I have probably mentioned before that my friend Elizabeth and I used to regularly get take away from this great little Vietnamese restaurant near her house. We would always order lemongrass and chilli prawns or chicken and their Vietnamese mint beef.
While I am back living in the same city, I have now moved to the other side of town and haven’t been to the Vietnamese restaurant in ages. Life has just gotten too busy and with the furry monsters (aka the dogs) it is difficult to get home from work and sort them out before heading out again. Plus I feel super guilty about leaving them on their own in the evening when I have been at work all day. At least that is my excuse and I as a proud introvert I am sticking to it! Do you like going out after work or are you a home body like me?
I have been crazily looking for recipes to try and replicate these two dishes, without much luck. However, I am pretty happy with this chicken dish and its lemongrass flavours to satisfy that craving. But I have yet to find the right Vietnamese mint beef recipe. I had lunch with Elizabeth today and she mentioned she hadn’t been able to find one either. I am working on coming up with my own and I am inching closer to success. Elizabeth mentioned the dish used to incorporate peanuts so I think if I pop them in and make a few other tweaks I should have something to share soon.
But in my hunt I came across this recipe for a Peppery Vietnamese beef on the Noble Pig food blog. It is a completely different dish but it is just fabulous. It has a wonderful smoky, peppery taste to it and I just love it. Plus it cooks in about 15 minutes. Preparation time is about 5-10 minutes. I have made it with and without the peanuts and the dish was delicious either way. If you are watching your calories, I would skip the peanuts.
To make this for one I used the following ingredients:
- 1/2 tbs soy sauce
- 1/2 tbs fresh lime juice
- 1/4 – 1/2 tsp of black pepper (depending how peppery you like things)
- 1 tsp light brown sugar
- 1 tsp fish sauce (or a smidgen less)
- 1 tsp of minced garlic (equal to one clove)
- 3/4 tbs of peanut oil
- 150g of rump steak cut in to 1 inch pieces
- 1/4 of a brown onion, sliced into wedges
- 3/4 tbs chopped salted peanuts
- Salt and pepper to season beef
- 1 spring onion cut thinly on the diagonal
I followed the instructions provided with the original recipe except because I was only doing one serve there was no need to batch the meat. I cooked it all in one hit. Keep an eye on the sauce thickening as this will happen very quickly with the reduced quantity. My peanuts may well have not been toasted…