This is a staple dish that I produce a lot for either a quick, easy dinner or for a dinner party. One tip to save time is to make a shedload of the sauce and then freeze it in batches for future use.
• 3 shallots, finely diced
• 2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
• 3 birdseye chillies (use more or less to suit taste), chopped with seeds retained
• Teaspoon brown sugar
• 2 limes, grate the rind and squeeze the juice
• 75ml fish sauce (Nahm Plah)
• ½ cucumber, thin ½ slices
• 3 salad or 4 vine or 2 beef tomatoes, cut into small wedges
• 3 spring onions, finely sliced
• Bunch coriander, roughly chopped
• 6 radishes, thinly sliced
Main protein: 1 fillet steak (6-8oz), seasoned with oil, pepper and salt to taste. Substitutions can include grilled chicken breast, tiger prawns, glass noodles or squid.
To make the sauce
1. Add the shallots, garlic, chillies, sugar, zest and juice of limes and fish sauce together in a screw-top jar. Close lid tightly and shake well
2. Refrigerate until needed
To make the salad
1. Heat a pan or griddle and sear beef on all sides – rare is best for the dish to be authentic. Place to one side to rest
2. Place the cucumber, tomatoes, spring onions, coriander and radishes in a bowl
3. Take rested steak and slice as thinly as possible
4. Add steak to the salad ingredients and toss
5. Add sauce to salad and toss quickly to coat all ingredients
The quantities of ingredients used in the sauce are highly personal. I have used what I consider to be the 'normal' amounts although I prefer more chilli and fish sauce in mine. Experiment until you find the right blend.
This dish goes really well with an asian beer such as Tiger, Singha or Tsingtao, or if wine is preferred a good Alsace Reisling or Gewurztraminer such as those produced by Wunsch & Mann (Click here for the Wunsch & Mann website).