Monday, December 8, 2008

vietnamese lemongrass beef and noodle salad

This is the recipe I intended to post a few days after Thanksgiving, when everyone is sick and tired of leftover turkey. I know I was ready for something different, something completely opposite to roast meat, stuffing and gravy. This dish completely fits the bill. It's flavorful and fresh and has all the components that Asian food is known for. Hot, sweet, sour and salty. I know it's a little late to be calling this a post Thanksgiving Day recipe (I have no excuse but laziness), but better late than never right?
Some of the ingredients may be a little unfamiliar but none of them are expensive and the difference they make is well worth the cost. I found all the ingredients at my local grocery store in the produce aisle and the imported food section. Around here (Cincinnati), you should find them at Meijer, Biggs, a larger Kroger and if you are lucky to be near Jungle Jims, they would definitely have them all.

Vietnamese lemongrass beef and noodle salad

2 stalks fresh lemongrass, outer leaves discarded and root ends trimmed
6 cloves garlic
2 tbsp Asian fish sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
4 tsp sugar
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp Asian sesame oil
1 pound to 1 1/4 pounds skirt steak or flank steak
1/2 pound thin rice noodles
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, washed and spun dry
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, washed and spun dry
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, washed and spun dry
1 recipe nuoc cham (Vietnamese lime sauce), recipe follows
1/2 to 1 English cucumber, halved, seeded and cut diagonally into 1/4 inch slices
4 green onions, sliced
2 to 4 fresh red or green chilies, seeded and sliced very thin (I wore disposable rubber gloves for this)
coarsely chopped peanuts

Make marinade: Thinly slice lemongrass stalks. In a food processor or blender finely grind together sliced lemongrass and garlic cloves. Add next 5 ingredients and blend well.
In a large zip-lock bag combine marinade and steak and seal bag, pressing out excess air. Marinate steak in the refrigerator at least 4 hours or overnight. Turn bag once or twice.
In a large bowl soak noodles in hot water to cover 15 minutes, or until softened and pliable.
Prepare grill or preheat broiler. Bring a pot of salted water to boil for noodles.
Discard marinade and grill or broil steak 3 to 5 minutes per side for medium rare. Transfer steak to board and let stand 5 minutes.
While steak is cooking, drain noodles in a colander and cook in boiling water 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until just tender. Drain in a colander again and rinse under cold water to stop cooking. Drain noodles well.
In a large bowl toss noodles with herbs, cucumbers, green onions and half of the lime sauce. Divide among 4 bowls or plates. Thinly slice the steak on the diagonal and mound on top of the noodles. Sprinkle chilies (to taste) and chopped peanuts over each serving and garnish with herb sprigs if desired. Serve remaining lime sauce on the side.

nuoc cham

1/2 cup fresh lime juice
3 tbsp Asian fish sauce
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup warm water
1 garlic clove, crushed or minced
2 small fresh red or green chilies, seeded and chopped fine

In a small bowl stir together all ingredients until sugar is dissolved.

Vegetables are interesting but lack a sense of purpose when unaccompanied by a good cut of meat. ~Fran Lebowitz

1 comment:

Ben said...

ooo yeah this sounds good. The turkey here is salty and anything that has asian flavoring means its leftovers ha.
Keep up the good work, the pictures look iron chef awsome!