Thursday, August 12, 2010
Thai Beef in Lettuce Wraps and Gado Gado Salad with Peanut Sauce
My schedule has been very busy for the past weeks and I do apologize to all my foodie friends. I know, I know I am behind in my blog reading (sigh). I will try my best to keep up with them. (with a very apologetic face)
It’s nice to be back to my regular routine after being occupied to so many things. So first thing I did, I went down to the ocean walked there for a little bit (too much fog, this is the kind of summer we have here in Pacifica, we’re used to it) then I headed on and ran some errands and on to the market for some shopping. I want to make a vegetarian dish although I already planned to prepare some meat dish so husband, son and I will enjoy whatever I prepare. All I know is I’m leaning towards Asian flavor because I already made some peanut sauce (I thought about making some fresh imperial rolls, but changed my mind), and I also made some sweet chili sauce for the marinated flank steak.
The marinated flank steak was grilled, sliced and served on top of iceberg lettuce, boiled bean thread noodles and some shredded carrots and diced cucumber, bean sprouts, some chopped cilantro and green onion and drizzle them with sweet chili sauce.
I made my own sweet chili sauce, because the market that I go to sells Thai bird chili in small bags, there’s about a quarter of a pound (or maybe a little bit less) of chili in each bags and they’re cheap too. The chili sauce can be refrigerated for at least a month. They’re good with fried or grilled chicken, grilled pork and beef or even grilled fish and vegetables. If you don’t have time to make your own chili sauce, you can buy them in Asian markets.
Then I remembered the Gado Gado Salad that I had in a restaurant in San Francisco.
Gado Gado is a traditional dish in Indonesian cuisine, and is a vegetable salad served with peanut sauce dressing, eaten as a main dish. The exact composition of the vegetable salad varies, but usually comprises some form of mixture of blanched - shredded, chopped, or sliced vegetables such as cabbage, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, sugar snap peas, uncooked/sliced cucumber, lettuce and bean sprouts, fried tofu, sliced boiled potatoes and peeled and sliced boiled eggs. The authentic gado gado does not have carrots and tomatoes.
What distinguishes gado-gado from a plain vegetable salad is the peanut sauce dressing, which is poured on top of the vegetables and should be well coated in the sauce before serving. But I prefer to serve the dressing on the side instead. Although husband and son poured the dressing on top of their vegetable salad and really enjoyed them as much as they enjoyed the beef in lettuce wraps.
I still have some peanut sauce left over maybe I’ll make those fresh imperial rolls, if I don’t change my mind again. (wink)
Thai Beef in Lettuce Wraps
1 ½ lb. beef flank steak
¼ cup soy sauce
1 lime juiced
¼ cup rice vinegar unseasoned
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon sesame seed oil
½ teaspoon each kosher salt and ground pepper
Marinate beef with the rest of the ingredients and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.
Grill beef seven minutes each side for medium well or 10 minutes each side for well done. Thinly slice meat against the grain.
Serve grilled beef with:
1 head of iceberg lettuce
12 ounces bean thread or cellophane noodles
1 medium carrot shredded
1 medium cucumber diced
2 cups bean sprouts
¼ cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup chopped green onion
In boiling water, place noodles and cook them for five minutes, drain and rinse with cold water, set aside. Separate lettuce leaves, be careful not to tear them, wash them with cold water and dry them with paper towels, can be refrigerated until ready to assemble.
To assemble: Take one lettuce leaf, place some cold noodles, top with shredded carrots, diced cucumber, bean sprouts, chopped cilantro and green onion, then top with the sliced beef and drizzle some sweet chili sauce.
Sweet Chili Sauce
Makes 1 cup
½ cup rice vinegar
½ cup white sugar
5 pieces of Thai bird chili, or more if preferred, preferably the red ones minced
3 cloves garlic minced
3 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 4 tablespoon water
In a sauce pan or a small pot combine all ingredients except the cornstarch dissolved in water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, let it cook for another 10 minutes then add the cornstarch, stir until sauce thickens. Let it cool before serving.
This is the sweet chili sauce, I know, it looks like orange juice.
Gado Gado Salad
5 red potatoes
10 ounces green beans
10 ounces sugar snap peas
1 small head cauliflower cut in florets
1 small crown broccoli cut in florets
1 block (12 oz) firm tofu
3 tablespoons canola oil you may need more
2 cups bean sprouts
3 large hard boiled eggs sliced
For the tofu: Sliced the block of tofu in 4 squares. Wrap each square with paper towel. Place a baking sheet on top of the tofu and weigh it down with a 28-ounce can of tomatoes for one hour. Remove sliced tofu from the paper towel. In a non-stick pan heat the canola oil over medium high heat and pan fry tofu until brown on each side, then cut fried tofu into squares.
In a pot with salted water, boil peeled potatoes until tender, drain, sliced and set aside.
In another pot with salted boiling water, blanch sugar snap peas, cauliflower, broccoli, green beans, drain in ice cold water for five minutes then drain.
In a platter, arranged all the vegetables, tofu, potatoes, bean sprouts, and eggs pour the peanut sauce on top and coat the vegetables well or if prefer the peanut sauce can be served on the side.
Makes 2 cups
½ cup low sodium chicken stock
½ cup coconut milk
1 ½ cups creamy peanut butter
1 lime juiced
2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 clove garlic chopped
1 tablespoon ginger chopped
1 teaspoon pepper flakes
¼ cup chopped cilantro
In a food processor, puree the chicken stock, coconut milk, lime juice, soy sauce, fish sauce, hot sauce, chopped garlic, and ginger. Add the peanut butter and pulse to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Bring sauce to room temperature and fold in chopped cilantro before serving. Sauce is good for five days refrigerated.