I love this type of salad, it's just so fresh and the flavours pack a punch. I find the beef satiates me more than a chicken but you can swap in any protein here. Fried tofu would work well too. I've always wondered what the seasoning is on these salads, my fellow foodie friend, Wendy enlightened me and I thought I'd give it a go.
I found these really pretty greens in the green grocers, the leaves were a deep green and purple. The label just said Asian greens. After looking up the Google, they appear to be Amaranth greens and are considered to be more of a herb. See if you can find those, a younger leaf is best used for the salad and the more mature ones can be cooked in stir-fries.
You can bulk it up with some cooked vermicelli noodles.
You will use half of the dressing for the marinade and the other for the actual dressing. Make this first and split the recipe. You shouldn't use the same marinade liquid for the dressing as you will have the raw meat sitting in it and it might make you sick.
3 tbsp. soy sauce
Juice of half a lime
2 tbsp. maple syrup (palm sugar is the traditional sweetener use, feel free to use that, dissolved in some warm water)
2 tbsp. mirin
1 tbsp. groundnut oil
1 clove garlic, minced
Good chunk of ginger, grated
1 chilli, minced
1 tsp. groundnut oil for frying
400g flank beef or stir frying beef, cut into strips
1 shallot, finely sliced
1/2 red pepper, finely sliced
Asian green leaves
Mixed salad leaves
Chillies, sliced (my friend gave me some teeny tiny fire burning chilies, I used a couple of those sparingly for this)
Bunch coriander leaves
Bunch mint leaves
Chopped nuts for a garnish
Toasted rice powder
The majority of the recipes I saw for this recommended a sticky type of rice as it browns better but I used brown rice and it turned out fine. All you need is about 40g.
1 tsp. coriander seeds
Mix all the dressing/marinade ingredients in a bowl and whisk for a minute. Pour half of it into another bowl. Set one aside. Add the meat and stir. Marinade in the fridge for 3 hours or so. You could get away with 30 minutes if you were pushed for time.
While the meat is marinating; heat a frying pan and add the rice. Let the rice toast until golden brown, shaking the pan every now and then. Add the coriander seeds until they start to pop. Take off the heat and allow to cool. Once cooled, blitz in a herb grinder.
Dry off the excess liquid on the meat so that it fries rather than boils. Heat a wok or frying pan on a high heat. Add the groundnut oil and allow to heat. Fry off the beef to your liking. This will cook pretty quickly.
Assemble the salad. Add the beef. Toss in the dressing. Sprinkle the rice powder and nuts over the top.
It's ready to serve.