Sunday, March 4, 2012

Thai Steak Salad

This was a very clean, light yet filling dinner salad.  The flavors are strong, but curiously addictive.  Fish Sauce or Nam Pla, is insanely good for you.  A staple condiment throughout Asia (much like ketchup is to us here in America), it is rich in iodine and other substances that benefit the thyroid gland.  When heated it loses its fishy flavor, but served cold as it is in this recipe, the fish flavor is mostly muted by the strong herbs, chilis, and lime juice.  I used a beautiful savoy cabbage from Tomatero Farms and the rib eye steak was from Panorama Meats purchased from Whole Foods.  Although lemongrass, cilantro, and the serrano chili were easy to find (again at Whole Foods, but any independent grocer should carry these items), mint was elusive and will probably continue to be until we get more consistently warm weather.  I used dried mint instead, about 2 TBSP., and it came out great.  Be sure to check out the reviews section of this recipe from Epicurious.  Lots of creative ways to mix up the herbs in this one.

Thai Grilled Beef Salad at Epicurious

My version:

8 cups thinly sliced red and/or white cabbage
5 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons fish sauce (nam pla) (get one that does not have sugar in it!)
2 small (8- to 10-ounce) rib-eye steaks
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped green onion tops
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh mint
3 tablespoons minced lemongrass
1 teaspoon minced seeded Thai chile or serrano chile

Combine sliced cabbage, 2 tablespoons lime juice, and 1 tablespoon fish sauce in large bowl; toss to blend. Season with salt and pepper; set cabbage mixture aside for up to 30 minutes.
Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Sprinkle steaks with salt and pepper. Grill until cooked to desired doneness, 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer steaks to work surface; cut crosswise into thin slices. Place sliced steaks in large bowl. Add shallots, onion tops, cilantro, mint, lemongrass, and chili, then remaining 3 tablespoons lime juice and 2 tablespoons fish sauce. Toss to blend. Season salad with salt and pepper.
Divide cabbage mixture among 4 plates. Top each with beef salad.

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