Beef Satays over Thai Salad
- SERVINGS: 4
The salad that lies beneath the succulent chunks of sirloin here jump-starts the taste budsromaine, cucumber, carrots, mint, and cilantro with a Thai dressing of fish sauce, lemon juice, and rice vinegar. It's refreshing, light, and perfect fro a warm summer evening.
- 1 1/2 pounds sirloin steak, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 4 stalks lemongrass, bottom third only, peeled and minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil
- 2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 3/4 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce (nam pla or nuoc mam)
- 1 tablespoon water
- 3/4 teaspoon rice-wine vinegar
- Pinch dried red-pepper flakes
- 1 small head romaine lettuce, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips (about 1 quart)
- 2 carrots, grated
- 1 cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded, and diced
- 1/2 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
- In a medium shallow glass or stainless-steel bowl, combine the steak, lemongrass, half the garlic, the oil,1 1/2 tablespoons of the lemon juice, 3/4 teaspoon of the sugar, the salt, and black pepper. Set aside.
- In a small glass or stainless-steel bowl, combine the fish sauce, the remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice, garlic, and 2 teaspoons sugar, the water, vinegar, and red-pepper flakes.
- In a large glass or stainless-steel bowl, combine the romaine, carrots, cucumber, cilantro, and mint.
- Light the grill or heat the broiler. Thread the steak onto eight skewers. Grill or broil the meat, turning, until done to your taste, about 5 minutes for medium rare. Toss the dressing with the salad and serve topped with the satays.
Although beef traditionally calls for a red, these seasonings suggest a white wine. A rich Californian, such as a full-bodied Chardonnay, can play to both the beef and the salad here. If you prefer red wine, try a light, fruity Beaujolais.