This fresh salad is a riff on bulgogi (Korean beef BBQ), in which Asian pears contribute a sweet note to the marinade. To get a nice, crunchy sear on the beef, make sure your skillet is good and hot.
Trim and freeze the steak until slightly firm, about 1 hour; this makes it easier to slice. Cut the steak crosswise into 4 pieces. Flip each piece onto a cut edge and slice across the grain 1/8 inch thick.
Cut one of the pears in half. Peel and core one half and then grate it on the small holes of a box grater set in a medium bowl. Add the minced scallions, garlic, ginger, mirin, 2 Tbs. of the lemon juice, 2 Tbs. of the soy sauce, 1/2 Tbs. of the sesame oil, 1 tsp. of the sesame seeds, 1/4 tsp. salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Add the beef and toss well. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 4 hours.
In a small bowl, whisk the rice vinegar and fish sauce with the remaining 1 Tbs. lemon juice, 1/2 Tbs. soy sauce, 1 Tbs. sesame oil, and 1 Tbs. sesame seeds.
In a medium bowl, toss the lettuces with 3 Tbs. of the dressing and a sprinkle of salt. Divide among 4 dinner plates. Core and thinly slice the remaining 1-1/2 pears. Put the pears, radishes, and cucumber in the bowl and toss with the remaining dressing. Scatter over the lettuce.
Drain the beef and gently pat dry. Heat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add the oil, swirl to coat the pan, and then scatter half of the beef evenly in the pan. Cook, flipping once, until the beef is nicely browned and barely cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a bowl and repeat with the remaining beef.
Top the salads with the beef and any accumulated juices. Garnish with the remaining scallion greens and serve.
Serve with steamed sushi rice and Shochu Watermelon Lemonade.
nutrition information (per serving):
Photo: Scott Phillips