As summer arrives, we turn our thoughts to dishing up light and refreshing lunches. Suitably fitting our culinary desires to the T is this new Asian salad that beautifully marries the flavours of China with South East Asia’s, especially when it is harmoniously accompanied by a thirst quenching cider or a nicely chilled rosé.
600 g chuck tender, thinly sliced
160 g dried vermicelli, soaked in boiling water till tender, then drained, cooled and cut into manageable lengths
12 shallots, peeled, thinly sliced horizontally and rings separated
2 small carrots, coarsely shredded
180 g red capsicum, julienned
80 g sweet bean pods, diagonally sliced thinly
50 g fresh coriander, using only the leaves
30 g koo chye1, julienned
80 g di huang miao2, using only the leaves
Fried shallot crisps3
Extra virgin olive oil for stir-frying
For the beef marinade:
4 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp honey
4 cm piece ginger, finely grated
½ tsp chilli powder
For the salad dressing:
12 calamansi limes4, juiced
4 tbsp chilli sauce5
6 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp honey
3 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp sesame seeds, dry toasted
1. A fresh Asian garlic chive that tastes more of mild garlic then chive. Can be substituted with chives.
2. Also called Malabar spinach, this fresh Asian vegetable can be substituted with lots of fresh basil leaves and a sprinkling of fresh mint leaves.
4. These are small thin-skin limes with very yellow juice and are used in South East Asian cooking. Can be substituted with limes: the juice of 2½ calamasi limes is approximately equal to that yielded by 1 lime.
5. Unique to Singapore and Malaysia, this sauce contains sugar, chilli, vinegar, tomato paste, salt and spices. Avoid substituting with chilli sauces that contain garlic or ginger, and no sugar.
1 to 5. These are available at Asian grocers.
- Marinate the beef for at least 2 hours.
- In 3 separate batches, stir fry the beef in olive oil till the slices are just cooked through. Set aside to cool.
- Toss together the shallots, carrots, capsicum, sweet bean pods, coriander, koo chye and di huang miao until the vegetables are well mixed.
- In 3 batches, add the cooled vermicelli to the vegetable mix; tossing well each time.
- Toss the vermicelli and vegetable mix in the salad dressing.
- Toss the cooled beef in the dressed vermicelli and vegetable mix.
- Serve cold, generously garnished with fried shallot crisps.
Serves 4 to 5