Serves 6 as part of a jasmine-or sticky rice-based meal, or as an appetizer
When we're at home, beef is not something we prepare all that often. But if we are making food for a party, or for a summer potluck, this grilled beef yam is one of our all-time favorite recipes. We'll even splurge and get a very good cut of meat, such as the tenderloin called for in this recipe.
In Thailand, there are probably as many different versions of yam neua as there are cooks, with everyone having a different idea about how to find that perfect balance of hot, sour, sweet, and salty. So before serving, be sure to taste for yourself and to adjust the chile, lime, and fish sauce as you see fit.
1 pound beef tenderloin, at room temperature
About 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce (nam pla), or more to taste
5 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or more to taste
2 to 3 bird chiles or serrano chiles, minced
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
4 scallions, cut into 1/2-inch lengths
1/2 cup packed fresh coriander leaves, plus a few sprigs for garnish
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
1 English cucumber, scored lengthwise with a fork and thinly sliced
Preheat a broiler or a grill. Slice the tenderloin lengthwise. Rub both sides of the meat with freshly ground black pepper, rubbing with some force to rub the pepper into the meat.
To broil: place the meat on a broiling rack so that the meat is 3 to 5 inches from the broiling element. Broil for 6 to 7 minutes on one side, then turn and broil for 6 to 7 minutes on the other side, or until medium-rare.
To grill: place on the grill and cook until medium-rare, 5 to 8 minutes on each side.
Let the meat cool for 30 minutes to 1 hour, so that it is easy to slice. (The cooled meat can be put into the refrigerator covered and then sliced several hours later, if more convenient.)
Slice the meat as thin as possible with a sharp chef's knife or cleaver, cutting across the grain.
In a large bowl, mix the fish sauce, lime juice, and chiles. Toss in the meat, shallots, and scallions and mix to blend all the different tastes. Mix in the coriander leaves and mint. Taste the salad for a good balance between the salty fish sauce, the sour lime juice, and the hot chiles, and adjust according to your taste.
Arrange the slices of cucumber around the edge of a decorative plate or platter, then arrange the salad in a mound in the center. Garnish with coriander sprigs and serve.
Seductions of Rice
By Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid
Nearly 200 recipes, 480 pages
Hardcover, jacketed, $35.00
Reprinted by permission.
This page created November 1998
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