Make The Most Beautiful Salad With Charred Corn And Cocoa-Rubbed Steak

Make The Most Beautiful Salad With Charred Corn And Cocoa-Rubbed Steak

More than half of the food the average Trinbagonian eats is imported. This should come as no surprise since our twin isle’s annual food import bill is approximately $6 billion. By purchasing local, you funnel money back into our community and support its growth and sustainability for future generations. Our weekly column “In Season” features a sweet and savoury recipe for one readily-available ingredient, so you can take advantage of the vibrant bounty from farmers’ markets, local farm stands, and your own yard.

Trinidad and Tobago is home to some of the best cocoa in the world. With a number of local, small businesses popping up with amazing chocolates, powders, teas and nibs, it seems that our once-might cocoa industry may be making a comeback. The sweet, chocolate we know all too well is not cocoa’s only claim to fame. In savoury dishes, cocoa lends bitter, earthy and smokey notes to dishes. It’s used in the traditional and complex Mexican sauce, mole poblano. The well-rounded quality it adds to dishes makes it the perfect addition to stews, gravies, sauce and spice rubs. So, even though it’s undeniably amazing in cakes, brownies and ice-creams, live a little, and try it in a savoury dish or two. Your taste buds will thank us.


Cocoa, chili and garlic powder create an earthy spice rub that brings the steak to life. We recommend using flank steak as it’s perfect for marinating, absorbing flavours and cooking quickly. The savoury rub creates a beautiful contrast between the sweet, charred corn and creamy salad dressing. This is one salad you won’t mind eating over and over again.

Yields: 2 Servings

Total Time: 30 mins

  • 8 ounces steak
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder 
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder 
  • ½ tablespoon garlic powder 
  • 1 head of Romaine lettuce  
  • ¼ small red cabbage 
  • 2 ears of sweet corn 
  • 2 tomatoes, wedged 
  • ⅓ avocado 
  • 1 bundle chives, chopped 
  • 1 pack cheese tortilla chips  
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • For the dressing: 
    • ¼ cup sour cream 
    • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise 
    • 2 leaves chandon beni, finely chopped 
    • 1 clove garlic, grated  
    • 1 lime, juiced
  1. In a small bowl, mix the dressing ingredients together; cover and set aside.
  2. Season the steak with cocoa, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Cut into thin strips.
  3. Heat a grill, cast iron or frying pan over high heat. Rub corn with 1 tablespoon of oil and roast on each side until charred. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  4. In the same pan, over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil. Sauté the steak until cooked to desired doneness.
  5. For the salad, chop the lettuce and cabbage into bite-sized pieces.
  6. On a cutting board, hold the corn tall side up and run the knife down and along the cob to remove the kernels.
  7. To assemble, place lettuce at base and then add steak, slices of avocado, tomato, chives, roasted kernels and crumbled crunchy tortilla chips.
  8. Drizzle dressing over the top of the salad or serve on the side. Enjoy!
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