Vietnamese beef and noodle salad
Fresh lime juice
4 medium clove(s), crushed
⅛ tsp, freshly ground
Uncooked lean beef round
16 oz, top, 1 pound, trimmed of all visible fat and cut into 2 x 1⁄8-inch strips
7 oz, package, rice sticks
1 head(s), small, torn into bite-size pieces
3 medium, coarsely grated
1 large, seeded and chopped
1 cup(s), fresh, lightly packed leaves
¼ cup(s), sliced
3 Tbsp, Asian (nam pla)
Hot pepper sauce
Unsalted dry roasted peanuts
⅓ cup(s), chopped
- Combine 1 tablespoon of the lime juice, the oil, three-fourths of the garlic, and the pepper in a zip-close plastic bag; add the beef. Squeeze out the air and seal the bag; turn to coat the beef. Refrigerate, turning the bag occasionally, at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
- Plunge the noodles into a large bowl of boiling water; let soak until soft, about 3 minutes. Drain well, rinse under cold running water, and put in a large bowl. Add the lettuce, carrots, tomato, cilantro, and mint to the noodles; toss until mixed. Cover and refrigerate.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add one-third of the beef and cook until browned along the edges, about 2 minutes. Transfer the meat to a plate. Repeat in two more batches with the remaining beef.
- Meanwhile, combine the remaining lime juice (about 1⁄4 cup), the fish sauce, sugar, the remaining garlic, and the pepper sauce in a small bowl. Pour over the noodle-salad mixture; toss until evenly coated. Mound the salad on a platter, then top with the beef. Sprinkle with the peanuts just before serving. Yields 2 cups salad with scant 1⁄2 cup beef and scant 1 tablespoon peanuts per serving.