Asian Beef Salad with Cucumber
This wonderfully fresh-tasting salad is a very pleasing first course and can be served as a light entrée. Because the elements can be prepared ahead and final assembly is so quick, it’s good to serve immediately after coming home from an event. Pour beer or a sparkling wine from Spain.
Thai fish sauce (nam pla) and lemongrass are available in Asian markets, specialty food stores, and some supermarkets.
Serves2 or 3
Total Timeunder 1 hour
Make Ahead RecipeYes
Recipe CourseMain Course
Dietary ConsiderationEgg-free, Gluten-free, Halal, Kosher, Lactose-free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free
Taste and TextureCrisp, Herby, Light, Meaty, Umami
Type of DishMain Course Salad, Salad
- 1 to 2 jalapenos, split, seeded, and coarsely chopped
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons Thai fish sauce (nam pla; see Notes)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons Japanese rice wine or dry sherry
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- 2 scallions, white and some green, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 tablespoon very thinly sliced peeled lemongrass (see Notes)
- 2 filet mignons (about 6 ounces each), cut ¾ inch thick
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 cucumber, peeled and cut lengthwise into very thin slices
Preheat the broiler.
Combine the jalapeños, salt, fish sauce, sugar, rice wine, vinegar, and lime juice in a food processor or blender. Purée the mixture and set aside.
Combine the scallions, mint, cilantro, and lemongrass in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside.
Pat the steaks dry and coat lightly with oil. Broil the steaks for 4 minutes, or until brown and crusty on one side. Turn and broil 3 minutes more for medium-rare or 4 minutes more for medium. Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Carve each steak into ¼-inch-thick slices. (The recipe may be done ahead to this point. Cover and refrigerate the sauce, herbs, and meat separately. Return to room temperature before serving.)
Make a bed of cucumber slices on a platter or 2 or 3 plates. Arrange the steak over the cucumber, spoon the sauce over the steak, and scatter the herb mixture over all.
1997 William Rice