Our Asian experience seems like a lifetime ago but whenever we have a dish that reminds of food from that side of the globe, it almost feels like we’re back there. Almost. I’ve made this Asian-style rice noodle beef salad many times in Hong Kong and Bangkok but last night, as we sat around the table, the aromas from the food immediately made us think of the past. What’s your favorite food memory?
250g rice vermicelli noodles
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
250g thinly sliced raw beef (tip: freeze beef for an hour and use a mandoline)
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
yellow and red cocktail tomatoes, halved
handful of fresh mint leaves
handful of fresh coriander
1. Place noodles in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Stir occasionally for 10 minutes or until softened. Drain.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and chili powder until the sugar dissolves.
3. In a hot large non-stick pan, flash-fry the strips of beef. You may need to do this in several batches as you want the meat to brown slightly. Overcrowding the meat will produce steam and a horrible shade of grey. Place browned meat in a large bowl and repeat process until all the meat is cooked.
4. Combine noodles, beef, onion, tomato, mint, coriander and the dressing in a large bowl and toss until combined. Serve salad on plates and drizzle over any remaining dressing in the bottom of the bowl.
The Culinary Chase’s Note: Look for thinly sliced beef in the frozen section of the meat department to save time. Enjoy!