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Hot and spicy thai salad of medium rare filet, thai and australian salad ingredients with a nam jim dressing. The nam jim can be really hot but if the sweet, sour, salty and hot flavours are in balance it will be acceptable to even the most sesitive of palates.
Place the palm sugar, coriander, garlic and ginger into a mortar and pestle and grind for a minute or two, until the mix is coarsely ground. Add the chillies and continue to grind. Be aware that the longer you grind, the more the flavours develop, especially the chilli. Add the remaining ingredients and mix together. Taste and adjust for sugar, fish sauce or lime. The key is to achieve a balance between the sweet, sour, salty and spicy tastes
Preheat a barbecue grill or char grill pan on high. Cook steak on grill to medium rare or to your liking. Transfer to a plate. Cover with foil and set aside for 10 minutes to rest. Then thinly slice across the grain into bite size pieces.
Place the lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onion, chilli, mint, coriander, basil, peanuts and lime leaves in a large bowl. Add sliced beef to the salad. Drizzle with dressing and gently toss to combine. Serve immediately.
Nam Jim, the ubiquitous Thai salad dressing is used to dress all manner of salads, most famously in the west, Thai beef salad. You will need to throw out all you know about western (farang) salad dressings that contain oil and vinegar. Nam jim is the essence of the idea of flavour balance in Thai cuisine.
This balance is achieved when four main flavours (hot, sour, sweet and salty) mix in harmony, none dominating. The heats of chillies, sweet, sour and salty combine, and to increase a single flavour is not just a case of adding more of that ingredient. It has to be subtly blended so that no one flavour is overwhelming
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