Friday, March 8, 2013

Recipes: Thai Grilled Beef Salad and Lemongrass Crusted Tofu

If you enjoy Asian recipes...stay with me. Each week I submit a new recipe to coincide with a Vietnamese organic veggie pack distributed within the local community.  My Asian cookbook collection is growing in leaps and bounds and I am happy to share the cooking love.  I hope one of these sets you off to your local veggie market... 

I made this one for a casual Saturday evening with friends. It was a snap to make and the flavours were delicious.  I am considering creating a container of my own fragrant bouquet of lemongrass, coriander, Vietnamese mint, regular mint  and kaffir lime leaves. It is nearly all you need for most of the dishes cooked in our house. 

Serves 4

NOTE: If you have any left-over steak or roast beef, this recipe is easy to prepare. Otherwise, grill the steak just before you serve the salad. The room-temperature beef is sliced and mixed with a fragrant bouquet of lemongrass, coriander leaves (cilantro), mint and kaffir lime leaves (ask for ‘lime leaf’, ‘la chanh’, in the shop), then tossed with a spicy dressing of fish sauce, lime juice, garlic and chilies. Arrange the meat on a bed of lettuce and serve it as part of a meal with rice.

INGREDIENTS: 1 lb (500g) roast, grilled or barbecued beef, preferably med-rare, cut into thin slices 2 in (5cm) in length, 1 stalk lemongrass, tender inner part of bottom third only, very thinly sliced, 4 shallots, thinly sliced, 1 tablespoon minced fresh coriander leaves (cilantro), 2 tablespoons mint leaves, coarsely torn, 4 kaffir lime leaves, very finely shredded, 6-8 lettuce leaves, washed and dried, 1 firm ripe tomato, sliced, cucumber slices, 4 sprigs of mint 
Sauce: 2 cloves garlic, minced, 2 red-finger chilies, sliced, 1 tablespoon sugar, ¼ cup (60ml) lime juice, 2 tablespoons fish sauce

METHOD: 1. Put the beef in a bowl. Add the lemongrass, shallots, coriander leaves, mint and kaffir lime leaves. Toss to mix well. 2. Prepare the Sauce by blending the garlic, chilies and sugar in a spice grinder, adding a little of the lime juice if needed to keep the blades turning. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the lime juice and fish sauce. 3. Pour the Sauce over the beef and herbs, mix well. Cover with the plastic wrap and leave to marinate for 10 minutes. 4. Line a serving plate with the lettuce leaves put the beef (at room temperature, not chilled) on top and surround with the tomato and cucumber slices. Garnish with mint sprigs and serve.

Recipe from Southeast Asia’s Best Recipes from Bangkok to Bali by Wendy Hutton
NF: recipe no.

I could eat tofu all day long, especially due to the fact that it is good for you and even better when it is cooked with lemongrass. The trick is to find the right consistency of tofu. It must be firm or you will have a holy mess on your hands. Just the scent of lemongrass will have you loving this dish...if you like tofu. :)

Serves 4-6

NOTE: Firm tofu is ideal for this recipe because it can be crusted and handled without breaking apart.

INGREDIENTS: 450 g (1lb) firm tofu, 1 lemongrass stem, white part only, finely chopped, 1 bird’s eye chilli, finely chopped, 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic, 1 teaspoon sugar, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 3 coriander (cilantro) sprigs

METHOD: Drain the tofu and slice 5 x 10cm (2 x 4 inches) pieces, then pat dry with paper towel. Leave the tofu on the chopping board or transfer to a tray. In a bowl, combine the lemongrass, chilli, garlic, sugar, 1-teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Mix all ingredients together, then coat both sides of the tofu with the mixture. Heat a large frying pan over medium-heat. Add the oil and pan-fry each side of the tofu for 3 minutes, or until browned and crisp. Garnish with coriander sprigs and serve with jasmine rice.

Recipe from Songs of Sapa by Luke Nguyen,  
NF: recipe no. 5

Photo by Jeanne Henriques


  1. I am so making this recipe! It has everything we love, fresh herbs and flavor! Uh Jeanne, we live in Peterborough! What road is your farm house on maybe I can get some pictures for you to see, how fun would that be. You can find my email from my blog through the pillows button at the top oof the page, email me and I'll get you some snow pictures!


  2. Those recipes sound so delish. I am definitely going to try them as I have most of the ingredients already. I can practically smell the fresh herbs in your photo. So healthy.

  3. My family will love these recipes! Thanks so much for sharing, Jeanne. Wondering when you'll be back stateside. Melissa


  4. BHMT Ltd is committed to provide our customers with the freshest, locally grown produce at supermarket prices.

    healthy rice