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Tastes & Travels

Braai-Rubbed Ribeyes with Tomato Salad

If you travel to South Africa, you must braai. Braai is both the word for the event (a casual outdoor party or gathering) and the cooking method (grilling, mostly meat, over an open fire) and is a way of life in South Africa. As with most spice mixes, everyone there has a slightly different blend of spices for the braai mix. Since I can’t always grill over wood flames here in New York City, I like to add a healthy dose of smoked paprika to my mix to mimic that flavor. Use the spice mix on all cuts of beef, poultry or vegetables when you grill or roast. 

Braai-Rubbed Ribeyes with Tomato Salad

Serves 3 to 4


  • 2 (1 inch thick) boneless beef ribeyes (about 1 1/2 pounds total) 
  • Kosher salt 
  • 2 tablespoons Braai Spice Mix 
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing 

Tomato Salad: 

  • 3 large tomatoes, cut into 1-inch wedges 
  • 1 cup mixed color cherry or grape tomatoes, halved 
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley or cilantro 
  • 3 scallions, finely sliced 
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger 
  • Juice of 2 limes 
  • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 
  • Kosher salt
  1. For the ribeyes, seat the steaks on a plate and season all over with 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Rub  the Braai Spice Mix on both sides of the steaks, Let sit at room temperature for 15 to 20  minutes. 
  2. Preheat a large cast iron skillet to medium-high heat. Brush lightly with olive oil. Set the steaks  in the skillet and cook on the underside until well browned, about 2 minutes. Flip the steaks and  cook until seared on the second side, about 2 minutes more. Reduce the heat to medium and  continue to cook until done to your liking, about 2 minutes more for medium rare. Remove to a  cutting board and let rest 10 minutes. 
  3. For the tomato salad, combine the tomatoes, parsley or cilantro, scallions and ginger in a  medium bowl and toss to combine. Drizzle with the lime juice and olive oil and season with 1/2  teaspoon salt. Toss well. 
  4. Thinly slice the steak against the grain. Serve with the tomato salad alongside. 

Braai Spice Mix

Makes about 1/2 cup 

  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander 
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika 
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder 
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar 
  1. Combine the coriander, paprika, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, allspice, cayenne  and nutmeg in a small skillet.
  2. Toast over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted and aromatic, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Let cool. Stir in the brown sugar.

The spice mix will keep for several weeks, tightly sealed in your pantry.

Featured on Food Network