I don’t know about you guys, but around here we take a long time to eat one flank steak.This is because as much as we love (and I do mean love) grilled red meat, to us flank steak just begs to be served in salads or in tacos, both of which tend to reduce our actual consumption of the meat—never a bad thing of course.The only problem is that you can get kind of tired eating the same meal night after night, in an attempt to not waste that steak.So I like to come up with more than one salad to serve with the flank steak.This flank steak actually stretched us several nights while John was gone.
Both preparations are S.E. Asian in origin.The first is a basic bun thit, which I have shared with you before.You can find the basic recipe here.In deference to the season, I added blanched snow pea pods and grilled Vidalia onions—both of which were very tasty.The second recipe is a bit less traditional, a red cargo rice salad.Red Cargo rice is a brown rice from S.E. Asia, usually imported fromVietnam orThailand (Himalayan red rice works also—it is very similar).It is a long grain brown rice and if you cannot find it the only substitute which feels right to me is (oddly) sweet black rice fromThailand.But take that with a grain of salt since I don’t care for most brown rices but I do really like Red Cargo rice.I considered cooking it with stock, but really I wanted it to be salty and sour, in which case I figured why not go straight for some of the ingredients that make S.E. Asian food salty and sour—fish sauce and lime juice.I think it worked pretty well—but the salad does need an extra spritz of lime juice right before serving it.
In the case of both salads, the veggies can be whatever you want: green onions, sliced sweet bell pepper, pea pods, tomatoes, cucumbers, shredded cabbage or other greens, etc.
One note about the steak itself—anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE my steak VERY rare—bleu in fact.This steak was sadly very uneven, and I sliced the thin end first, forgetting that I was taking photos that night (the thick end was beautifully pink).So I personally think you should aim for your meat to be a bit more rare than it looks in these photos.
1 flank steak
1 TSuperiorDark Soy Sauce
1 T fish sauce
1 T brown sugar
1 stalk lemongrass, zested about 1 inch up
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 t lime juice
Combine all ingredients and place into sealed bag or container.Let marinate for up to 6 hours, turning occasionally.
Thinly sliced (against the grain) flank steak
Veggies of choice
On a whim I grilled sweet Vidalia onions also and added them to the salad and it was wonderful.
Assemble the salad, placing the salad on the bottom, next the rice vermicelli, and finishing with the grilled flank steak and grilled onions. Dress with nuoc cham.
S.E. Asian Red Cargo Rice Salad
2 kaffir lime leaves, sliced into wide slivers (wide enough to fish out later)
1 lemon grass stalk, bruised
1 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 inch piece fresh root ginger, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1½ t coriander seeds
1½ t cumin seeds
2 T fish sauce
1 T granulated sugar
Juice of one whole lime
*Cold water to fill to 3 ¼ cups level
4 T chopped fresh cilantro (coriander)
Scallions (spring onion) green and toasted coconut strips, to garnish
Salad veggies of choice (I liked cucumber, sweet bell pepper and grape tomatoes)
Lime wedges, to serve
Rinse the rice in plenty of cold water until the water runs clear. Tip it into a sieve (strainer) and drain thoroughly. Heat the oil in a large, heavy sauce pan. Add the onion, ginger, cilantro and cumin seeds, lemon grass and kaffir lime leaves and cook over a low heat for 2-3 minutes.
Take a liquid measuring cup measuring at least 4 cups.Place the fish sauce, sugar and lime juice into the measuring cup.Then fill it with cold water to the 3 ¼ cups measuring line.
Add the rice to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute, then pour in the liquid mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to very low and cover the pan. Cook gently for 35 minutes, then check the rice. If it is still crunchy, cover the pan and cook for 3-5 minutes more. Remove from the heat.
Stir in the fresh cilantro, fluff up the rice grains with a fork, cover the pan and leave to stand for 10 minutes. Transfer to a warmed dish, garnish with scallions and salad veggies of choice, and serve with sliced flank steak and lime wedges.