I’m back. Not that I was too far away. I’ve been working behind the scenes, adjusting, improving, and to be honest, obsessing just a bit. This blog started as a way to document my Pho making attempts, scribbled on the back of my electricity bill way back when. I didn’t intend for anything to be public and for the recipes to be used by other people. They are now – it’s a bit scary. A year and a half later, I have hundreds of visits per day (a far, far cry from the more popular blogs – but this is still a lot to me) Imagine the kicks I get when I see my humble chorizo stew discussed by Aussies on a faraway cooking forum. Crazy!!! Now to the fun part – Beef in Lime and Lemongrass Marinade —> shall we?
My Beef in Lime and Lemongrass Marinade is made from tender marinaded beef with strong citrus flavors and a sauce to match. It’s is a very quick dish, so have the table set and everything ready prior to cooking – it will only take a couple of minutes to cook. First, remove and discard the tough outer layers from lemongrass. Using a heavy cleaver, dice the inner stalk. It will take a couple of minutes – but you’ll feel like a masterchef. Then, make the marinade. It will be a mixture of lime zest and juice, with strong citrus flavors of lemongrass and a hint of hotness from chili. Fish sauce is important, don’t skip it. It will add a sneaky umami flavor and round out the flavors of the marinade (very similar to using anchovies in Italian cooking). You won’t taste fishiness. I promise.
When ready, pour the marinade over thinly sliced beef. Eye of round, or flank steak are good candidates, but you can also use tenderloin, if available, as it will produce the most tender result. Tightly cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or best, overnight. I know that you can use a different cooking method here – lifting the meat from the marinade and searing/stir-frying it first, then following with more marinade. I didn’t do this – my wok is nowhere as hot as ones in professional kitchens. Small thing. I won’t worry about it.
- 1 tbs low smokepoint oil, such as grapeseed
- 450g (1lb) beef flank, or eye of round, sliced thinly
- handful of fresh cilantro, thai basil and mint
- Juice and zest of 2 limes
- 2 tbs fish sauce
- 2 tbs raw cane sugar
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 2 lemongrass stalks, finely diced
- 2 red thai (bird eye) chilies, finely sliced
- To make the marinade, place the sugar, garlic and sliced chilies in a mortar. Pound until the garlic forms a paste and chilies are flattened and release their juices. Add the lime juice, zest, fish sauce and lemongrass. Mix all to combine.
- Pour the marinade over the meat, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
- Pour the oil into a heavy pan, or wok and rub it all over the base with kitchen paper. Heat the pan until very hot. Pour in the steaks with the entire marinade and stir profusely. It will be hot and bubbly. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Garnish with herbs and serve a side of jasmine rice.
- Serve immediately.