I love south east asian salads. They are a feast for your eyes and your taste buds. The range of flavours is diverse and so hard to get right sometimes. The pay off is worth it though and this particular dish is no exception. It is now a family favourite and lends itself well to any communal meal.
I have shown my timing preferences below for serving the salad with warm beef slices. Of course, if you prefer cold meat in this dish, you can make them in any order and well ahead of time. Oh and don’t forget to bring your steaks out of the fridge a little earlier so they are approaching room temperature as they go in the frypan.
- Make the Nam jim dressing
- Roast the rice
- Gather the salad ingredients
- Cook the beef steaks
- Serving Suggestions
You will need:
- Nam jim Ingredients (repeated here for your shopping list):
- 1 tsp powdered kashmiri chilli
- 5 coriander roots (cilantro)
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2.5cm piece fresh ginger root
- 3 Tbsp fish sauce
- 3 Tbsp lime juice
- 1 Tbsp palm sugar
- Roasted Rice Ingredients
- 100g of basmati or jasmine rice
- 1 Tbsp of rock sea salt
- Salad Ingredients
- several large cabbage leaves (1 per person)
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves
- 1 handful of coriander leaves and stems
- 1/2 large red capsicum
- 1/3 of a burpless cucumber
- 1 red shallot
- 1 spring onion
- 6 cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 1 handful of mint leaves
- 1 medium carrot
- 1 handful of snow peas
- your favourite fresh chilis (optional)
- unsalted peanuts to taste (optional)
- Steak Ingredients
- small eye fillet steaks (1 per person)
- ground black pepper to taste
- table salt to taste
- kecap manis or soy sauce (optional)
- an oven tray
- a mortar and pestle
- a chopping board
- a small serving bowl for the roasted rice
- a large salad bowl
- a large frypan
Make the Nam jim dressing
- Make the Nam Jim dressing as per PK’s Favourite Nam Jim Dressing.
Roast the rice
- Pre-heat your oven to 200° C.
- Spread the rice grains across an oven tray and cook for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool.
- Grind 1 Tbsp of rock sea salt in a mortar and pestle.
- Add the cooled roasted rice grains to the mortar and pestle and grind to your desired consistency. I personally like the result to be variably granulated and not fully powdered.
- Add to a small serving bowl.
Gather the salad ingredients
- Wash and dry all of the vegetables.
- Put the cabbage leaves aside as you won’t need them until serving time.
- Keep the 1 cup of bean sprouts aside for the same reason
- Slice and then
- To a large salad bowl add:
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves
- 1 handful of hand torn coriander leaves and stems
- 1/2 red capsicum fine sliced (deseeded and pith removed)
- 1/3 of a burpless cucumber sliced and quartered
- 1 shallot fine sliced
- 1 spring onion fine sliced
- 6 halved cherry tomatoes
- 1 handful of hand torn mint leaves
- 1 medium carrot fine sliced (I use a potato peeler to make thin strips)
- 1 handful of hand torn snow peas (chop the ends off each first.
Cook the beef steaks
- Preheat your frypan and add a splash of olive oil. You could barbecue them outside of course but I prefer a frypan when cooking eye fillet steaks.
- Cook the eye fillet steaks to medium rare and allow them to rest, optionally adding a bit of kecap manis or soy sauce at this point.
- Thinly slice the cooked steaks.
- Place a whole cabbage leaf on each plate.
- Fill to the brim with the salad ingredients.
- Add the beef slices.
- Throw some bean sprouts over the top.
- Serve to the table and let each person add as much or as little of the roasted rice and Nam jim dressing as they like.
- Have sliced fresh chillis and unsalted peanuts on the table for just the same reason.