Vietnamese Beef Salad with Sweet-Spicy Dressing

Summer 2003
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food and drink

BY: Lucy Waverman

This salad is very simple to make and offers a cooling dish on a hot night served over a noodle pancake (recipe follows). Use Chinese fresh or dried noodles (the instant kind) or leftover long pasta noodles. Otherwise serve over steamed rice.

1 lb (500 g) flank steak
1 tbsp (15 mL) grated ginger
2 tbsp (25 mL) lime juice
1 tsp (5 mL) Asian chili sauce
2 tbsp (25 mL) soy sauce
1 tsp (5 mL) granulated sugar
2 tbsp (25 mL) vegetable oil

Salad
1 head of red leaf lettuce
1/2 cup (125 mL) red onion
1/2 cup (125 mL) English cucumber, cut in 1/2-inch (1-cm) dice
1/2 cup (125 mL) shredded carrots

Dressing
1 tsp (5 mL) garlic, chopped
1 tsp (5 mL) Asian chili sauce
1 tbsp (15 mL) fish sauce
1/4 cup (50 mL) water
3 tbsp (45 mL) lime juice
1 tbsp (15 mL) brown sugar
2 tbsp (25 mL) mint leaves
2 tbsp (25 mL) coriander leaves
2 tbsp (25 mL) lemon balm or basil
1/2 cup (125 mL) toasted sliced almonds

1. Score flank steak 5 or 6 times across the grain. Combine ginger; lime juice, chili sauce, soy sauce, sugar and oil in a bowl. Brush over flank steak and marinate for 2 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.

2. Preheat grill and grill steak for 3 minutes per side or until still rare. It will continue to cook as it cools. Slice into thin slices across the grain.

3. Place lettuce leaves on platter, top with slices of beef. Scatter over red onions and cucumber and carrots.

4. Combine garlic, chili sauce, fish sauce, water, lime juice and brown sugar. Drizzle over platter. Sprinkle wth herbs and almonds.

Serves 4