If the weather is nice, many families will barbecue at a get-together to celebrate Father’s Day. Steak cooked on the grill, served with a baked potato and a green salad is a favorite dinner menu for such occasions.
This recipe takes grilled steak and salad in a different direction, to Southeast Asia. The marinade adds sweet and spicy flavors to the steak, and some of it is set aside to become a component of a dressing. Serve the steak, noodles and vegetable salad as a single dish or add other salads on the side.
You should be able to find the ingredients at any major grocery store; I did it. Failing that, check with an international grocery store. If your gang is shy about spicy foods, omit the chilies and reduce the ginger. Remember that much of the heat in peppers is in the seeds.
Flank steak is a lean, flavorful cut of beef from the belly muscle; it should be softened by the marinade and not overcooked. Flat iron steak, also called top blade steak, top blade tenderloin, or shoulder top blade steak, comes from the chuck or shoulder. It is marbled and more tender than the side.
Thai Grilled Flank Steak with Asian Noodle Salad
Adapted from Rainford, Rob: Born to Grill: 100+ recipes from my backyard to yours. Appetite by Random House, Vancouver, 2012.
- 125 ml (½ cup) soy sauce
- 125 ml (½ cup) ketjap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce) or regular soy sauce
- 75 ml (⅓ cup) fresh lime juice
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely grated
- 2 green onions, sliced (white parts only; reserve green ends for salad)
- 2 Thai chili peppers, seeded and finely chopped
- 30 ml (2 tbsp.) packed brown sugar
- 30 ml (2 tbsp.) sesame oil
- 30 ml (2 tbsp.) fish sauce
- 15 ml (1 tbsp.) finely grated fresh ginger
- 15 ml (1 tbsp.) finely chopped lemongrass, outer stem removed
- 500 g (1 lb) flank steak or flat iron steak
- rapeseed oil for greasing
- Kosher salt to taste
- 60 g (2 oz) vermicelli-style dry rice noodles
- canola or grapeseed oil
- 1 head of Boston lettuce, washed, dried and leaves separated
- 1 English cucumber, sliced
- 1 red onion, sliced
- 500 ml (2 cups) cherry tomatoes
- 75 mL (⅓ cup) fresh mint leaves, divided
- 75 mL (⅓ cup) fresh cilantro leaves, divided
- 75 mL (⅓ cup) fresh basil leaves, divided
- 75 ml (⅓ cup) dry roasted peanuts, chopped
- 30 ml (2 tbsp.) sesame seeds
For the steak, combine the soy sauce, ketjap manis, lime juice, garlic, scallions, chili peppers, sugar, sesame oil, fish sauce, ginger and lemongrass in bowl until well combined and sugar is dissolved. Remove half of the marinade and set aside to use as a dressing. Place the remaining marinade in a resealable plastic bag.
Lightly score the beef in a hatched (diamond) pattern and place it in the bag with the marinade. Massage it and place it in the refrigerator for four hours.
Light the charcoal or preheat a gas grill. The cooking temperature should be around 180 C (350 F). For charcoal grilling, you are ready to grill when a thick white ash has appeared on the embers. Place three-quarters of the hot coals on one side of the grill and a few on the other side. Oil the grill with rapeseed oil.
Remove the beef from the marinade and discard the used marinade. Season the beef with salt. Place the beef on the grill and cook for about five minutes on each side, or until well-marked and rare, or longer if you prefer less rare meat. Transfer the beef to a cutting board and let rest for five minutes before slicing. Slice very thinly against the grain.
Meanwhile, soak the rice noodles in lukewarm water for about 20 minutes or until tender. Drain well and drizzle lightly with oil to prevent sticking.
Combine the small lettuce leaves, cucumber, onion, tomatoes and half the mint, cilantro and basil in a bowl. Add reserved unused marinade and stir until well coated.
Mount the noodles in the center of a serving platter and garnish with salad. Arrange the beef on the salad and garnish with the peanuts, sesame seeds and remaining herbs.
Home economist Margaret Prouse writes this column for The Guardian every Friday. She can be contacted by email at [email protected].