Thai Beef Salad
Source: Cooking Around the World Chat
This is a rich, hearty dish with plenty of typical Thai flavors. Any kind of
beef may be used, but flank steak works particularly well because it is easy to
cut it across the grain, which helps keep the meat from falling apart during
stir-frying and produces a tender result. Be sure to serve plenty of rice,
because it helps moderate the hot chilies without detracting from the flavor.
You may reduce the number of chilies by up to one half, but traditionally this
dish should have a rich, hot chili flavor. Serves 4 to 6
1 pound flank steak
14 (2 ounces) finely chopped Serrano chilies
1/4 cup (2 ounces) finely chopped garlic
1/2 cup (2 ounces) finely chopped yellow onion
1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 cup water (more if needed in Step 5)
1/2 cup loosely packed mint or basil leaves
Green lettuce leaves
1. Slice the beef across the grain into strips 1/4 inch thick and 2 to 3 inches
long. Set aside.
2. Pound or grind the chilies, garlic, and onion to a coarse paste in a mortar
or blender. If you use a blender you may need to add the oil to aid in grinding.
3. Heat a wok, add the oil, and swirl it over the surface of the pan. (Do not
add more oil if you have ground the chilies, onion, and garlic in oil.) Add the
paste from Step 2 and stir-fry until it is light golden.
4. Add the beef and stir-fry until it is a uniform tan color, but do not
5. Add the fish sauce, sugar, water, and mint (or basil) leaves. More water may
be added if the sauce is too dry. There should be about 1/2 to 3/4 cup sauce,
depending on how much water you added.
Ahead of time note: The dish may be prepared a day in advance to this point. To
do so, proceed through Step 5, omitting the mint or basil leaves. When you are
ready to serve, heat the mixture and add the leaves. If the meat has absorbed
the liquid, add just enough warm water to bring it back to the original
6. Arrange a single layer of lettuce leaves in a serving bowl and put the beef
mixture over them. Serve the beef immediately or keep it warm while preparing
7. Serve with rice.
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