I started making this during quarantine because I really missed going to Fallon and Byrne here in Dublin and getting their South East Asian style beef salad. I elaborated by adding more vegetables and mango for a sweet pop. I also added rice because meals without carbs make me anxious.
As with anything – use what you have and / or what you like. The vegetables here were what I had but many things would work – pak choi, beansprouts, green beans, pineapple, radish, scallions – express yourself!
I usually prefer white rice but I used brown here. It’s chewy texture works well with the other elements. Sometimes I make this using 400g rice noodles instead and it is equally delish.
If you are a vegetarian or are not in the mood for steak this salad is just as nice without it, or you could substitute tofu, chicken, prawns or salmon.
4 sirloin steaks, seasoned with salt and pepper
olive oil for cooking
500g brown rice
6 small carrots
1/2 head Napa cabbage
2 bunches spinach
1 ripe mango
large bunch of coriander, leaves picked
small bunch Thai /regular basil
small bunch mint
spring onions, finely sliced, to garnish
200g peanuts, toasted and roughly chopped, to garnish
Nam Jim Dressing :
zest and juice of 3 limes
60g palm sugar
1 inch piece galangal
1 clove garlic
1 red chili, deseeded if you want to keep things mild
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
Before you begin, remove the steaks from the fridge so they have time to come to room temperature before being cooked.
Salad. Cook the rice according to package instructions. Once cool, either hold under a cold tap of running water or spread out onto a baking tray to stop the cooking process.
Prep the vegetables while the rice is cooking.
Peel the carrot and either grate or julienne.
Julienne the mangetout.
Chiffonade the spinach.
Scrape the seeds out of the cucumber (to stop the salad from being soggy) and julienne.
Peel and dice the mango.
Chop the herbs. (When I’m cooking for my own personal enjoyment I often don’t pick the herbs.. The stems are packed with flavour. Except for mint, obviously).
Dressing. Peel and roughly chop the galangal, ginger, chili and palm sugar, then place in a blender with all other ingredients.
Alternatively, you can mince the ginger, galangal, chili and grate the palm sugar and whisk everything together in a bowl.
As always, I recommend dressing the salad before you taste to adjust the seasoning. Light dressings like this can really only make sense in context of the finished plate.
Steaks. Drizzle a small amount of oil – about 1 tsp – on the steaks and heat a cast iron skillet. I like it rare, so I give them 3 minutes on each side, over a high heat, then wrap in aluminium foil and leave to rest for a few minutes before finely slicing.
Finely slice the spring onions.
Place a few generous spoonfuls of salad into bowls, place the steak slices on top, scatter over the crushed peanuts and serve.