“I received free samples of Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Zespri Kiwifruit and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”
Because I am a member of Recipe Redux, from time to time I have the opportunity to get creative with free samples sent by sponsors. This month, I got a cute little box of SunGold Kiwifruits to experiment with. Obviously, kiwis are healthy, but in particular, they are a good source of fiber and folate, and these “sungold” kiwis, which are bright yellow rather than green, are also high in vitamin C and potassium. I wanted to get creative rather than doing the predictable smoothies, pies, or popsicles that came to mind first, so I decided to go savory. The sweet-tart flavor of kiwi seems to be the perfect flavor note to accompany steak. Interestingly enough, kiwi is an excellent meat tenderizer due to the presence of actinidin, an enzyme that breaks down protein. This protein is actually very similar to the enzyme papain, found in papaya and pineapple, which are also used as meat tenderizers and are often found in natural skin treatments because of their ability to break down dead skin cells.
I decided to go a traditional route in terms of using kiwi as a marinade in a Korean dish called Bulgogi. I’ve never had it before, but it looks delicious! You can use inexpensive meat since the marinade breaks down toughness. I found some nice flank steak that I sliced against the grain for extra tenderness. Pro tip: freeze the steak for about 10 minutes before slicing- it will be a lot easier! I only used half a kiwi for the marinade, so obviously I had to eat the other half. These kiwis seem a little sweeter than the traditional green kiwis. It actually reminded me of a soft, tart pear- definitely appealing!
The rest of the marinade was very easy to put together with some ingredients that I already had in my pantry. If you don’t already have them, buy them (they’re cheap) and start incorporating them into your cooking- these Asian ingredients pack a unique punch in any dish!
But steak alone isn’t a meal- any good meal needs plenty of fruits and veggies. I decided to serve the bulgogi as a salad topper on a nice bed of greens. If you let the hot steak slightly wilt the greens, I don’t think dressing is necessary, but if you want dressing a light vinaigrette would be lovely. I didn’t stop there, though! To use the kiwi in another place, I made a fruit salsa to top the salad. I decided the sweetness of mango and strawberry would balance the tart kiwi nicely, and no salsa is complete without a little red onion for heat. Ginger and lime complete the flavor profile. I cut the fruit into large chunks rather than tiny dice for better mouthfeel. Turns out the little spoon Zespri provided for scooping up kiwi is also perfect for scooping out chunks of mango!
Since the salsa and the marinated steak can be prepped ahead, this is a great meal to make for a weeknight or entertaining when you don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. The steak comes out perfectly tender because of the marinade, so you don’t have to worry about over-cooking it. The fruit adds a sweet-tart pop that you don’t normally find in dinner. Overall, this recipe is nutritious, vibrant, inexpensive, and perfectly balanced!
- 1/2 lb flank steak or other inexpensive cut of beef
- 1/2 Sungold Kiwi, minced/squished
- 3 Tbs soy sauce
- 1 Tbs honey
- 2 Tbs rice wine vinegar
- 1 splash sesame oil
- 1 splash fish sauce (optional)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
- 2 tsp sesame seeds
- 3 Sungold Kiwis, large diced
- 1 mango, large diced
- 10 strawberries, quartered
- 1/4 small red onion, minced
- Zest of 1 lime
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- 2 tsp ginger, grated
- 1/8 tsp each salt and fresh cracked pepper
- 1 Tbsp canola oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 4 cups mixed greens, vinaigrette optional
- 1 cup prepared brown rice, optional
- Slice the beef against the grain into very thin strips (1/4 inch or less).
- Combine all marinade ingredients and steak in a sturdy, sealable plastic bag. Squish to combine. Let sit in fridge for 30 minutes to 8 hours.
- Combine all ingredients for the fruit salsa in a bowl. Cover tightly and let sit until ready to serve.
- Heat a pan over very high heat until searing hot, then add canola oil. Sear steak in a single layer for 1-2 minutes per side until the marinade boils off and the edges of the steak become deep brown. The edges may begin to burn- this isn't a bad thing! Taste and add salt if desired.
- Plate greens with light vinaigrette, if desired. Top with steak slices and fruit salsa and serve with a side of whole grains.