Vietnamese herb salad with tamarind and honey glazed beef
- June 2016
- Serves 4
- Hands-on time 1 hour, plus 1-2 hours marinating
Juicy tamarind and honey glazed steak, crunchy vegetables, roasted peanuts and a bounty of fresh herbs – this could be the salad to end all salads.
- 23.1g (3.8g saturated)
- 44.8g (14.3g sugars)
For the marinated beef
- 130g jar tamarind paste
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- Juice 1 lime
- 4 tbsp clear honey
- 3 large British rump or sirloin steaks, fat trimmed, cut into thin strips
- Sunflower oil for frying
For the dressing
- 3 tbsp fish sauce
- 3 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- Juice 1-2 limes
- 1 large garlic clove, crushed
- Small bird’s eye chilli, finely chopped
For the salad
- ½ red onion, finely sliced
- 3 large carrots, julienned (cut into matchsticks) or finely sliced
- 200g vermicelli or glass noodles (we used Thai Taste)
- Splash toasted sesame oil or sunflower oil
- 1 large cucumber, halved lengthways, deseeded and sliced into half moons or julienned
- 250g radishes, finely sliced
- 25g fresh Thai basil or regular basil, leaves picked
- 100g fresh coriander, leaves picked
- 100g fresh mint, leaves picked
- Large handful salted roasted peanuts, finely chopped
- Ready-made crispy fried onions, from a tub, to sprinkle
- To make the marinade for the beef, combine all the ingredients (except the meat and oil) in a mixing bowl. Add the beef and stir to coat, then cover and chill for 1-2 hours.
- About an hour before you want to eat (or the night before), put the fish sauce, vinegar and sugar from the dressing ingredients in a small pan with 3 tbsp water over a medium heat. Heat until steaming, allow the sugar to melt (don’t let the mixture boil), then turn off the heat, transfer to a bowl and leave to cool.
- Once cool, pour half the dressing into a wide dish. Add the onion and carrots to the dish, stir to coat in the liquid, then spread out, making sure everything is covered in the liquid. Set aside, moving it around now and then, so the veg absorbs the flavours.
- Stir the juice of 1 lime, the garlic and chilli into the remaining dressing in the pan. Taste and add the second lime if you think it needs it – the dressing should be sharp, salty and sweet.
- Cook the noodles according to the pack instructions, draining them a couple of minutes before you’re supposed to. Rinse thoroughly in a colander with warm water to wash off the starch, then drain again, shake dry and generously drizzle over oil to coat the noodles evenly. Snip the noodles roughly into shorter lengths – this will make them easier to mix into the salad.
- Put the cucumber, radishes and herbs in a large bowl with half the peanuts. Once the onion and carrot have taken on the dressing flavours, drain and squeeze out well, then add to the bowl (discard the liquid they were in). Add the noodles.
- Heat a large frying pan with a splash of sunflower oil until smoking hot. Reduce the heat slightly, then add the marinated beef strips without crowding the pan (work in batches if necessary). Cook for 1 minute or until the undersides have blackened, then flip and cook for 30 seconds on the other side. Tip into the salad bowl along with the meat juices.
- Add the dressing from the pan to the salad and toss. Put on a serving platter, scatter with the remaining peanuts and plenty of crispy onions, then serve immediately.
You can find all these ingredients in a good supermarket (Waitrose sells Thai basil). For a quicker version, don’t marinate the beef.
Stir the beef into the marinade and make the dressing the night before, then cover and chill.
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