Lemon Tri-Tip, Pa`i`ai & Tomato


A beautifully layered dish of fried pa`i`ai or poi, juicy, flavorful marinated steak and tomato salad with watercress.

1 hr 15 min
4 Servings


2 lb
tri-tip beef
lemons (juiced)
kosher salt
1 1/2 Tbsp
fresh cracked black pepper
8 clove
garlic (minced, divided)
10 Tbsp
olive oil
Hawaiian chili pepper (minced)
1 lb
roma tomato (sliced; can substitute with any tomato in season)
1 bunch
onion (thinly sliced)
1 pinch
red pepper flakes
1/2 bunch
green onions (thinly sliced)
1 lb
pa`i`ai or poi (refrigerated overnight until hard; can substitute with refried beans)
1 cup
potato or tapioca flour
Prep Time:
1 hr 15 min
Total Time:
1 hr 15 min


Combine tri-tip beef, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper, 6 minced cloves garlic, 6 tbsp. olive oil and chili pepper. Allow the beef to marinate overnight.

On a grill or a heavy cast iron skillet, cook until desired doneness. Let the beef rest and then slice it thin.

For the salad, combine tomatoes, watercress, onion, 2 minced cloves garlic, sherry vinegar, 4 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon salt, ½ tablespoon cracked black pepper, red pepper flakes and green onion. Add more seasoning to desired taste.

Once the pa’i’ai or poi is hard, cut it into ½ inch slices. Then dredge in potato or tapioca flour. Next, pan-fry until crispy and brown on both sides. Season with salt to taste. Lastly, place pan-fried pa’i’ai or poi on a plate, add sliced tri-tip and garnish with salad on top.

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Chef Mark Noguchi