Who doesn’t love Thai food, with its beautiful balance of sweet, sour, salty and spicy flavours? This refreshing but substantial salad ticks all the boxes, and is a perfect meal for this time of the year when the temperature and humidity levels are high. I make this dish at our popular Easy Asian Dinner Party cooking class and there are never any leftovers!
Like most Asian food, the majority of the time is spent in the preparation of the ingredients, and the cooking is minimal. If you’re serving this when entertaining, make the dressing and prepare the salad ingredients ahead of time (steps 1 and 2). So all you will need to do after your guests arrive is cook the steak and assemble and dress the salad. Too easy!
Ingredients (serves 4):
500g rump steak or fillet beef, in one piece
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
150g mixed salad greens
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 Lebanese cucumber, halved lengthways, seeds removed and sliced
1/2 cup each mint leaves, coriander leaves and Thai basil leaves
2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
2-4 small red chillies, roughly chopped
2 coriander roots, trimmed and roughly chopped
¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
1 tablespoon palm sugar
2 (1 double) kaffir lime leaves, thinly shredded
2 tablespoons crispy fried onions
2 tablespoons chopped roasted peanuts
Method (20 mins):
1. To make the dressing, place the garlic, chillies and coriander roots in a mortar and pestle with a pinch of salt and pound to a paste. Transfer to a bowl, add the lime juice, fish sauce, palm sugar, and kaffir lime leaves and stir to combine. Set aside to allow the flavours to mingle.
2. Prepare the salad ingredients and the garnishes.
3. Heat a frypan over a medium-high heat (or heat a barbeque to medium-high heat). Rub the steak with the oyster sauce. Add a little vegetable oil to the frypan (or lightly oil the barbeque) and cook the beef to medium rare, about 3 minute each side. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.
4. Place the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Thinly slice the beef and add to the salad. Add the dressing and toss gently. Transfer to a platter and garnish with the crispy fried onions and peanuts.