Sunday, 30 March 2008

Waterfall Beef Salad

I've been voraciously devouring episodes of Food Safari on DVD recently. I want to try so many things. So far the only thing I had tried was my own version of coconut rice after watching the Malaysian episode. Today I watched the Thai episode and loved the look of the Waterfall Beef Salad. I didn't stay completely true to the recipe, and mine turned out less like a salad and more like a herby marinade, but it was still really good. Because it wasn't much of a salad, I served it over steamed jasmine rice with some julienned capsicum, baby spinach leaves and bean sprouts.

I found that the fish sauce was very very powerful, and the lime and palm sugar really couldn't cut through it. I added more palm sugar and lime to try and balance it out, then when that didn't work tried adding caster sugar, and then when that didn't work added some soy. I found that it really needed that extra to get a balance of flavour. Maybe I should be off looking at the Vietnamese recipes...

Waterfall Beef Salad
adapted from Thai Food Safari

3 x 200g pieces sirloin steak
6 tbs fish sauce
9 tbs fresh lime sauce
3 tbs palm sugar
2 tbs caster sugar
3 tbs soy sauce
2 tbs finely chopped coriander
1 large shallot, finely sliced
1/2 medium onion, finely sliced
handful of mint leaves
3 tbs toasted ground rice
1 large chilli, sliced

Toasting the rice:
Put 1/3 cup of jasmine rice, 2 kaffir lime leaves and a stalk of lemongrass in a large flat pan and toast over high heat until the rice goes golden brown, keeping the ingredients moving constantly. Ground the rice in a spice grinder. I used the processor attachment of my stick blender, and it turned out pretty well. It didn't get the fine grains you would get from a spice grinder, but it did get small enough to give a nice crunch to the salad.

Cook the steak, ideally to medium-rare on a heavy based pan with no oil, and slice carefully into thin strips.

Mix the fish sauce, lime juice, palm sugar, caster sugar and soy sauce until the sugar has dissolved. Add the beef strips. Add the coriander, spring onions, onion, mint leaves and ground rice and mix well.

Next Day Update: I've been dreaming of the flavour of this all today. It just leaves this beautiful taste on your tongue and in your mind - so fresh and vibrant. I think the memory of it is just as good as eating it.

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