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Vietnamese-style steak tartare

Karen Martini
Karen Martini

Given the French influence on Vietnamese cuisine, it makes perfect sense to give a classic steak tartare a South-East Asian makeover. This dish is so well suited to hot weather, and the punchy, fragrant flavours and burst of heat are a great compliment to the chilled eye fillet. Seasoning steak tartare is such a personal thing, so treat the quantities and types of seasonings as a guide, and simply adjust them to suit your own taste.

South-east Asian makeover: Vietnamese-style steak tartare.
South-east Asian makeover: Vietnamese-style steak tartare. Photo: Marcel Aucar


600g eye fillet, finely diced (chilled)

1 small garlic clove, very finely grated

2 purple eschalots, very finely chopped

2 sticks lemongrass, white part only, very finely sliced

4 small Thai chillies (green or red), very finely sliced

1 tbsp Ddijon mustard

80ml fish sauce

100ml extra virgin olive oil

1½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

salt flakes

2 egg yolks

3 tbsp chopped salted pickled radish (available at Asian grocers)

2 limes, peeled and segmented

½ bunch Vietnamese mint, picked

2 kaffir lime leaves, very finely shredded

2 tbsp ground toasted rice

prawn crackers, cooked according to packet instructions, to serve

1 lime


1. Add the beef to a large bowl with the garlic, eschalot, half the lemongrass, half the chilli, mustard, 30 millilitres of fish sauce, half the olive oil and the pepper, season to taste with salt and gently combine. Pile onto your serving platter.

2. Place the yolks on top of the tartare and follow with remaining chilli and lemongrass, pickled radish and lime segments. Scatter over the Vietnamese mint, kaffir lime leaves and ground rice, and pile up the prawn crackers on the side of the platter.

3. Combine the remaining fish sauce, oil, a squeeze of lime and more chilli, if desired. Present the tartare at the table as is, and mix through well before serving. Present the dressing on the side.


1. You could use sliced baguette instead of prawn crackers.

2. Take some care cutting the meat as it both presents and eats so well when evenly diced. Also, be sure to dice the meat shortly before serving, and keep it chilled.

3. You could also serve the tartare in witlof leaves as elegant finger food.

Main ingredient:
Dinner Party, Midweek dinner

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