Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Asian Steak and Noodle Salad

Mise-en-place is my new favorite culinary term. I never knew that that's what I did pretty much every time I cooked; basically it means to have all your ingredients chopped and ready to go before you even begin to cook, this way your cooking is more enjoyable and you can finish fast. Mise-en-place is specially necessary when cooking any type of Asian dishes, as most of them are cooked quickly. You can lallygag a little with this recipe as the salad tastes better at room temperature or even cold. Mmmm....


For steak

  • 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 lb flank steak
For salad
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes
  • 1 thinly sliced shallot
  • 8 oz dried vermicelli rice-stick noodles
  • 1 medium Granny Smith apples
  • Baby lettuce salad mix (enough for two portions)
  • About 6 fresh mint leaves, torn into pieces if large
  • About 6 fresh Thai basil leaves, torn into pieces if large
  • 1/4 cup salted roasted peanuts, chopped

Marinate and grill steak: Whisk together fish sauce, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and sugar in a small bowl until sugar is dissolved. Pour marinade into a large sealable plastic bag. Pat steak dry and place in bag, then press out excess air and seal bag. Turn bag over 2 or 3 times to coat meat, then place in a shallow dish (in case of leaks) and chill at least 4 hours and up to 8. Bring steak to room temperature 30 minutes before grilling.

Prepare grill for cooking over medium-hot charcoal (moderate heat for gas). Remove steak from marinade (discard marinade) and pat dry with paper towels. Grill, uncovered unless using a gas grill, over direct heat, turning over once, until medium-rare, 12 to 14 minutes total. Note: I cooked my steak over the stove to medium rare.

Transfer steak to a cutting board and let stand, uncovered, about 15 minutes.

Assemble salad while steak rests: Whisk together lime juice, water, sugar, fish sauce, and red-pepper flakes in a bowl until sugar is dissolved, then stir in shallots.

Cook noodles in a 5-quart pot of boiling salted water until just tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain in a colander, then rinse under cold water and drain well. Transfer to a bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of dressing. Working around core of each apple, cut thin slices (about 1/8 inch thick) with slicer, then stack slices. Cut slices lengthwise into 1/4-inch-wide matchsticks.

Combine apples, greens, mint and basil in a large bowl. Add 1/4 cup of dressing and toss well to coat.

Thinly slice steak across the grain.

Arrange noodles on a large platter and mound greens on top of noodles. Arrange steak slices on greens and sprinkle with peanuts. Serve at room temperature with remaining dressing on the side. Modified recipe from Gourmet, June 2006

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