Vietnamese Beef Noodle Salad

On arrival back home after a month in India, I immediately thought of the Vietnamese salad I buy regularly from “The Naughty Chef” in Sydney. It’s easy to make at home too and is deliciously fresh, simple and mild. Just the remedy after 4 weeks of heavy, complex and spicy curries; for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

300g beef rump steak
4 cloves garlic (minced)
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 lime (juice of)
Freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup caster sugar
100ml white vinegar
1/4 cup fish sauce (from anchovies)
1 small red chilli (very finely chopped)
1 garlic clove (very finely chopped)

200g cooked vermicelli rice noodles (cold)
1/2 carrot (thinly sliced and left to soak in 2 tablespoons of the salad dressing for 30 minutes)
2 spring onions (thinly sliced)
1/2 cup cucumber (thinly sliced)
1/4 cup unsalted peanuts (roughly crumbled)
1/4 cup fresh mint (roughly torn)
1/4 cup fresh coriander (roughly chopped)
1 tomato (sliced)

Combine all the marinade ingredients together in a plastic bag with the meat and leave for 30 minutes.

To make the dressing: Pour 100ml of boiling water into a bowl and then pour in the sugar and stir to dissolve. Add the vinegar and fish sauce and stir in the garlic and chilli. Leave to cool. (will keep in the fridge for 3 months!)

Heat a griddle or BBQ and then cook the meat 4 minutes either side (depending on thickness) until medium rare. Rest for 2 minutes then cut into thin slices.

Divide the noodles between 2-3 serving bowls. Add a little carrot, spring onion and cucumber then top with some beef slices. Finish with a sprinkle of peanuts, mint and coriander. Add a few slices of tomato on the side. Serve the dressing separately for your guests to pour over as much as they see fit.

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