Thai Beef Salad & Coconut Rice


This is a recipe I have made dozens of times now – I first came across it when some friends and  I had a monthly poker club (one of my best friends had just moved over from the US and had been part of a book club, we quickly decided light hearted gambling would suit us much better).    I have tweaked the recipe a little but not by much – If you have a food processor this is seriously quick, and since you eat it cold it is easy to make in advance.   Only thing to be careful of is not to over cook the beef – the lime marinade will cook it further after you take the beef out of the pan so don’t be put off when it looks very red (pics below), you should end up with melt in your mouth meat that is cooked almost through once it has been left to absorb the sauce.  If you don’t like cucumber (I’m always amazed by how many people don’t like something that is mostly water) then sub in some mango.  S

Recipe (serves 6): 

750g thick cut rump steak
4 small or 3 large chillies (1 is for garnish – I used all green but a mix looks nicer)
3 garlic cloves
Juice of 2 limes
3 tbsp soy sauce (light or dark is fine)
2 tbsp ground nut oil, plus extra for cooking the steak
1 tbsp dark brown soft sugar
2 inch piece of fresh ginger (or 1.5 tsp ginger paste)
20g coriander (15g and 5 for garnish)
15g mint (10g and 5 for garnish)
2 stalks lemongrass (or squeezes of lemon juice)
Half a cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
300g jasmine rice
400g coconut milk
400g water
Pinch salt



Step one: Pulse the chilli (3 small or 2 large), garlic (3 cloves), lime juice (2), soy sauce (3 tbsp), groundnut oil (2tbsp), brown sugar (1 tbsp), ginger (2 inches), coriander (15g), mint (10g) and lemongrass (1 stalk) in a food processor until blended


Step two: Heat a small amount of groundnut oil and cook the steaks 2 minutes each side.  Set aside to rest for 15 minutes – You can see below they are still very pink, but in by the end photo much less so


Step three: Cut the steak into strips, place in a shallow dish and cover in the marinate.  Leave in the fridge for at least an hour, remove when ready to serve

Step four: Boil coconut milk (400ml) and water (400ml) with the lemongrass (1 stalk) and a pinch of salt.  When boiling, add 300g jasmine rice and simmer with the lid on for 20 minutes


Step five: Set the rice aside, leave to cool and fluff up with a fork

Step six: Place the cucumber slices around the edge of the plate pile on the rice and beef.  Top with 1 finely chopped chilli, and the remaining coriander and mint, I also added some cucumbercut lengthways with the peeler.









Chocolate, Coffee & Pistachio Arctic Roll

It’s amazing how your definition of rest changes over time – staring down the barrel of a 12 hour flight to Asia last week rather than dreading the let lag I found myself absurdly excited for no phone signal, two unread copies of Grazia, and free Baileys.  It also gave me time after a bit of a blogging break to think of some new recipes to try – and given the heat, the first of which had to involve ice cream.

Arctic roll primarily reminds me of school dinners, I hadn’t eaten it therefore in quite some time… but I was on holiday in Italy a couple of weeks ago and the local gelato shop had shelves of them in the freezer that looked absolutely amazing (and nothing like Mr Slater’s “frozen carpet” put down of the original…)  For the grown up version I went for a pistachio ice cream in the centre using a recipe by David Lebovitz, and wrapped it in a Mary Berry sponge, with the original recipe adjusted to incorporate the coffee and chocolate.

The recipe is actually very speedy – the sponge is a couple of steps and cooks in ten minutes, the ice cream is just a bit of whisking and the machine did the rest (if you don’t have one you can put the mix in the freezer and stir every so often).  It would be easily switched up to different combinations too – Thanks to the Japan leg on my trip, top of my list is chocolate sponge with green tea ice cream… S

Recipe (serves six):

Ice cream by David Lebovitz:
500ml whole milk
65g sugar
16g cornstarch
Squeeze of lemon
180g pistachio paste (original recipe calls for 200g, the jar I bought was 180g).  I found the pistachio paste in Partridges, but apparently they also sell it in Whole Foods.

Sponge adapted from Mary Berry:
4 eggs
110g caster sugar
20g cocoa powder
1tbsp coffee powder + 1 tbsp water

Preheat the oven to 180°C

Method – Ice Cream:

Step one: Mix the cornstarch (16g) with 60ml of the whole milk


Step two: Heat the remaining (440ml) whole milk with 65g sugar

Step three: Stir in the milk/cornflour mix to the milk/sugar combination, simmer for three minutes

Step four: Whisk in the pistachio paste



Step five: Cool in the fridge and churn in the ice cream maker for 45 mins.

Step six: Once set, transfer into anything cylindrical and leave in the freezer until ready to use (I put mine in a mug with baking parchment around the sides, but looking back I think you could just roll it into a sausage shape and wrap it like that)

Method – Sponge:

Step one: Whisk 4 eggs with 110g caster sugar


Step two: Sieve and fold in 110g self raising flour and 20g cocoa powder



Step three: Add the espresso and pour into a baking tray (mine was 13 x 9 inches).  Cook for 10 minutes



Step four: Once cooked, carefully curve in a cylindrical shape and leave to cool (I wrapped mine on the inside of a large mug)

Step five: remove the ice cream from the freezer and wrap the sponge around.  Return to the freezer until ready to serve.  Top with crushed pistachios.




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