Sunday, July 1, 2012

Vietnamese Beef Salad

One of my favorites! I love beef, and salad and the strong flavors in this dish. Of course, as usual, I did not follow the recipe, I will explain what I did and provide links to the actual recipe from Williams Sonoma.

Remember, Cooking is an art- do what feels right and what excites you.

First I got a 100% grass fed flank steak and had the butcher run it through the tenderizer once to make it very tender. The tenderizer will punch tons of minute holes in the meat and make it more tender and able to hold flavors better. I then sliced it super thin, across the grain into long strips.

I assembled the marinade ingredients, you can see most of them here. I have sesame oil, fish sauce, garlic, lemongrass, Thai red chile paste, lime juice, brown sugar. If you are concerned with sugar feel free to substitute your favorite sweetener instead.  Also, if you have never cooked with fish sauce, this is not an ingredient that can be left out, it makes the dish, you must use it! Don't worry- you can get it at Safeway or any chain grocer...look in the Asian or International section.

I mixed it all together. Be sure to smash up the hard bits of the brown sugar and stir it together well. If your lemon grass is big and tough, smack it with the flat side of a knife to release the flavors, manhandle it!

I added the meat and turned it to coat then put it in the refrigerator overnight, this is some strong flavored stuff! 

So after I let it marinade all night, I heated a cast iron skillet really hot, then coated it in olive oil and "stir fried" the beef very quickly. I then made a salad based on this recipe from Williams-Sonoma, but I left out the rice noodles and the butter lettuce. I used my favorite Super Greens, and added the other ingredients. The mint and cilantro are not optional, you must use them. I grow mint in my garden and the flavor it adds to salads is out of this world!

I did not serve it with the dipping sauce (recipe here), I actually just tossed the salad with the sauce as the dressing. It's sweet and sticky, a little goes a long way.

Also, I tripled the garlic in the meat marinade.....

You can always check me out on Pinterest, my recipes are posted there in case you lose them! 

Thought you might like to see how I look from behind these days!