Wednesday, September 18, 2013


I had this delicious salad for late breakfast in Hue, Vietnam. Obviously, I love salads. You could have it for lunch or dinner as well, of course. It's the perfect way to use up some leftover beef if you don't want to start from scratch. You could even, in a pinch, use thickly sliced roast beef from a deli. Turn the page for the easy recipe...

For each serving: one C mixed greens; one hard-boiled egg sliced lengthwise in quarters; one medium tomato in wedges; four slices red bell pepper; four 4" long thin green onions, tops chopped thin; two slices red or sweet onion, in rings; 1/3 C thin-sliced raw or previously-cooked lean beef; vinaigrette of your choice, made with lime juice and 1/4 tsp. Red Boat or other Vietnamese fish sauce*. Optional: cooked green beans in 4" pieces, quartered Baby Bellas, cooked or baked asparagus tips in 4" pieces.
Marinade for beef: 2 tbsp each lime juice and peanut oil, few drops of fish sauce; pinch each pepper, red pepper. Mix and pour over beef sliced in 1" x 3" pieces; marinate 30 - 60 minutes. Shake off excess and quickly fry raw beef.
Lay down greens; arrange vegetables to please yourself and your eye. Arrange beef slices atop greens and vegetables. Sprinkle over chopped green onion tops. Serve with vinaigrette on side.
A baguette goes well with this. Any light wine would, as well. Or iced tea. In Vietnam, you could order fresh-made fruit juices, from apple or melon to pineapple or watermelon. Delicious!
* Red Boat Fish Sauce is purported to be the best made, concocted on a small island just south of Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon). It is smooth and intensely-flavored, and should be used with care. But it does add, when used with an eyedropper (it is dispensed by the drop from its included top), a subtle note few will recognize but all will appreciate. Try it in your next Caesar dressing, too.

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