Spaghetti Squash Salad with Beef -Goi Bi Soi voi Thit Bo

Vietnamese food

Make 4-6 servings
   1 small spaghetti squash, about 2 lb
   1 carrot, peeled, julienned
   1 large long red pepper, thinly sliced (optional)
   3/4 lb of beef ( sirloin or rump steak: top round, bottom round, eye of round ), cut into 1/4-in thick large  slices
    A handful of  fresh herbs:  Vietnamese mint ( Rau ram) is preferred but cilantro, spearmint, basil, lemon balm is good too, washed, drained, save some whole for garnish and cut or torn the rest in small pieces.
   1/4 cup roasted peanut or cashew, coarsely chopped
   1/4 cup deep fried shallot or onion for garnish (optional)
   Shrimp chips or tortilla chips to serve
Beef marinate
   1 Tbs fish sauce
   1/2 tsp sugar
   2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
   1 small shallot, coarsely chopped
   1/4 tsp ground black pepper
   1 Tbs vegetable oil
Salad dressing
   2 Tbs fish sauce
   2 Tbs lime or lemon juice
   1 Tbs sugar
   1/4 tsp salt
   1 garlic clove, finely crushed
Sweet and sour fish sauce
   1 garlic clove, finely minced
   1&1/2 Tbs sugar
   1 Tbs lime or lemon juice
   1/4 cup warm water
   3Tbs fish sauce
   1 small red hot chili, seeded and finely minced or 1/4 tsp ground red chili pepper

  1. Wash and cut spaghetti squash into half either lengthwise or crosswise.  Scoop out the seeds and strings out with a spoon.  Bring water to a boil in a large pot over medium high heat.  Add squash, water should cover squash, bring back to a boil then low the heat down to medium low, cover and cook for 15 minutes until a fork can prick easy to the skin.  You can bake in oven with the cut side down 375oF  for 1 hour or use microwave for 10-15 minutes. After the squash cooked, drain (if boiled) and let it cool down a few minutes.  Separate the strands by a fork follow the direction of the strands from 1 side to the other.  Measure about 4 cups and set aside.
  2. Marinade beef slices with fish sauce, sugar, garlic shallot, and pepper and oil for at least 15 minutes.  In a large saute pan over medium high heat, sear the beef without oil (oil added in marinate).  Spread the beef in a layer, cook a few minutes until lightly golden, turn over cook until light crisp.  Set aside, let it cool down.  Then cut the beef into matchsticks with a knife or kitchen shears.
  3. Mix all ingredients of dressing together,
  4. Save some beef for garnish. Toss spaghetti strands with carrot, beef, sliced red pepper (if used) in a large bowl.  Add salad dressing, toss well.  Refrigerate until serving if not serve right away.
  5. Mix all ingredients of sweet and sour fish sauce together. Taste adjust the seasoning as your liking.  It should sweet, sour and lightly salty.
  6. Right before serving, remove salad mixture from the fridge.  Toss and taste, if it is not zesty enough add a few more Tbs of sweet and sour fish sauce and toss well and taste. Transfer to a serving plate, top with preserved beef, herb and sprinkle with peanut.
  7. Serve with shrimp or tortilla chips, and extra sweet and sour fish sauce.

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