Disclosure: I did not receive compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.
I recently posted about the lemongrass (sometimes spelled lemon grass) bushes in the front yard. It’s just about time to trim the tops again. I’d always used these stalks for cooking, so I’d never had to buy them. Katie made a comment about buying stuff in a tube – I had no idea that’s how it was sold! I’m not even sure how easy was to find in a store. So when I discovered that Gourmet Garden made a lemon grass paste, I was thrilled. I wanted to see how it compared. It had that same lemony fragrance, and tasted exactly like the fresh stuff when used in recipes. The tube says to use the paste in equal amounts to fresh lemongrass. If you’re trying to convert to stalks of lemongrass, I guesstimate ~2 tsp. paste = 1 stalk minced lemongrass.
This dish is on frequent rotation at our house. It’s one of our go-to recipes for a quick, healthy meal. Even Tyler likes to eat the beef, although I still can’t get him to try any of the vegetables. The nuoc cham dressing is strong, so a little goes a long way.
Today is the last day to enter the Flavors of Summer
giveaway. The prize pack includes a $50 Visa gift card and a copy of Summer Thyme by Jennifer Dempsey. Check out the recipes she made for S’mores Blondies – yum! Go here to enter the giveaway. Winners will be announced during a PinChat Live tomorrow, July 3rd.
adapted from Savoring Southeast Asia, by Fuschia Dunlop
- For the beef: divide steak along the grain into hunks about 2 inches wide. Slice each hunk thinly across the grain. In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon grass paste, half the garlic, fish sauce, sugar, and black pepper. Add the beef and mix to coat all the pieces. Cover and chill for 1 hour.
- For the salad: while the beef is marinating, prepare the rice vermicelli. Place dried noodles in boiling water and cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat, cover pot, and let noodles sit for another 5-7 minutes, until noodles are soft. Drain noodles to a colander and rinse with cold water. Let drain until ready to serve.
- Prepare other salad ingredients and the nuoc cham while meat continues to marinate.
- Remove beef from the refrigerator; pat dry with paper towels. In a wok over medium-high heat, add 1 Tbs of the oil and heat until shimmering. Add the garlic and stir fry for 30 seconds. Add the onion and stir fry until onions brown around the edges, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer garlic and onion from the wok to a plate. Add 1 more tablespoon of oil, and turn heat up to high. Spread half the beef in an even layer on the bottom of the wok. Cook until browned on one side, about 2 minutes. Flip beef pieces over and complete cooking, another 1-2 minutes. Transfer beef to the plate with the onions. Repeat with remaining oil and beef.
- To assemble the salad: divide noodles into a bowl. Top with lettuce, carrots, cucumber, and beef. Garnish with cilantro and mint. Serve with nuoc cham.
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