Grilled Beef Kebabs with Green Mango Salad

Printemps 2012
food and drink

BY: Marilyn Bentz-Crowley

Green mango salad is quite appealing with its flavours of hot, sour, salty and sweet. The peanut-and-spice-encrusted beef skewers can be served as an appetizer or as an entrée with hot rice such as jasmine or basmati. Basil, especially the purplish Thai “cinnamon” variety, can replace fresh coriander quite well.

12 bamboo skewers, 7 inches (18 cm)
1½ lbs (750 g) sirloin or strip-loin steak, 1-inch (2.5-cm) thick
1 tbsp (15 mL) peanut oil
1 shallot, minced
1 large clove garlic, minced
1½ tsp (7 mL) each of ground coriander and cumin
1 tsp (5 mL) granulated sugar
¼ tsp (1 mL) cayenne
2 tbsp (30 mL) each of tamarind paste and soy sauce
⅓ cup (80 mL) roasted and salted peanuts, finely chopped in food processor
4 to 6 cups (1 to 1.5 L) hot cooked rice (if serving as an entrée)

2 green or just-starting-to-ripen mangoes
1 sweet red pepper
3 tbsp (45 mL) finely chopped fresh mint
3 tbsp (45 mL) finely chopped fresh coriander leaves
1 tbsp (15 mL) granulated sugar
2 tbsp (30 mL) freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tbsp (15 mL) fish sauce
2 tsp (10 mL) peanut oil
¼ to ½ tsp (1 to 2 mL) crushed hot chili flakes
½ cup (125 mL) roasted and salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
6 to 8 medium lettuce leaves such as romaine or leaf (if serving as an appetizer)

1 Soak skewers in warm water; discard water. Cut steak into 1-inch (2.5-cm) cubes; snugly thread onto skewers leaving 1 end bare. Lay in a glass dish.

2 Heat oil in a small frying pan over medium-low heat. Sauté shallot and garlic for 3 minutes or until softened. Remove from heat; stir in coriander, cumin, sugar and cayenne. Then mix in tamarind paste and soy sauce. Finally, stir in peanuts.

3 Evenly smear this mixture over all sides of beef skewers. Cover and refrigerate up to half a day.

4 To make salad, peel mangoes using a vegetable peeler. Using a very sharp chef’s knife, cut very thin slices of mango away from pit. Julienne into short strips; there should be about 4 cups (1 L). Seed and julienne red pepper. Toss together in a large bowl with mint, coriander and sugar.

5 Stir lime juice with fish sauce, oil and smaller amount of chili flakes. Pour over mango mixture; toss. Salad is best when covered and refrigerated for several hours. When ready to serve, stir mango salad with nuts. Taste; add more sugar or more chili flakes if needed.

6 When ready to serve, preheat barbecue on high until very hot. Grill beef, turning three times, for a total of 6 to 8 minutes, or until appetizingly browned and still medium inside. (Alternatively, grill 2 inches/5 cm under a preheated broiler, turning 3 times for a total of 6 to 8 minutes.)

7 To serve as an entrée, place skewers on hot rice on warmed plates. Serve salad in its own bowl or alongside rice and beef on same plates. (Or as an appetizer, line small serving dishes with lettuce; spoon in salad. Top with hot beef skewers.) Serve right away.

Makes 4 to 6 entrée servings or 6 to 8 starters

What to Serve