One of my favourite dishes in Perth’s Viet Hoa is the beef skewers with wine and herbs. It took me a while to find a marinade that recreated them perfectly, but here it is:
750g beef fillet
3 cloves garlic crushed
1 stalk lemon grass
1 small red chilli finely chopped
1 teaspoon caster sugar (brown is better)
1 tablespoon fish sauce (get vietnamese nuoc mam if you can)
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Put the beef in the freezer while you make the marinade.
You can chop the lemon grass if you like, but I prefer to slice the very end off, so you can see the white middle, and cut long slits down the length of the stalk, but leaving about an inch intact at the top. Then you can bash the bulbous bottom end with a mallet or a flat heavy knife to release the flavour, but the stalk remains in one piece that you can remove it easily at the end of marinading or cooking.
Mix all of the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl.
Slice the beef very thinly and marinate for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight (cover the bowl with cling film).
Thread the beef onto skewers and cook on a hot barbecue or griddle. If you like you can sprinkle them with sesame seeds before cooking, and serve with coriander leaves.
I made this dish after being totally inspired by the black bean beef dish served by Peach Garden at Singapore’s Changi airport (terminal 1). This simple dish was possibly the best meal at an airport that I have ever tasted, and I came home ready to make my own version. Sadly Peach Garden is no longer at Changi, but they do have several branches around Singapore.
I added mushrooms to my version and used both red and green capsicum peppers. It
wasn’t quite as perfect as the Peach Garden version, but it was definitely very very tasty and I will be making it again. The dish is very quick to make once that you have your prep done, so get everything ready first, make sure your rice is nearly ready, and then create your lovely beef dish. I have tried to keep the salt to a minimum because the light soy and the black bean sauce will have salt in them already – but please taste before serving and adjust the seasoning.
This recipe serves two with lots of nice sauce:
Approx 250 – 300g of good rump steak trimmed and cut into thin strips (I bought a 350g pack, but trimmed all of the fat off)
Half a tablespoon of cornflour
1 tablespoon of shao xing rice wine (widely available in asian shops, but you can substitute with sherry)
1 tablespoon of light soy sauce
Half a large red capsicum
Half a large green capsicum
One medium onion
2-3 large brown mushrooms
2 garlic cloves
4 cm root ginger grated
4 tablespoons black bean sauce
2 teaspoons sugar (preferably brown)
80mls chicken stock (try to use low salt variety)
Half a teaspoon of sesame oil
1. Mix together the cornflour, shao xing rice wine and light soy sauce in a bowl. Marinate the beef in this mixture for at least 10 minutes, but up to half an hour if you are organised.
2. Cut the onion and capsicums into bite sized chunks. Slice the mushrooms.
3. Make the sauce by mixing the stock, sesame oil, black bean sauce and sugar.
4. Fry the beef quickly in a few tablespoons of peanut or sunflower oil to brown it – just a few minutes. Remove the beef and keep it nearby on a plate.
5. Now put the onion, garlic, and ginger in the pan and stir fry for a few minutes. Add the capsisums and mushrooms and continue to stir fry over a fairly high heat for another 4-5 minutes.
6. Now add the sauce and the beef to the pan and stir fry for a further 3 minutes to heat through. Season to taste.
7. Serve with boiled or fried rice. You can garnish the beef with sliced spring onions if you like.
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