2 pounds Waygu beef, strip loin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon micro Thai basil
Quinoa Ssäm Salad
2 cups quinoa
3 cups water
½ cup chopped cilantro
To Assemble and Serve
2 heads Bibb lettuce, core removed, leaves kept whole and rinsed
2 tablespoons sriracha chili sauce


For the Asian-Pear Fennel Kimchi:
Combine the Asian pear, fennel, cucumber, onion, and ¼ cup salt and let sit for 20 minutes. Add the vinegar, ½ cup of the sweet chili sauce, sugar, 2 tablespoons sesame oil, fennel seed, and Korean chili flakes. Allow to rest over night.

For the Australian Wagyu Beef:
Season the wagyu with salt and pepper.  Heat a sauté pan. Heat the canola oil over medium and sauté the beef until it is medium-rare, about 3 to 4 minutes per side, depending on thickness. Remove the beef from the heat and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice thin and sprinkle with micro Thai basil.

For the Quinoa Ssäm Salad:
Combine quinoa and water in a medium pot. Bring to a simmer on medium heat, then lower the heat and cover. Cook for 8 minutes, stir, then cook for an additional 5 minutes. Spread on baking sheet to cool. Toss ¼ cup of the kimchi and cilantro with the quinoa.

To Assemble and Serve:
Arrange the lettuce, quinoa, kimchi, and beef on platters. Serve with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sesame oil and Sriracha on the side as dipping sauces. Diners should use the components to create lettuce wraps.