Food & drink

James St Recipes: Perfect for a heatwave - Niall McKenna's crab and passionfruit salad, and seared beef oriental salad

Seared beef oriental salad
Niall McKenna

THIS week's recipes are two delicious salads that are perfect to enjoy in the hot weather and when dining al fresco.

During hot spells of summer weather, we all crave something light and refreshing to eat that takes minimal effort to prepare.

This week I have created a crab and passion fruit salad alongside a seared beef salad.

Both dishes took inspiration from using leftovers from a previous dinner.

For the seared steak salad, I used leftover meat from a sharing steak, and it was really tasty. This experimental dish mixes Japanese flavours with the classic Italian carpaccio and we think it works very well - try it.

The second, crab and passionfruit salad, is again not a regular flavour combination, but this sweet, refreshing salad is delicious to enjoy in the garden with a nice chilled glass of white wine.

For more information about free cookery demonstrations at Waterman Cookery School, visit


(Serves 4)

500g beef fillet, trimmed

½tsp salt

1tsp cracked black pepper

1tbsp vegetable oil


60ml Japanese soy sauce

1tbsp sesame oil

30ml vegetable oil


2 cos lettuce leaves, finely sliced

1 celery stick, sliced diagonally

2tbsp pickled ginger

1 spring onion, finely sliced

1tbsp black pepper

1tbsp white sesame seeds, toasted


Heat a heavy cast-iron frying pan over a high heat until very hot. Season the beef fillet with salt, pepper and oil, and sear in the very hot pan for one minute on each side, until charred on the outside but still very rare on the inside. Allow to cool.

Very thinly slice each fillet and place each piece between two sheets of oiled cling-film. Use a rolling pin to slightly flatten each piece.

Mix together all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.

To serve, arrange two or three slices of beef on each plate and scatter over the garnish.

Spoon on the dressing and serve immediately.


Crab and passion fruit salad



300g fresh white crabmeat

Half cucumber, peeled and diced

1 avocado, diced

2 plum tomatoes, diced

1 packet rocket

1 fennel, sliced

4 radishes, sliced

1 small bunch coriander, picked


4 passion fruits, skin removed

50ml extra virgin oil

50ml vegetable oil

½tbsp Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper


Mix the crab, cucumber, avocado, tomatoes and coriander in a large bowl with the mayonnaise. Mix in the rocket, fennel and radishes and put in a large bowl.

Whisk the olive oil, vegetable oil and mustard together and add in the passion fruit, season with salt and pepper. I always keep a spare empty jam jar in the house as it is one of the easiest ways to mix a salad dressing. Simply shake all of the ingredients vigorously.

I have used vegetable oil instead of rapeseed oil in order to serve this dish to anyone with a nut allergy, but you can switch to rapeseed or ground nut oil depending on personal preference.

Pour the dressing over the salad and serve.

Food & drink