the appetizer:

Though once dominated by British culinary tastes, Australian cuisine is now influenced by a variety of Mediterranean and Asian foods introduced by immigrant cultures. Many people living outside of Australia think of native Bush Tucker when they contemplate Australian food, but Southeast Asian, Greek, Lebanese and Italian influences are now more common.

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Spicy Beef Salad

Spicy Beef Salad

Serves 8

At the restaurant we serve rare beef in this salad, but the beef can be cooked more if desired. The resting time allows the cooked beef to relax and ensures that it is tender. A vegetarian version can be made using deep-fried cubes of tofu.


2 garlic cloves
2 small fresh red chilli peppers
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon fish sauce
30 g (1 oz) palm sugar


1 kg (2 lb) beef fillet
24 cherry tomatoes or 6 medium tomatoes
1 red capsicum (sweet pepper)
1 small red onion
1 cup fresh mint leaves
1 cup fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves
2/3 cup (100 g/3-1/2 oz) peanuts, roasted
1-1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil for cooking beef


To make dressing, peel the garlic. Mince (grind) together the garlic and tlle chilli peppers. Place in a bowl with the rest of the dressing ingredients. Mix together until the sugar has dissolved.

To make salad cut the beef into eight portions. Halve the cherry tomatoes or chop the tomatoes. Seed and slice the capsicum. Peel and slice the red onion. Place all the salad ingredients except the beef and vegetable oil into a bowl.

Cook the beef in a lightly oiled pan over a high heat. The cooking time depends on how well done you like your beef (allow 2 minutes each side for rare, and 4 minutes each side for medium, but the cooking time will depend on tlle size of the beef pieces). Put the beef in a warm place to rest for 10 minutes.

To serve, thinly slice the beef and add it to the salad bowl. Ladle over just enough dressing to coat and toss well. Portion onto plates.

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Recipe From:
A Taste of Australia: The Bather's Pavilion Cookbook
By Victoria Alexander and Genevieve Harris
Photographs by Rodney Weidland
Ten Speed Press
Cloth, $27.95
122 pages, full-color photography throughout
ISBN 0-89815-756-0
Reprinted with permission


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This page modified January 2007