VIETNAMESE BEEF SALAD by Chef Laura Brennan
August 17, 2017
A FLAVORFUL GRILLED BEEF SALAD WITH TRADITIONAL SOUTHEAST ASIA FLAVOR COMPONENTS:
SWEET (palm/brown sugar),
SOUR (lime juice),
UMAMI (fish sauce/Nuoc Mam Nhi)
SPICY (chilies/sambal oelek).
This is a quickly assembled dish made with grilled skirt steak that has a white pepper and brown sugar rub, a tangy dressing bursting with umami flavors and some crunchy vegetables. It could be served wrapped in lettuce leaves or with clear cellophane noodles. It’s a satisfying al fresco salad on an August eve.
- Prep: 45 mins
- Cook: 20 mins
- Yields: 4 Servings
1.5 pounds skirt steak, trimmed
¼ cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground white pepper
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Mix together the sugar, salt and pepper. Cut the skirt steak into lengths not longer than 8-10 inches.
6 fluid ounces vegetable oil (such as canola or soy), plus more as needed
¼ cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon Vietnamese or Thai fish sauce (Nuoc Mam Nhi). “Three Crabs” and “Squid Brand” are both tried and true products.
1-2 tablespoons soy sauce
½ teaspoon chilies: sriracha or sambal oelek sauce ( or more to your taste for spicy !)
2 ounces fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
1 shallot, peeled and finely minced
VEGETABLES and HERBS
½ pint (8 ounces) yellow cherry or grape tomatoes
½ pint (8 ounces) red cherry or grape tomatoes
½ bunch scallions, washed and dried
A few springs fresh cilantro, stems and leaves chopped together
2 sprigs fresh mint, leaves removed and chopped
Peel the cucumber, slice in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Lay half the cucumber on the board and slice very thinly. Save the other half for another use. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Thinly slice the scallions, on the diagonal, both green and white parts. Chop the cilantro and the mint.
Combine all the dressing ingredients in a blender or whisk together by hand. Taste and adjust the flavors to your palate.
Prepare the grill. Rub the beef with oil and grill on both sides to your liking. Skirt steak is a relatively thin cut of beef and will cook very quickly. When medium rare, remove to a plate and let rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing.
Serve with extra dressing on the side.
Thinly slice the meat across the grain and lay out on a platter. Drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons of your prepared dressing. Combine the vegetables and coat with 3-4 tablespoons of the dressing. Scatter this medley on top of the sliced beef. Finish the platter with the sliced scallions and the chopped herbs.
Optional: Serve with rice vermicelli noodles. Follow preparation instructions on the package.