Crying Tiger, delicious salad – a quick and spicy steak dish
Lilly Higgins: Be brave and generous with herbs in this fresh Thai salad
Crying Tiger Salad
This year I’m keen to make my kitchen a zero waste one. As thrifty as I think I am with food produce and leftovers there’s always ways to improve. I tend to buy readymade fresh pesto or hummus one week and then it becomes a regular.
For freshness and flavour I’ve been adding mint to everything lately
I know it will only takes minutes to make my own and it tastes better. Having toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds at hand means I’m far more likely to whip up some pesto. Any leftover herbs or scraps of hard cheese like Parmesan can be added. As can carrot or radish tops. I’ve started a tub in my freezer for organic vegetable peelings from carrots and the like, wilted stems of celery and chunks of fennel. I’ll use all of these for stock, and add the carcass once we’ve done a roast chicken. Hopefully small steps like this will ensure I’m wasting less and not using as much packaging.
I love adding herbs to my cooking. For freshness and flavour I’ve been adding mint to everything lately. I shred it finely and muddle with olive oil and lemon juice as a dressing for peas; I add it to a green salad along with basil and coriander and it’s really great over roast butternut squash with a drizzle of yogurt and some toasted pumpkin seeds. I love Thai food, particularly because of the way herbs are used; bravely and generously. Handfuls of mint, coriander and basil are mixed together and used as salad leaves, tucked into little pancakes, spring rolls and used to top soups. In Thailand, street-food vendors have huge bunches of green herbs tucked away ready for use in every dish, finished with a squeeze of lime juice. Food with bold and energetic flavours like this awaken the palate and are truly delicious. This Thai salad, Crying Tiger, is incredibly easy to prepare and can be on the table in 10 minutes.
The zippy dipping sauce is perfect for mopping up the last few bits of coriander or mint and tastes fantastic drizzled over so many different things, from raw vegetables to boiled rice. I sometimes use White Mausu Peanut Rayu as a base for this sauce. Fish sauce is a must in Thai cuisine. It plays an important role in supplying that salty umami flavour that is matched by the sour sharpness of the limes and the pinch of brown sugar sweetness.
Crying Tiger Salad
2 medium sirloin steaks
2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp ground chilli pepper
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp chopped coriander
1 tbsp finely chopped spring onion
1 tsp sesame seeds
½ cucumber, thickly sliced into rounds
1 bunch coriander
1 bunch mint
3 spring onions, finely sliced
6 radishes, sliced
2 limes, cut into wedges
To serve: noodles or rice
Season the steaks on both sides. Heat a cast-iron frying pan over a high heat. Place the steaks on the hot pan and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side for a medium rare steak. Remove from the pan and leave to rest.
Meanwhile mix the dressing ingredients together. Place the fish sauce, lime juice, chilli pepper, brown sugar, one tablespoon of finely chopped coriander, spring onion and sesame seeds into a jar. Screw the lid on and shake well so everything is combined. Pour the sauce into a dipping bowl. Arrange the mint and coriander leaves on a serving platter. Scatter over the sliced radishes, spring onions and cucumber slices. Slice the steak and place on the bed of herbs. Scatter with a few more torn herbs and serve with lime wedges, the dipping sauce and some freshly cooked egg noodles or rice.