I love Asian flavours, but I don’t have a lot of experience cooking Asian food. So when I do, I keep it simple – like this Asian warm beef salad. It’s easy to toss together, looks impressive and is full of flavour. It can be adapted to use whatever’s on hand (leftover roast beef or steak for example), and any combination of Asian herbs works well. Taking the beef out of the fridge an hour or more before you cook it is key to getting the best results – it should be room temperature all the way through before going into the pan. I love a light merlot with this, like the one from Gentle Folk in the Adelaide Hills – made from only free run juice and aged in old French oak, it’s soft and elegant, with just enough fruit to work with the chilli and sugar in the dressing.
- 500g beef eye fillet
- Vegetable oil, for rubbing
- Salt flakes, to taste
- 1 oak leaf or coral lettuce
- 250g baby Roma tomatoes, quartered
- 1 small red onion, halved and finely sliced
- 8 green onions, sliced
- ½ cup Thai basil leaves
- ½ cup coriander leaves
- ¼ cup finely sliced shiso leaves
- ¼ cup Vietnamese mint leaves
- ¼ cup mint leaves
- ½ cup deep-fried shallots
- Steamed jasmine rice, for serving
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup lime juice
- 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
- 2 teaspoons sambal oelek
- ¼ cup chilli jam
- 1 kaffir lime, zest grated, juiced
- 1 tablespoon castor sugar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- Remove meat from the fridge at least 1 hour before cooking to allow it to come to room temperature. Cut into 3cm thick slices and rub with oil.
- Make Asian Dressing: combine all Ingredients; adjust to your taste with a little more sugar, soy, lime juice or chilli if you like. Set aside.
- Heat a char-grill pan over high heat until it’s very hot.
- Add meat, sprinkle well with salt and cook for 3 minutes or so, until well coloured. Turn, salt the other side and cook for a further 2 minutes or so, until well coloured.
- Remove from pan and set aside to rest in a warm place for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, line a serving platter with the smaller lettuce leaves, shred the remaining lettuce and spread it on top.
- Cut meat into thin slices, toss with half the Asian Dressing, adding any meat juices, and set aside.
- Combine tomatoes, red and green onions, basil, coriander, shiso, Vietnamese mint and mint with remaining Asian Dressing.
- Spread half the tomato mixture over the lettuce, arrange beef on top, then add remaining tomato mixture.
- Sprinkle with deep-fried shallots and serve with rice.