Sunday, July 15, 2007

Summer Steak & Prawn Salad

This is a perfect light summer dinner. It got huge thumbs up from both the husband and the child.

4-5 oz cooked, cold, rare steak, preferably marinated beforehand in soy sauce & maple syrup (or honey, or brown sugar)
10 or so large prawns, shelled (do NOT ever throw prawn shells out, they are super for making quick seafoody sauces.)
a good bunch of quick-cooking greens - spinach, chard, dandelion, etc.
2 cups cooked rice "linguine"-style noodles (y'know, the broader ones, not the rice vermicelli)
chopped basil for garnish

1/3 cup unflavoured oil (grapeseed, sunflower, etc)
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup combined lemon juice & rice wine vinegar
fish sauce to taste (probably 1 tbsp or so)
maple syrup to taste (maybe 1-2 tbsp) OR use honey, but less of it.

The dressing should be sweet, salty & sour. If you're not cooking for children or delicate palates, throw some sambal oelek in there too. (Actually I would have added it even with the kid eating, she's pretty good with spicy stuff, but we just ran out.)

Quickly sauté the shrimp in a touch of sesame oil and season well with sea salt. Set aside so they can cool down to room temperature. Steam the veggies then plunge into cold water to stop the cooking. Pour into a seive & press out excess water, then chop roughly. Cook the rice noodles, and then strain into a seive or collander and hold under running cold water until they're cold. Drain, then toss with a touch of sesame oil so they don't go glommy.

Slice the cold steak very thinly.

Plate up: a handful of rice noodles, a handful of greens, topped with 2-3 oz of steak and 4-5 prawns, drizzle with a generous amount of the dressing, then top with the chopped basil.


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