Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Lemongrass-Grilled Beef with Noodles and Salad

As a general rule, I don't post recipes that August cooks, but this one was too good not to share. The seasoning on it was just right and reminded me of a Vietnamese restaurant I used to frequent for lunch when I lived in Austin. It requires a bit of planning ahead for the marinade, but the effort is well worth it.

One year ago: Chicken Stuffed with Garlic and Coriander
Two years ago: Asian-Inspired Porcini Risotto
Three years ago: Spring Time Risotto

Lemongrass-Grilled Beef with Noodles and Salad (from Planet Barbecue!)

Marinade and Beef
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 stalks lemongrass, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 large shallot, coarsely chopped
1" fresh ginger, coarsely chopped
2 small hot chiles, stemmed and coarsely chopped
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup sesame oil
2 tbsp lemon or lime juice
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 1/2 lb beef, sliced paper-thin across grain
8 ounces rice vermicelli
Salad Plate
1 large head Boston lettuce, separated into whole leaves
1 medium cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
2 - 4 Thai chiles, thinly sliced
2 - 3 cups bean sprouts
1 bunch Thai basil, torn into sprigs
1 bunch fresh mint, torn into sprigs
1 bunch cilantro, torn into sprigs
1/2 cup finely chopped salted roasted peanuts
Vietnamese dipping sauce

1. Place garlic, lemongrass, shallot, ginger, chiles, sugar, pepper, and salt in a mortar and pound to a paste. Work in fish sauce, sesame oil, and citrus. Stir in sesame seeds.
2. Arrange beef in baking dish. Spoon marinade over beef, turning to coat. Marinate in refrigerator, covered, for 1 - 2 hours, turning one or twice.
3. Place rice vermicelli in large bowl and add hot water. Soak for 30 minutes or until pliable. Drain. Transfer to bowl and cover with damp towel to keep soft.
4. Prepare salad plate by arranging ingredients on platter. Cover with damp towel.
5. Drain beef, discarding marinade. Preheat grill to high.
6. Arrange beef on hot grate and grill until golden brown on both sides, 1 - 3 minutes. Transfer to platter.
7. To eat, spread vermicelli on top of lettuce leaf. Add cucumber, chiles, bean sprouts, and herbs. Top with grilled beef and sprinkle with peanuts. Roll into a tight cylinder. Dip in dipping sauce and eat.

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