Vietnamese Style Beef and Rice Noodle Salad
I love a one dish, cold entree for hot summer nights, and this beef and noodle salad is spot on. The original recipe came from The NY Times cooking site, but I adapted it for what I had on hand, which you should always feel free to do. The dressing has just the right amount of kick to it, thanks to the jalapeño, and the nuts give a nice crunch with every bite.
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ¼ cup fish sauce
- Juice of 1 lemon or lime (I only had lemon on hand)
- 4 ounces (about ½ package) thin rice sticks, soaked and drained according to pack directions
- 3 tablespoons peanut oil
- 1 large handful of fresh mint leaves
- 1 large handful of fresh basil leaves
- 1 head of radicchio, thinly sliced
- 1 cup of cucumber slices
- 6 to 8 ounces of thinly sliced cooked steak
- ½ cup shelled pistachios (or peanuts if you prefer)
- Combine the garlic, jalapeño, sugar, fish sauce and lemon/lime juice in a blender and blend until smooth. Toss the rehydrated rice noodles with desired amount of the dressing and set aside.
- Combine the peanut oil with the rest of the dressing and shake well to emulsify. Combine the mint, basil, and radicchio in a medium bowl and toss with desired amount of the dressing. Arrange the salad on a large platter. Top the salad with the dressed rice noodles, and layer the slices of steak on top of the noodles. If desired, pour just a bit more dressing over the steak.
- Spread the cucumber slices alone each side of the salad, then sprinkle the nuts over the entire platter. Serve cold.