Spatula, Spoon and Saturday

Eating and Cooking all the things in Melbourne

Lemongrass and Chilli Beef (Bo Xao Xa Ot)

Josh made this the other night with a recipe that I suggested (got to get myself in for a bit of credit here) from Pauline Nguyen’s Secrets of the Red Lantern, which is a really, really fantastic book. I literally took it on the train and read it everyday from cover to cover. This is one cookbook I strongly recommend, not for just their great recipes (and believe me, if Josh cooked with it and it turned out well, it’s good recipes because he would follow instructions whereas I just read it once and then wing it), but for the stories of her family and all the events in their lives. I can’t recommend it enough (by the way, I got it at Costco for about $40. Score.)

We adapted a bit (again, he may have made it but I was yelling instructions :P ) by using beef rather than chicken and adding some green beans. This recipe was enough for the two of us plus lunches on the next day.

  1. 250 g. sirloin/porter house steak, sliced
  2. 1 lemongrass, use inner part only
  3. 1 tbsp of fish sauce
  4. 1/2 tbsp of sugar
  5. 1 tsp of sambal oelek
  6. 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  7. 1 bird’s eye chilli, sliced
  8. 1 onion, sliced
  9. 1/2 cup of water
  10. 1/2 chicken stock cube
  11. 1 handful of coriander leaves

Slice half of the lemongrass and chop finely the rest. I pounded the finely chopped parts in the pestle and mortar (just to beat a dead horse a bit). Marinate the beef in the fish sauce, garlic, chopped lemongrass, sugar and sambal oelek mixture for as long as you can (the book suggested 4 hours or overnight, Josh just did it for 10 minutes. It turned out perfectly fine).

Heat up about 2 tbsp of oil in a large wok or frying pan. Add the marinated meat and the rest of the lemongrass in and fry until the meat is sealed. Add the sliced onion and green beans and stir-fry for another minute. Add the water and chicken stock cubes, stir and turn the heat down. Cover, simmer for about 3 minutes.

Sprinkle with chopped coriander and serve on rice.

These were the oysters I then had for dessert. With a bit of lemon juice and pepper. Yum.

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