This recipe is inspired by the tasty Vietnamese classic Bò Lúc Lac, or ‘shaking beef’. The beef and marinade are traditional, and here I have paired the watercress salad with some bitter and peppery rocket and delightfully sweet blush pears, and dressed it all with a tangy balsamic sauce.
Prep time: 20 minutes, plus marinating time
Cook time: 20 minutes
2 rib-eye steaks, each about 300g
½ tsp vegetable oil
100g watercress leaves
90g rocket leaves
1 red onion, thinly sliced lengthways
2 blush pears (as firm as possible), thinly sliced
For the marinade
2 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp fish sauce
4 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp chilli paste
2 tsp garlic paste
4 tsp oyster sauce
60ml sweet chilli sauce
20ml lime juice
For the dressing
60ml olive oil
1 tsp red chilli paste
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp caster sugar
60ml balsamic vinegar
20ml light soy sauce
3 coriander stems, leaves and stems finely chopped
Put the steaks into a bowl along with all the marinade ingredients plus 2 tsp ground black pepper and massage well, ensuring they are fully covered. Cover and leave in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour or, for best results, 3 hours, taking them out to room temperature 30 minutes before cooking.
Wipe off as much of the marinade (reserve it) as possible and set aside. Add the oil to a medium frying pan over a high heat. When hot, add the marinated steaks and toss for 1 minute until medium-rare. Take off the heat and leave to rest.
Put all the dressing ingredients into a small bowl, mix together well and set aside.
Once rested, slice the steaks into strips.
Gently toss the watercress and rocket leaves together, then place on a large serving plate. Add the onion and pears on top,
then pour over the dressing, according to taste.
Add the reserved marinade to a pan over a medium heat for 1 minute to warm through. Place the steak on top of the salad and drizzle over the marinade to finish.
Recipe from Vietnamese Made Easy by Thuy Diem Pham (£22, Quadrille)