Friday, February 1, 2013

Thai Beef Salad (Ring of Fire)

God I was mad.

How hard is it to pick up your phone and send a text message? I had left this note on the breakfast bar next to the recipe for tonight’s dinner.
All he had to do was call or text when he got home from work and I would bundle the kids into the car and be home in five minutes.

5pm came and went. 5.30pm and nothing. So by 6pm, muttering under my breath, I shoved the kids into the car and came home. When I saw his car in the drive I was ropeable. When I realised he was upstairs in the shower I could have kicked a cat.*
Thai Beef Salad from the book (photo courtesy Jason Thomas)
So I did what any self-respecting, confrontation avoiding, passive-aggressive woman does when she is mad at her husband:  I began cooking, banging together pots and pans, and partaking in a rather large glass of pink fizzy.

It's not really that full... the angle of the photo makes it look like this is a very big glass of bubbles

One of the reasons I was cranky was because this was most definitely one of ‘his’ types of dinners. Heaps of fresh salad and hardly any fat. As a comparison, last night’s dinner (untrimmed lamb cutlets and baby potatoes drowning in butter and garlic and mint was most definitely one of ‘my’ dinners).

I began by pan-frying the porterhouse steak until it was medium rare. I’m lousy at cooking steak so I kept needing to take it out of the pan and cut it in half to see if it’s cooked. It never was, so my two steaks very quickly became about five or six pieces.

People who say steak is fool-proof have clearly never met me

The recipe called for coriander roots, which I hadn’t noticed when I wrote my shopping list. Luckily I was shopping in the ‘other’ grocery shop and they sell them with the roots (and half the garden) attached. Initially I was overjoyed that I could follow the recipe. Then I saw just how much crud was embedded in the roots. 
No amount of washing could ever clean that, I thought, so the roots went in the bin and I threw some stems in the mortar instead.
Not phallic at all

Then I got to pound the coriander with garlic, which made me feel momentarily better. Then in went finely chopped kaffir lime leaves, brown sugar, soy sauce and lime juice. When I threw it in the pan to cook (still hot from the steak) I lost most of it up the wall when it sizzled and spat everywhere.
After this had cooled in went even more lime juice, fish sauce, chillies, mint leaves and spring onion. These are big flavours. Punch-you-in--the-face flavours, even though I chickened out and used half the amount of chillies recommended.

By the time I got to the fish sauce, I was scrabbling around in the back of the cupboard. I was sure we had a bottle up there somewhere. Turns out we had two.

One bottle had a dribble left and the other had an expiry date of 2010. Although I am convinced he wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference between ‘fresh’ and ‘two year out of date’ fish sauce, I wasn’t personally willing to try.
Everything was thrown on a bed of salad leaves. Make that an entire bag of salad leaves. I aim to please. This was my finished product.
My attempt

Yes, that is a passion fruit in the picture. I couldn’t find any lemons like the picture from the book.

About an hour later, when he had the kids in the shower and was getting them ready for bed, my phone beeped. It was marked shortly after 5pm and said ‘Just got home. Can I do anything to start dinner?’



My thoughts:

My phone company clearly sucks.
Don’t make strong flavours when you are grumpy and you tend to be a bit heavy handed.


*Don’t worry. I don’t own a cat and if I did, I am sure I would never kick it.

If you have any questions or would like to know more about this recipe please contact me at



No comments:

Post a Comment

Let me know what you think... comments are yummy.