Beef Salad

Beef Salad

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We had a couple of friends and their daughter over for dinner last weekend and my menu as follows:

Beef salad – Seared basil-marinated sirloin steak, round beans, carrots, tomatoes and Lebanese cucumber with mild sweet & sour dressing
Asian curry – Boneless chicken thigh with capsicums, potato chunks, carrot strips and creamy coconut milk cooked with fresh spices
Chicken rice – flavorful rice cooked with chicken stock
Leche flan

Beef salad

I have posted several versions of curry before so I would like to share my recipe of the salad this time. Served as our lunch today with plain rice.

Beef sirloin steak
2 to 3 tbsp finely chopped garlic
2 to 3 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander (or basil)
Freshly ground pepper
Olive oil
A handful of round green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-1/2 inch lengths
2 medium-sized tomatoes, deseeded and diced
1 medium length Lebanese cucumber, sliced into rings
Carrots, peeled and sliced into rings (or ‘prettify’ like flowers as shown)
Spring onion, cut into ringlets

2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp brown sugar
(2 tsp chopped chilli, optional)

Combine garlic, chopped coriander, salt and pepper. Spread mixture evenly over steak and marinate for at least 15 minutes (or while preparing the other ingredients).

Heat oil in a non-stick pan over high heat. Fry steak for about 4 to 5 minutes on each side with lid closed. Transfer steak to a cutting board and allow to cool.

Blanch beans and carrots together and drain. Mix cooked vegetables with cucumbers and tomatoes in a bowl.

Combine fish sauce, soy sauce, lime juice and sugar in a bowl until sugar has dissolved. Pour over vegetables and mix carefully. Transfer into a serving platter.

Cut cooled steak into thin trips. Microwave for 10 to 15 seconds and arrange steak over vegetables. Sprinkle spring onion over the top and serve.

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I am not a professional cook. My only claim to having a culinary background is a short stint as my dad’s teen ‘sous chef’ in his carinderia ages ago. Dad ran small eateries since I was a young kid - serving standard ‘turo-turo’ food ranging from the likes of menudo, adobo, pritong isda, dinuguan, binagoongan, bopis, munggo, pinakbet and giniling to merienda fares like goto, ginataan, pancit bihon, halu-halo and saging con yelo.

My father, a farmer in his hometown before working his way to becoming an accountant, definitely influenced my cooking in a lot of ways than I thought. My siblings and I were raised in a backyard full of fruit trees and vegetable garden. We spent weekends and the summer breaks running around with ducks, chickens, goats and pigs. I had wonderful memories of gathering eggs, butchering chickens, selling vegetables and the sweet aroma of preserved fruits. But my love for art led me to a degree in Architecture. Just few months after getting my license, I went abroad and lived independently at age 23. Definitely no maid, no cook, and a totally different food culture. Along the way I met lots of friends and spent what seemed a lifetime learning new tricks and recipes.

Now living in Auckland, I am a work-from-home mum who juggles time between work, fun and family - in pursuit of work-life balance. No matter how busy I am, I love the idea of cooking for my family. My blog chronicles home cooking greatly influenced by life outside my home country from Southeast Asia to Beijing and Auckland. And most of the time, being busy also means easy (sometimes quick), affordable meals.

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