Wednesday 11 August 2010

Thai Beef Salad - An Explosion of Flavours!

Now that our tomatoes are ripening and the cucumber plants are producing lots of crisp juicy fruit, its time for one of my favourite South East Asian salads - the Thai Beef Salad.  The combination of the fish sauce and lime makes the cucumber come alive, and with each mouthful comes an explosion of flavours from the sun sweetened tomatoes laced with the tang of coriander, set against a backdrop of tender strips of beef that almost dissolve in your mouth.   

Serves 2

2 Beef fillet steaks or rump steak*
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 mini cucumbers, cut into wedges
10 Cherry Tomatoes, halved
1/2 small red onion, finely sliced
Handful of Coriander, stems finely chopped and leaves left whole
1/2 small red chilli, finely chopped
*I used one 200g piece shared between two people for a light meal

1/2 large garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (if using Olive, use a mild flavoured one)
2 teaspoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice (lemon juice works nicely too)
2 teaspoons brown sugar (Alternatives: Palm sugar, ordinary caster sugar)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon water
Sea salt & Pepper

Combine all the dressing ingredients and mix well until sugar is completely dissolved.  To cook the steak, heat a griddle pan.  Add the vegetable oil.  Place the steaks on the pan and cook for about 5 minutes each side, so they are 'medium'.  Its best not to overcook them for this dish, as you want the beef tender.  When its done, set aside and let it rest for a few minutes.

Place the cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, chilli and coriander into serving plate.  Slice up the beef into thin pieces and add to the salad.  Drizzle the dressing over and toss to combine.  Let the cucumbers and beef soak up some of the dressing for extra flavour.  Season with sea salt and pepper.

We grew our own cucumbers, tomatoes, chillis and coriander.
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