Tell me what you eat, I’ll tell you who you are. Anthelme Brillat-Savarin.
Ooooh … spooky! But how does he cope when all who have visited Koh Samui start cooking Thai-style as soon as they get home? Thai cuisine is one of the tastiest in the world, and mastering some of the basics will set you up for quick family suppers or sumptuous dinner party fare.
And here’s a very quick and easy one for a summer lunch or supper:
Thai Waterfall Beef Salad
Ingredients for 2 people:
2-3 steaks – sirloin, or fillet – depending on their size and how much meat you want
Salad greens – rocket, lambs ear, cos, romaine, little gem: whatever you like – torn to bite size
Bean sprouts – one packet
1 cup fresh papaya, cut into small cubes
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
A few leaves of basil
2 Tbs oyster sauce
2 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs lime or lemon juice
2 Tbs brown sugar
1 cup fresh coriander, stalks removed, chopped
2 Tbs fish sauce (can be omitted if you can’t find it in your supermarket / Asian store. It adds some saltiness to the salad)
3 Tbs lime or lemon juice
1.5 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs ground peanuts
1 Tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tsp brown sugar
1. Make the marinade first: mix all the ingredients together making sure the sugar is dissolved. Then put the marinade and the steaks in a new plastic bag or tight seal container, seal, give it a shake, leave in the fridge.
2. Then make the dressing: as with the marinade, mix all the ingredients together, making sure the sugar is dissolved, leave in a bowl or clean, small salad-dressing bottle.
3. Get the salad ready.
4. Grill or griddle the steaks, turning just once. The steaks should be well sealed to keep their juices in, but still pink in the middle.
5. When done, slice very thinly.
6. Place salad on plates with the steak on top.
If you eat this in a Thai restaurant, the salad will already be dressed. I prefer to leave it for people to add themselves.
And why is it called Waterfall Beef Salad? Because of the noise of the meat juices hitting the hot grill. Of course, if you do the grilling inside your oven, you may just have to imagine that!