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Tuesday 2 February 2010

Lemon Grass Beef & Vermicelli Herb Salad

One of my favourite Vietnamese dishes is beef with lemongrass and garlic, fried to perfection and placed over some vermicelli. Underneath the noodles is a bed of salad with a mixture of herbs such as mint, sweet basil and/or corriander! On top of the beef, lay some crushed peanuts coating the glazed beef, spring onion blanched in oil to give it colour and texture to the noodles and pickled carrots. Then a splashing of fish sauce that is mixed with some coconut juice, apple vinegar and chilli.

A perfect marriage of sweet, sour and salt.


Vermicelli Herb Salad
-Vermicelli Noodles - (Put into large bowl, pour boiling water over it and watch until it is soft but al dente  then drain)
-Lettuce Leaves - Cut finely
-Herbs: Corriander/ Sweet Basil/ Mint - have all or at least one of - Cut or tear into small pieces removing stalks.

Place lettuce and herbs into a bowl
Once the vermicelli is cold, place over the salad

Pickled Carrots
(make as much as you require - you will only need a heap spoonful per person)
-Julienne the carrots
-Apple Vinegar

-Make a mixture using the above ingredients to a required balance of sweet and sour. If too sweet add more lime, if too sour add more sugar.

Spring Onion In Oil
-Cut Spring Onions as finely as you possibly can
-Blanche in hot olive oil for a few seconds and remove from heat.

Crush/ Blend

Fish Sauce
Please judge with your own taste buds
- about 60% coconut juice
-10% fish sauce
-30% hot water
-blend garlic and chilli together 1:1 - add to your mixture

-Sirloin/ Rump/ Fillet - Slice into strips
-Lemongrass - chop off the head and the tail and remove the outer layer. You will need enough to cover every bit of the meat. Say about 5 stalks for 4 steaks.
-Peel half bulb of garlic (for 4 steaks) and put it with the lemongrass stalks into the blender and get it quite fine.
-Marinate the beef strips with the blend of garlic and lemongrass.
-Add about a 4 tbs of terriyaki sauce.
-A sprinkle of sugar
-Leave in fridge for at least 30 mins.

Before frying the beef
-Red Onions or best - Shallots - slice and add apple vinegar to the onion mixture
-Slightly brown the onion mixture
-Fry the lemongrass beef with the onions until brown - nice if pink in the middle.

Place beef on noodles, sprinkle peanuts, a teaspoon of spring onion oil and pickled carrots on the side.
Add some fish sauce.
This is a salad - great for those sunny days. Its so good that it must be bad for you but on the contrary. It is really cooling and refreshing and all the favours compliment each other. As a person who hardly eats her five a day, there is salad in this, carrots and plenty of herbs so I would be happy to eat this every day. 

This is usually eaten for breakfast or lunch in Vietnam in a big bowl. When you get it, you mix it all up, soaking all the noodles with fish sauce and spring onions. A great delight!


  1. This is one of my favourite dishes and always order it whenever I go to a Vietnamese restaurant (i believe this type of dish is called "bun"?), thanks for the recipe! Luiz x

  2. This looks incredibly good! I will be making it very, very soon.


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