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Vietnamese beef and noodle salad

The warmer weather is perfectly suited to eating Vietnamese and Thai salads - tangy, fiery and pungent, and packed with fresh herbs. I love the contrast of soft and crunchy; slippery rice noodles with crisp cucumber, firm peanuts and chips of chilli. You'll need to marinate the beef two hours before cooking.


Vietnamese beef and glass noodle salad.
Photo: Marina Oliphant

For the salad
350g porterhouse or fillet of beef
4 tbsp hoi sin sauce
200g mung-bean thread (also called glass) noodles
1 cup each of mint, Thai basil and coriander leaves
1 Lebanese cucumber, thinly sliced
2 long red chillies, deseeded and finely sliced
4 tbsp crushed roasted peanuts
2 tbsp fried shallots

For the dressing
3-4 tbsp grated palm sugar
juice of 2 limes
3 tbsp fish sauce
1 stick of lemon grass, white part, finely sliced


Marinate the beef in the hoi sin for 2 hours.

Soak the noodles in hot water until soft. Drain, rinse in cold water and cut into manageable lengths (about 10cm).

Combine the herbs, cucumber, chilli and noodles in a bowl.

Combine the dressing ingredients and adjust to taste. It should taste sweet, salty and tangy all at once.

Grill the beef to medium rare and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Slice thinly and add to the salad. Toss everything together and serve on plates sprinkled with the roasted peanuts and fried shallots.

Main ingredient:
Beef, Noodles, Nuts
Main-course, Dinner, Lunchbox
Midweek dinner, Picnic, Barbecue

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