Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Favorite Asian Dishes


When I turned on Martha today much to my surprise she was cooking up a meal that my oldest son Ben and I love to have at a local Pho Vietnamese restaurant. It has a wonderful unique flavor that we both love and crave every now and again. I am going to try this recipe - using grass fed beef instead (need that Omega 3 balance) - and see how it holds up against our favorite.

Lemongrass Beef Skewers
Serves 4
3 lemongrass stalks, bottom 4 inches only, minced
3 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons fish sauce (you can buy this at an Asian Market)
light-brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound boneless sirloin, trimmed of excess fat
1/4 cup roasted salted peanuts (about 1 ounce), crushed
1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced on the diagonal (optional)
Fresh mint and basil sprigs, for serving
Bibb or Boston lettuce leaves, for serving
Lime wedges, for squeezing
Soak 8 bamboo skewers in cold water for 30 minutes.
Whisk together lemongrass, fish sauce, sugar, garlic, and oil. Slice beef very thinly against the grain. Add to marinade, and toss. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.
Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Thread beef onto skewers. Grill until browned, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to a platter, tent with foil, and let rest 5 minutes. Sprinkle with peanuts. Serve with the remaining ingredients on the side, bundling the meat, cucumber, and herbs inside the lettuce leaves if desired.

Rice Noodles with Scallions and Herbs
Serves 4
8 ounces rice vermicelli
1/4 cup fish sauce
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 2 to 3 limes)
2 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
1 teaspoon sliced fresh red chile, preferable Thai bird chile
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, minced
4 scallions, dark-green parts only, thinly sliced
3 large leaves Boston or Bibb lettuce, very thinly sliced
1 medium carrot, julienned
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, torn into small pieces
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook vermicelli, stirring occasionally, until tender but not mushy, about 4 minutes. Drain, then rinse with cold water. Let vermicelli drain in colander for 30 minutes, tossing occasionally.
In a medium bowl, combine 1/2 cup water, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, and chile; set sauce aside.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and scallions, and cook for 10 seconds. Remove from heat.
Toss scallion mixture with noodles in a serving bowl. Add lettuce, carrot, and herbs; toss to combine. Serve with sauce on the side.


Suzanne said...

Oh Sabina, these dishes sound so wonderful. The Farmer is out of town right now but when he comes back I'm going to ask him to bring some lemongrass home. (He's the CFO and General Manager for one of the countries biggest fresh herb producers in the country).

My family will actually eat anything on a stick.

- Suzanne, the Farmer's Wife

Krissy said...

this sounds amazing! I will have to give it a try :) thanks for the recipe.

Liz said...

There was a little Vietnamese restaraunt across the street from where I work, but it's changed hands and no longer the 'authentic' food the original family prepared. I'm so,so sad. But hey! Maybe I can learn to make my own. :)

Glenda~Many Fond Memories said...

Oh Yum

I love lemongrass. I like it a soup it's so refreshing to eat. In Thai restaurants, I look for what dish has it, and without a doubt I order the dish.

I makes my mouth water to look at the picture.

As always, you have great recipes and ideas.


M.Kate said...

Sabina, I love the first 2 pictures!!

OK, those beef on skewers are known as satay here, a very famous local and indonesian dish. We have them in chicken and lamb too, it's everyone's favourite. I wish I could tell you if the recipe's the same but I dont know. You make me hungry already :) happy weekend my friend

Sabina said...

Hi Mary Kate,

That's interesting - thanks for mentioning the chicken and lamb - since I think it would taste great with both. I can't wait to try out this recipe and see if it is indeed the same!!

Fifi Flowers said...

sounds yummy... love the table setting!

Beadsme said...

Mmmm this sounds delicious.

Lisa said...

Everything on your site looks so delicious. You have selected really great photos to share.

I'm also going to go out and get that Domino issue so I can see that beautiful home up close.

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