Lemongrass beef noodle salad is a Vietnamese inspired offering for those times when you want something fresh and light and full of flavour. This is yet another noodle salad that is perfect for hot summer evenings when you’re searching for easy dinner options.
The only down side is you need to marinate the beef for a couple of hours, so you need to think ahead. That being said, I nearly always forget so end up marinating the beef for as long as it takes to chop the vegetables and prepare the noodles. Of course that is never going to be as good, but it sure beats never having this salad because I didn’t plan ahead.
The other thing worth mentioning is my issues with rice vermicelli. According to the packet you soak it in cold water for 10 minutes, after which time the noodles should be soft and white. But it never works! So I add another 10 minutes to the timer, then another 10 minutes…and it keeps on going until I give up and add hot water! My way of addressing this problem (that occurs every time I use rice vermicelli) is to use not quite boiling water. It works a treat and it only takes around 10 minutes for it to be ready to use. For all those who don’t have this problem, keep doing what you’re doing, and just ignore the ‘how to cook vermicelli’ instructions.
This recipe works really well with rump steak, although on occasion I have resorted to using fillet just because nothing else was available. If you have a barbecue handy, use it to cook the steak . It keeps all the heat out of the kitchen, which is just what you need on a hot summer’s evening. Although I associate this with summer, it’s a great option in winter too when you don’t want a stodgy, albeit delicious, stew. Enjoy!
- 2 stalks lemongrass, white part only, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 small red chilli, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- ¼ cup fish sauce
- 600 - 700 grams beef rump or fillet
- 200 grams rice vermicelli
- 2 Lebanese cucumbers, halved lengthways, deseeded and finely sliced
- 1 large carrot, finely sliced
- 1 baby cos lettuce, broken into pieces
- mint leaves
- coriander leaves
- chopped peanuts, and lime wedges to serve
- ¼ cup fish sauce
- ¼ cup lime juice
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon caster sugar
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 large red chilli, seed and finely chopped
- Pound the lemongrass, garlic and chilli and some freshly ground black pepper in a mortar and pestle for 2 minutes. Stir in the oil, lime juice and fish sauce. (Alternatively place all ingredients in a food processor and blitz til smooth - you may need a little water to get things going.) Place the beef in a bowl, spoon over the marinade and rub it into the beef making sure it is well coated. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
- Place the rice vermicelli in a bowl and cover with not quite boiling water. Soak until softened (approx 10 minutes). Drain.
- Prepare the salad vegetables.
- To cook the beef, place a large frying pan over a high heat until hot. Cook the steaks for 3-4 minutes each side (for medium done) or until cooked to your liking. Remove the steaks, place on a plate and cover with foil, and allow to rest for a couple of minutes in a warm place. Slice thinly.
- To serve:
- Place a layer of lettuce in the bottom of each bowl. Top with: noodles, cucumber, and carrot sticks.
- Divide the beef between the bowls.
- Top with mint and coriander leaves, a handful of beansprouts and a sprinkling of chopped peanuts.
- Add a couple of tablespoons of sauce to each bowl and mix everything together. Serve with a wedge of lime on the side.