Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Lemongrass Beef Salad

Vietnamese Bun dishes are really easy to make and amazingly delicious.This one is lettuce, noodles, a lot of fresh veggies and a little bit of meat.

That’s how the Vietnamese stay so thin. A little bit of meat. Meat is the accent rather than the main course.

In Vietnamese cooking, it’s all about quality ingredients. Herbs must be crisp, meats the best quality and veggies exceptionally fresh. 

Although it’s best to tackle this dish when the ingredients are in season, we punted because Fresh Market carrys a lot of them even in the dead of winter.

If you didn’t get enough of those great Vietnamese flavors a few weeks back, just try this recipe. It’s one of my all time favorite low calorie recipes and it’s certain to convince you that Vietnamese cooking is worth exploring.

This salad can be topped with bits of  Beef, Caramelized Pork or Shrimp.

You’ll be full before you hit the bottom of the bowl.

Bon Appetit!

2 pounds Flank Steak
½ cup fresh lemongrass, chopped and peeled
1/3 cup shallots, chopped
3 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 teaspoon peanut oil
¼ teaspoon salt
6 cloves garlic, crushed
2 serrano chilies, seeded and chopped
Cooking spray

2/3 pound dried rice vermicelli (bun)
2 cups green lettuce
1 ½ cup bean sprouts
2 green onions, sliced
1 carrot thinly sliced
1/3 cup Cucumbers, sliced
1/3 cup cilantro
1/3 cup Thai basil
Fresh peanuts

Combine lemongrass and remaining ingredients except cooking spray in a food processor; process until smooth (about 1 minute). 

Combine beef and lemongrass mixture in a large zip-top plastic bag. Seal and marinate in refrigerator 2 to 4 hours.

Prepare grill.

Remove beef from bag; discard marinade. Place beef on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 1 minute on each side or until desired degree of doneness.

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the rice vermicelli and stir gently to loosen them. Cook until the noodles are white and soft but still slightly resilient, about  4 minutes. 

Drain and rinse under cold running water. 

Gently fluff the noodles and set them aside for at least 30 minutes. The noodles should be dry before serving.

Gently combine all ingredients, top with peanuts and serve with your favorite egg rolls.

Serves 4-6.