Thai Beef Salad

cuisine Thai
difficulty Moderate
season Summer
serves 4 to 6

Ingredients for the Salad

2 tablespoons course sea salt 2 tablespoons cracked black peppercorns 2 pounds ribeye steak Olive oil, for cooking 8 ounces rice vermicelli noodles 3 green onions thinly sliced on the diagonal 1/2 cup fresh Thai basil leaves, tough stems removed 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, tough stems removed 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, tough stems removed 2 tablespoons roasted peanuts, chopped

Ingredients for the Dressing

4 tablespoons organic fresh ginger, minced 4 tablespoons cilantro stems, minced 6 garlic cloves, minced 2 large fresno chilis, thinly sliced 2 tablespoons palm sugar (or light brown sugar) 4 tablespoons rice vinegar 4 tablespoons soy sauce 2 tablespoons lemongrass stalk (white part only), minced 1 teaspoon sesame oil 1 teaspoon hot sesame oil 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

  1. Prepare the grill for searing the beef.
  2. Mix the salt and pepper together in a shallow plate. Roll the beef in the mixture to evenly coat it, including the beef's sides.
  3. Cook the beef on a prepared grate or directly on the OFYR ring for 4 minutes per side for medium rare (flipping every 2 minutes), or until desired doneness. Transfer the meat to a cutting board, cover, and set aside to rest and cool. 
  4. In a glass bowl, pour boiling water to cover over the vermicelli noodles, and soak for 5 minutes, or until the noodles are tender. Rinse under cold water to prevent sticking, and drain.
  5. In another bowl, vigourously whisk together the ginger, cliantro stems, garlic, chilis, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, lemongrass, sesame oils, and olive oil. 
  6. Thinly slice the beef across the grain into 3" L x 1/4" W pieces.
  7. Evenly coat the cooled noodles with half of the dressing. Transfer the noodles to a serving platter.
  8. Arrange the beef over the noodles, and disperse the mint, cilanto, and basil leaves over the beef and noodles. 
  9. Drizzle the remaining dressing over the entire salad. Finish with a sprinkling of peanuts. 

Kitchen Notes

This salad may be served at room temperature or cold. The dressing may be made a day in advance. If Thai basil is unavailable, use sweet basil, but double the quanitty. Chili heat varies significantly--substitute red serranos for more heat, or add another Freson. This is a time when a tiny taste will inform how much chili to add for the desired spiciness.