Grilled Lemongrass Beef

From issue #5.
Photography by Photography by Nick Tresidder.
Grilled Lemongrass Beef

Serves: 6 - 8


2 lemongrass stalks, bulb end only
2 cloves garlic
½ red chilli, seeded
juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon fish sauce
500 grams piece beef sirloin or fillet, trimmed

1 tablespoon grated palm sugar
4 tablespoons lime juice
1 red chilli, seeds removed and finely sliced
4 tablespoons fish sauce

Nuoc Leo – Vietnamese Peanut Sauce
1 tablespoon peanut oil
80 grams pork mince
3 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ cup chilli soy paste
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup water
1 tablespoon sugar
½ cup roasted peanuts, crushed
¼ teaspoon chilli flakes
2 tablespoons lime juice

150 grams wide rice stick noodles
250 grams green beans
½ iceberg lettuce, shredded
125 grams bean sprouts
½ cup each coriander and mint leaves
¼ cup Vietnamese mint leaves
½ cup fried shallots
2 tablespoons jasmine rice


Roughly chop the lemongrass, garlic and chilli and pound to a paste in a mortar. Add the lime juice and fish sauce. Spread the paste over the beef and set aside for at least 30 minutes.

Heat a ridged grill or barbecue until very hot and grill the beef – rare to medium rare. Set aside for 10 minutes to rest then slice very thinly
and toss with the dressing. The lime juice will continue to `cook’ the meat. Let it stand while you assemble the salad ingredients.

Dressing: Mix together all the ingredients, adding the fish sauce last. Set aside.

Nuoc Leo: Heat the peanut oil, add the pork and garlic and cook, breaking up any lumps with the back of the spoon. Add the soy and tomato pastes, stir well and add the water, sugar, peanuts, chilli flakes and lime juice. Cook gently for 5 minutes or until the sauce has reduced by half. Taste for seasoning, adding extra lime juice if needed. Allow to cool.

Salad: Cook the noodles in boiling salted water for 6 minutes. Drain, refresh under cold water and drain again. Toss with a little oil and set aside. Push the beans through a bean slicer to slice and blanch in boiling
salted water until crisp tender. Drain and refresh in cold water. Dry in a clean tea towel. Mix with the noodles, lettuce and bean sprouts.

Just before serving finely shred the coriander, mint and Vietnamese mint and add. Toast the rice in a dry pan and grind finely.

To serve: Arrange the salad on a platter and top with the beef. Drizzle the dressing over, sprinkle with fried shallots and ground rice and top with a spoonful of Nuoc Leo. Serves 6-8