It's no secret that a great, fresh salad always manages to go down a treat at any holiday lunch or gathering. It's the one, simple dish that can take your meal to the next level in an instant – and will have guests begging you for the recipe if you get it right. As if knowing that we were scrambling for a salad to bring to Christmas lunch, home cook extraordinaire Jess Nguyen has shared her unbeatable recipe for an easy and quick Vietnamese beef and mango salad.
As part of the social enterprise Food For Everyone, Nguyen's Vietnames-style beef and mango salad is part of the third collection of limited-edition recipe posters; with 50% of all profits from sales being donated to food banks such as OzHarvest, SecondBite, and Asylum Seekers Resource Centre.
If you're looking to wow this holiday season, try your hand at the recipe below.
Vietnamese-style beef and mango salad
Serves- 2 as a main, 4 as a starter
• 200g of eye fillet beef, Cape Grim preferred
• 1 teaspoon of chilli oil, Chilli Oil on Everything of course
• 1 tablespoon of olive oil
• 1 stalk of lemongrass, finely blitzed in a food processor
• 2 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely chopped
• Pinch of salt
• 1 Thai sweet green mango
• 1 carrot
• 1 bunch of your choice of herbs: coriander, Vietnamese Mint, mint
• 1 fresh long red chilli
• 1⁄2 red onion, finely sliced
• 1 tablespoon of peanuts, roasted and crushed
• 1 disc (tablespoon worth) of palm sugar
• 1 tablespoon of fish sauce
• Juice of 1 lime
1. Marinate your beef in olive oil, chilli oil, salt, garlic and lemongrass and allow to marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes or overnight.
2. Finely peel and julienne the green mango and carrot.
3. Wash and roughly chop your herbs: coriander, mint and Vietnamese mint.
4. Finely slice your red onion and soak in water to remain crunchy.
5. Finely slice your chilli.
6. Roast your peanuts in a pan on medium till golden. Remove from the pan, place into a mortar and pestle or into a snap lock bag and crush.
7. Make your dressing by placing the palm sugar and a tablespoon of water into a bowl in the microwave for 10 seconds or until melted. Add in the fish sauce and lime juice until you get a balance of sweet, salty and sour.
8. On a searing hot bbq or pan, cook your eye fillet 2 minutes on each side, medium rare.
9. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before finely slicing into thin strips.
10. Assemble your salad by tossing the mango, carrot, drained red onion, half of the chilli and herbs
in the dressing. Arrange onto a platter and layer the slices of beef on top. Garnish with the crushed peanuts, remaining red chilli and a few herbs.