Make 4 servings,
1 lb beef (rump, sirloin, or fillet) thinly slice again the grain
1 lemongrass stalk, trimmed white part only, finely chopped, need about 2 tablespoons
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 shallot, finely chopped
1 Tbs fish sauce
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 Tbs vegetable oil
1/2 small yellow or red onion, sliced into 1/4-in thick semicircle
2 green onion, thinly sliced
Mix all ingredients together except onions, green onion and oil and marinate at least 15 minutes.
2. Rice vermicelli
8 oz (1/2 lb) dried rice vermicelli (look for the size like angle hair), soaked in boiling water and cover for 5-6 minutes. Make sure having enough water to cover vermicelli. It is done when it is soft but still has some bite if not cover a few more minutes, drain and rinse in cold water a few times. They may look soggy at first but will be fluffy and drier later. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and help fluffy. Set aside.
3. Vegetable and garnish
1 cup packed sliced lettuce, washed and rinsed,
1/2 cup julienned cucumber (thinly slice crosswise first,then julienne)
1/2 cup finely julienned carrot
1 cups bean sprout, rinsed and soaked in water until use help keep its color white, drained before serve
A handful variety of Vietnamese herbs: mint, perilla, basil, cilantro, etc. washed, dried and thinly sliced right before serve
2 Tbs deep fried onion/shallot (recipe in deep fried onion post)
4 Tbs toasted peanut, coarsely crushed (or cashew)
4. Nuoc mam cham /dam (sweet and sour fish sauce)
1 garlic cloves, finely minced
- Divide rice vermicelli into 4 bowls, with some shredded lettuce, herb, cucumber, bean sprout, carrot.
- Heating oil in a large saute pan over high heat. Add beef, spread them around the pan and sear them to golden brown, I do not like them to be charred. Do not turn them until golden brown. When they’re almost seared both side. Add onion, stir a few minutes to bring the sweetness out but still crunchy. Stir in green onion. Remove from heat
- Place beef atop of the vermicelli. Garnish with crushed peanut, fried shallot. Serve with a small bowl of nuoc mam cham along the side.
- Add a couple tablespoons of nuoc mam cham into the vermicelli and toss well to taste right before eating.
You can buy deep fried shallot in a jar at Asian market.
Save extra lemongrass in freezer for later use.
Fish sauce “nuoc mam/ nuoc mam man” itself is very salty. When it is mixed with garlic, sugar, etc. it becomes sweet and sour fish sauce and it is called ” nuoc cham”, “nuoc mam cham” or “nuoc mam dam.” Cham means dipping, and dam is expressing the way we use pestle to crush garlic and chili to make nuoc mam cham.