YUM NUA (Thai beef salad)

YUM NUA (Thai beef salad) for four

For the dressing and rice powder:
½ cup sweet white rice or regular short grain or other white rice
¼ cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon sugar
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

For the beef and assembly:
1 pound top sirloin steak, New York strip steak or other nicely marbled cut of beef, sliced ¼ inch thick
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for grate or skillet
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 pound small and medium tomatoes, halved
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 lemongrass stalks, tops trimmed, tough outer layers removed, very thinly sliced
2 long hot chiles, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 cups cilantro leaves with tender stems
2 cups mint leaves
1 pound cucumbers, thinly sliced, plus more for serving
lime wedges, for serving

For the dressing and rice powder:

  1. Place rice in a medium skillet and set over medium heat. Cook, tossing often, until golden brown and deeply nutty-smelling, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool, then finely grind in a spice mill or mortar and pestle. Set aside. (You can toast and grind the rice a few days in advance. If the smokiness and aroma have faded at all, just toss it briefly in a hot skillet to refresh.)
  2. Meanwhile, stir lime juice, fish sauce, red pepper flakes and sugar in a small bowl until sugar dissolves. Season with salt and pepper.

For the beef and salad:

  1. Place beef in a large bowl and add fish sauce, sugar and 2 tablespoons oil. Let sit at room temperature 1 hour, or cover and chill up to 1 day ahead.
  2. Prepare a grill for medium high heat or heat a large skillet over medium high. Oil grate or lightly coat skillet with oil. Season beef with salt and pepper and grill until browned underneath, about 2 minutes. Turn over and grill on the other side just until lightly browned (meat should still be slightly pink in the center), about 45 seconds.
  3. Toss tomatoes, shallot, scallions, lemongrass, chiles, garlic, cilantro, mint, 1 pound cucumbers and 1 teaspoon rice powder in a medium bowl to combine. Drizzle half of the dressing over and toss to coat. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add beef to salad. Drizzle with more dressing as desired and top with more cucumber slices and 1 teaspoon rice powder (Save remaining rice powder in an airtight container at room temperature for another use.) Serve with lime wedges for squeezing over.

from Bon Appetit Magazine, July 20, 2020

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