One of my favourite Thai dishes is beef salad. Tchilhere’s a small family-run restaurant next to our flat and whenever my husband and I go there we always share one for starters and it never disappoints. I love the lime, the chillies, the coriander. It’s definitely one of the best salads ever. I tried to recreate it before, a few years ago, but it wasn’t quite right and as it’s so convenient to go out for this salad I hadn’t really tried again. Anyway, as this month Lyndsey’s Sweet Heat Challenge at Vanilla Clouds and Lemon Drops focuses on Thai food, I decided it was time I tried again. I went about it by trying to recreate our favourite restaurant dish and I have to say, I feel I really managed it this time. Apologies for being so smug but it was so good, I know I’ll be making it again soon.
Ingredients – Serves 2
1 tbsp basmati or jasmine rice
5cm piece of cucumber
3 handfuls spinach
1 handful coriander (cilantro)
Juice of 1 lime
1 green chilli pepper, sliced
1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
1/4 small onion, finely sliced
1 small garlic clove, crushed
1/2 tsp root ginger, finely diced
1/2 tsp lemongrass paste
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp groundnut oil
1 tsp caster sugar
How to make Thai Beef Salad
1. Put the rice in a dry pan and heat gently on the stove top. Shake the pan to keep turning the rice. When it turns golden, take it off the heat and put in a spice blender or pestle and mortar. Grind to a powder.
2. Mix all the ingredients for the dressing. Taste and adjust any quantities if necessary.
3. Chop up the ingredients for the salad and toss together.
4. Fry the beef on both sides in a little oil. When ready, take out of the pan and leave to rest. Add a little water to the pan, turn the heat up and scrape the bottom. Pour this into the bowl with the dressing.
5. Slice the beef into thin strips. If not serving immediately, spoon a little dressing over the beef.
6. When ready to serve, divide the salad between two plates. Sprinkle on a little ground rice. Divide the beef between the two plates and put on top of the salad. Sprinkle with a little more ground rice. Spoon over the rest of the dressing.