Although I’ve not cooked it for a while, one of my favourite steak recipes has to be Nigella Lawson’s “Steak Slice with Lemon and Thyme” from Nigella Express. (You can see her original recipe online here). In it Nigella recommends marinating the steak after cooking rather than before. It sounds a little strange but do it once and trust me you’ll come back for more. It really works. This recipe for Thai-style Steak uses the same principles but different flavours, and then pairs it with a lightly dressed, warm noodle salad.
In the original recipe the flavour comes from acidic fresh lemon and fragrant fresh thyme, along with some garlic and a generous glug of oil. In my case the acidity comes from some fresh lime juice, with the added freshness that comes from its vibrant zest.
The fragrant ingredients used here are rather predictable, but delicious nonetheless. Fresh coriander, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, fish sauce and a few chilli flakes adding the familiar flavours of South East Asia. Everything is held together by a simple mixture of vegetable oil and sesame oil – the latter used sparingly as it can overpower a dish without breaking a sweat.
As a bit of a shortcut I use the same base for the steak marinade as the salad dressing – that way you can save time on preparation and make sure everything comes together at the same time.
Once you’ve griddled the steak for a few minutes on each side remove from the pan and put on a warmed plate. Brush one side with a generous amount of the dressing/marinade and let the flavours soak in before turning it and repeating on the other side – again allowing it to soak up the flavours whilst it rests. Slice it thinly then serve it on top of the noodle salad – you’re definitely in for a treat. It’s simple, but effective…
That being said, it’s not like the warm noodle salad is complex. Cooked (and slightly cooled) noodles are mixed with tomatoes, cucumber, red onion and salad leaves before being tossed in the same dressing used with the steak. Fresh, light and full of flavour.
Oh and healthy too… Did I mention it comes to just under 750kcal?
Thai-Style Steak and Warm Noodle Salad
Marinading the meat after cooking works like magic here, keeping it tender and packed with flavour. As a bonus you use the same dressing on the noodle salad - maximising flavour and minimising effort.
for the Dressing / Marinade
- 2 Limes juiced and zested - this should yield about 4 tbsp or 60ml of juice
- 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 1 tsp Sesame Oil
- 1 tbsp Fish Sauce
- 3 cloves Garlic peeled and crushed
- ½ tsp Root Ginger peeled and crushed
- 1 tbsp Soft Brown Sugar
- 1 tbsp Coriander Stalks finely chopped
- ½ tsp Sriracha or other Chilli Sauce
- ¼ tsp Dried Red Chilli Flakes
- ½ tsp Sea Salt Flakes
for the Salad
- 150 g Crisp Lettuce or similar I used Chinese Leaf
- 12 Cherry Tomatoes halved
- 120 g Cucumber cut into ½cm pieces
- 50 g Soya Beans (Edamame)
- 3 Spring Onions thinly sliced
- 1 Small Handful Coriander Leaves chopped
- 150 g Medium Wheat Noodles cooked and still warm
for the Steak
- 2 220g Rump Steaks
- 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
Start by making the dressing/marinade. Put the lime juice, vegetable oil, sesame oil and fish sauce into a large bowl. Whisk lightly until well combined and partially emulsified. Add in the other ingredients then mix again. Leave to stand at room temperature for 20-30 minutes before using to allow the flavours to develop.
Before cooking the steaks toss together all of the salad ingredients (except the noodles) and put to one side.
Heat a heavy frying pan or griddle over a medium high heat until very hot. Brush the steaks with the oil and then place carefully into the pan. Depending on their thickness you'll want to cook them for 2-3 minutes on each side to get them seared and rare in the centre, adding an extra 30-60 on each side if you want them medium. Try to not overcook them as the dressing / marinade will help tenderise the meat.
Remove the steaks from the pan and place on a warmed plate then brush them with a generous amount of the dressing / marinade. Cover with foil and allow the meat to absorb the flavours for 2 minutes. Turn the steaks over and repeat on the other side.
Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to the packet instructions. Drain and allow to cool for a few minutes before tossing through the salad ingredients. Dress the salad with the remaining dressing / marinade, making sure everything is well coated.
Divide the salad between two bowls. Slice each steak thinly across the grain and lay over the top of the warm salad. Drizzle with any left over dressing and serve immediately, garnished with a little more chopped coriander.
One thing to note - I use Sriracha and Chilli Flakes in this recipe as they're a known quantity. As I've said before Michael is not a fan of food that's hot, hot, hot, so I tend to err on the cautious side when it comes to chilli heat. If you're up for a bit more oomph you could replace these with some fresh birds eye chilli instead.