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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thai Beef Salad and Raw Yu Choy

It's not even that hot here in Georgia yet, and I keep making salads. This week I made two variations on the theme of grape tomato + cucumber + protein (of sorts). One was a kind of larb, which is one of my favorite foods ever:

Thai Beef Salad
Serves 2 to 4.

We had this with a plate of raw Chinese greens (yu choy, I think it was called) covered with crushed ice, like D. and I had at Pok Pok, where they served them with the boar collar meat salad. Before that I'd never thought to eat this stuff raw, but it's delicious! Crisp, cold, and very refreshing alongside the spicy, super-tangy salad. T. liked putting a few pinches of ice in a leaf and eating it like an ice-and-greens taco.

This is the best way I can think of to use up leftover grilled steak, but it's well worth cooking the steak just for this purpose.

Juice of 3 limes
1/4 cup Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
1 teaspoon sambal oelek (chile paste), or lots more to taste
1 teaspoon brown sugar or palm sugar
About 3/4 pound flank steak, grilled or boiled, then thinly sliced across the grain (or any leftover steak)
2 small shallots, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon raw rice
1/2 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and sliced 1/4 inch thick
Handfuls of fresh cilantro, Thai basil, and mint, torn
1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved

In a large bowl, whisk together the lime juice, fish sauce, sambal oelek, and brown sugar. Add the steak and shallots and toss to coat. Set aside.

In a small skillet over medium heat, toast the rice until golden brown. Grind finely with a mortar and pestle and add the rice to the steak, along with all the remaining ingredients. Toss to combine, taste, and add more sambal if necessary. Serve or let sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes to marinate before serving.
I also made a nice cold quinoa salad very loosely based on a recipe in Tal Ronnen's The Conscious Cook, a collection of pretty upscale vegan dishes. So loosely, in fact, that a description of it will have to do here: cooked and chilled quinoa, tossed with a quick red wine vinaigrette, a segmented orange (and its juice), tomatoes and cucumber, and thinly sliced shallot:

1 comment:

Lara Alexander said...

Your Thai Salad looks so good! I love thinly sliced beef. I am eating Thai wide rice noodles for dinner as I write this. I never get tired of Thai food. I'll be making this soon. I have greens in my garden I could use. Thanks!