The other day, I received a surprise text from my close school friend. That text was a blast from the past – it was a picture from my yearbook photo when I was about 15 – when big glasses, teeth braces and unruly permed hair with side pony looked so normal, but it was so funny. Did I just mention normal? LOL That got me to reminiscing about my school days. Boy, it was so fun last time…when we don’t need to worry about money 🙂 But, of course, we were just kids right, so our minds have been imprinted with the need to study hard and make our parents proud.
Ok, ’nuff said about the past 🙂 So, who loves a good plate of fresh and full flavoured salad? I do. Making salads can be fun and creative, by playing and experimenting with flavours as well as textures. It can be anything, just about anything you can think of.
I love Thai flavours, as they are known for their combination of strong, aromatic components with a spicy edge. This is a salad that’s packed with flavour from fresh herbs, plus tasty sour spicy dressing. The key to this dish is to use the highest-qualify beef you can find, well, because that’s the hero of this dish, of course.
Seared Beef with Thai Flavour Salad (adapted from Dan Hong’s Mr Hong)
2 tbsp jasmine rice
400 g beef fillet, fat trimmed off
sea salt flakes and oil, for seasoning
100 ml freshly squeezed lime juice
2 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
2 bird’s eye chillies, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely grated
100 ml vegetable oil
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
1 lemongrass, pale part only, thinly sliced
6 kaffir lime leaves thinly sliced
handful of mint leaves, finely chopped
handful of thai basil, finely chopped
handful of coriander leaves, finely chopped
1. Firstly, prepare the toasted rice. To do this, just heat up a small fry pan on high heat and toss the rice in. Constantly move the pan to allow even distribution of heat until the rice turns brown and smells nutty. Transfer to a mortar and pestle and grind till you get a fine powder texture. Set aside.
2. Secondly, prepare the dressing. Whisk the lime juice, fish sauce, chillies, garlic, vegetable oil together in a bowl. Mix well and set aside.
3. Season the beef with sea salt and rub evenly with oil. Heat a frying pan over high heat. Sear the beef both sides until to your liking. I like my beef rare and so, 50 secs both sides should be enough (depends on thickness). Rest for 1 min. Transfer to a refrigerator to firm up for 20 mins.
4. Remove the beef from the refrigerator and slice them into 3-5 mm thickness. Season with sea salt and the dressing. Garnish with all the herbs that’s been sliced and chopped. Finish with a sprinkle of roasted rice.