When other little girls love eating cupcakes and brownies, I like man’s food. What I mean by that is “mon nhau”, the Vietnamese term for food eaten while drinking. My dad often took me along to his friend’s house to drink when I was little. Before you start judging my dad, I was there because there are always other little kids for me to play with. I love asking my dad for whatever they have availabe to eat because they are all so great. Common “mon nhau” are roasted beef, steamed offals with shrimp paste, blood sausage, and just about everything deep fried. When you are a kid and in the middle of playing, the last thing you want to do is waste 30 minutes of your time trying to finish your meal. I rather have something quick and have little bit of everything.
One of my favorite is the Rare Beef Lime Salad, introduced to me by my cousin. It was tender and so flavorful with the lime, fish sauce, and spicy herbs. I can eat that all day while listening to my dad talk with his friends. My cousin’s specialty was “mon nhau” so he gave me some pointers to preparing this dish. To get tender meat, try cooking small portions of the sliced beef in pineapple juice or coconut juice. Bo tai chanh can be eaten with different sauce, nuoc cham. If you have access to soy bean sauce, I highly recommend that but a simple chili ginger fish sauce would be great as well.
2 lb of thinly sliced beef (any lean cut is fine)
1/2 medium onion (thinly sliced)
2 cup of pineapple juice
1/2 cup of Vietnamese coriander (rough chopped)
1/2 red bell pepper (optional)
1 large can of pineapple juice
ground soy bean sauce
4 tablespoon of soy bean sauce
1 tablespoon of sugar
1/4 of lime
1/4 tablespoon of minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced chilies
1. Boil pineapple juice. You want to dip the sliced beef in the hot pineapple juice and remove right away. I like to use a small strainer.
2. Drain the beef liquid.
3. Squeeze 3 whole lime in a bowl. Add the beef to the lime juice. Wrap up the beef and let cool in the fridge while you work on other steps.
4. Add about 2 tablespoon of sugar and 1 tablespoon of vinegar to the sliced onions.
5. Rough chopped the Vietnamese coriander. Thinly sliced the red bell pepper.
6. Prepare the peanuts.
7. Add some fish sauce to the beef and mix.
8. Add the bell pepper, fresh chilies and sliced onions to the beef and mix.
9. Move the beef salad to a clean plate. Top off with crushed peanuts and coriander.