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Garden Salad With Sirloin Tips

This recipe, cooked and adapted by Layla Bonilla, was a 1st place winner at the 2022 NC State Fair Home Chef Challenge! The challenge was:

“There’s nothing better than a great steak, seasoned to perfection and topping the freshest greens. Show us what you’ve got for a sirloin tip main course salad…and don’t forget a dressing that will pull all your flavors together and wake up those tastebuds!”

Prep Time: 30 mins | Cook Time: 10 mins | Servings: 4 servings of salad approx 2 cups each

Raw Veggies:

  • 4 cups roughly chopped romaine
  • 1 cup arugula, bite-sized
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • ½ cup cucumber, sliced into matchsticks
  • ⅓ cup carrot, shredded
  • ⅓ cup radish, shredded
  • ¼ cup african blue basil, tightly packed
  • ¼ cup tulsi basil, tightly packed
  • ¼ cup nasturtium, tightly packed
  • 2 TBS perilla, tightly packed
  • 2 TBS sorrel, tightly packed
  • 1 tsp mint, tightly packed
  • 1 TBS garlic chives  1 TBS green onion for optional garnish


  • 1 lb sirloin tip steak
  • ⅓ cup dried plum, diced
  • ¼ cup serrano or ahi peppers, sliced into thin rings.
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • ½ tsp shiitake mushroom powder
  • ¼ tsp pink salt
  • ¼ tsp black garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp cracked black pepper ¼ tsp anchovy paste


  • 1/3 c brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup fig balsamic
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 3 tbs fish sauce 2 tsp sesame seed, divided
  1. Harvest, wash, and chop all greens to desired size, then refrigerate in a large bowl until ready to serve. Harvest, wash, and chop all raw veggies to desired size, then refrigerate in a medium bowl until ready to serve.
  2. Mix dressing ingredients in 1 cup glass measuring cup, excluding sesame seed. Microwave in 15-second bursts on half power to melt brown sugar. Once melted, stir in 1 tsp of sesame seeds. Reserve extra tsp sesame seeds for garnish on finished salad.
  3. Season steak by rubbing anchovy paste, salt, and spices into each side. Sear steak 1 minute each side on high heat in a non-stick skillet. Remove steak from pan. Add ⅓ cup of prepared dressing, small diced prunes, and pepper rings to pan, cook on medium heat for three minutes. Add steak back to pan and cook in sauce for two minutes each side. Remove and let rest. Cut thinly at a slight angle. 
  4. Serve in a wide, shallow bowl. Layer the greens, then the veggies, then drizzle with dressing. Finish with a layer of steak strips and optional garnish of sesame seeds, garlic chives and /or green onion.