Thai Grilled-beef Salad with Grapes

This recipe was given to me by chef Norbert Kostner at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Bangkok when I visited the cookery school there. It's lovely served as a first course or included in a cold-buffet menu.

Serves 4

This recipe is taken from How to Cook Book Two

Thai Grilled-beef Salad with Grapes
 1 lb (450 g) rump steak in 1 piece, 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick
 6 oz (175 g) red or black seedless grapes, halved
 2-3 medium red chillies, halved and deseeded, or 3-4 bird eye chillies, whole
 2 cloves garlic, peeled
 1 inch (2.5 cm) piece fresh root ginger, peeled
 6 sprigs fresh coriander, plus 3 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
 1 sprig fresh mint, plus 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
 3 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
 grated zest 1 lime, plus 3 tablespoons lime juice (juice of about 2 limes)
 2 level teaspoons palm sugar or light brown soft sugar
 3-4 stems lemon grass, very finely sliced
 6 kaffir lime leaves, rolled into a cigar shape and very finely shredded (optional)
 4 oz (110 g) rocket, stalks removed
To garnish:
 1 level teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
 1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives


First you need to grill the beef in advance, and for medium-rare give it 2-3 minutes on each side. Be careful not to overcook the steak: it needs to be quite pink, as the lime juice in the dressing 'cooks' the beef a bit further. 

If you'd prefer to use a ridged grill pan, pre-heat it for 10 minutes, then cook the steak for 1½-2 minutes on each side. Once the beef is grilled, allow it to rest for 10 minutes before slicing it into thin strips.

Meanwhile, to make the dressing, blend the chillies, garlic, ginger and sprigs of coriander and mint in a processor until finely chopped, then add the fish sauce, lime juice and sugar and whiz again to blend everything. 

Pour the dressing over the beef strips, then sprinkle the lemon grass, lime leaves (if using), lime zest and remaining herbs over. 

Add the rocket and grapes and toss everything together, then scatter the garnish over.

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