Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Vietnamese Vermicelli with Grilled Beef *Edited 10.06.08*

Posted for the benefit of Pass The Beans Please readers:

Canadian Living Magazine: May 2005
Serves 2 to 3
Beef Marinade:
8 oz (250 g) top sirloin or strip loin grilling steak (1 inch/ 2.5 cm thick)
1 tbsp (15 mL) minced shallot or green onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp (5 mL) granulated sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) fish sauce or soy sauce
Vermicelli Salad:
1/2 cup (125 mL) vegetable oil
1/2 cup (125 mL) very thinly sliced shallots
2 oz (60 g) rice vermicelli
2 cups (500 mL) shredded lettuce
2 cups (500 mL) thinly sliced English cucumber
1/4 cup (50 mL) chopped fresh coriander, mint or basil (or a combination)
1/4 cup (50 mL) chopped dry roasted peanuts
1 green onion, thinly sliced
Noodle Sauce:
1/3 cup (75 mL) fresh lime juice
2 tbsp (25 mL) fish sauce
(I just used soy sauce since I did not have fish sauce.)
1 tsp (5 mL) granulated sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp (5 mL) hot red pepper or jalapeƱo pepper, minced
Trim fat from steak. With knife held at 45-degree angle, cut steak crosswise into 6 equal pieces. Place each between plastic wrap; with meat pounder, pound each until about 6 inches (15 cm) long, 3 inches (8 cm) wide and 1/4 inch (5 mm) thick. Place in bowl. Add minced shallot, minced garlic, granulated sugar and fish sauce; toss to coat. Let stand for 30 minutes at room temperature.
Noodle Sauce: In glass measure, whisk together lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, garlic and hot pepper. Set aside. (Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.)
Vermicelli Salad: Meanwhile, in small skillet, heat oil over medium heat until it bubbles. Add shallots; fry until golden, about 4 minutes. With slotted spoon, remove to paper towel-lined plate. Set skillet of shallot oil aside.
In bowl, cover vermicelli with boiling water and soak until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain; rinse in cold water. Return to bowl; toss with 1 tsp (5 mL) of the reserved shallot oil.
Divide lettuce between two or three large bowls or plates. Top with cucumber, half of the coriander and the vermicelli; sprinkle with peanuts and fried shallots. Set aside.
Thread beef onto skewers; brush with 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the reserved shallot oil. Reserve remaining shallot oil for another use. Broil beef until dark and crusty, about 8 minutes.
(The handful of times I have made this, I just stir fried some prepared *already cut up* beef I bought at the meat counter. Broiling sounds like it might be better though! Or even grilling on a BBQ!)
Place on top of noodles; drizzle with any pan juices. Sprinkle with green onion and remaining coriander. To eat, pour noodle sauce over vermicelli salad and toss to combine.

A few notes on this recipe:
*The recipe calls for dry roasted peanuts, but I have always just used lightly salted cocktail peanuts.
*The last ingredient, hot red pepper or jalapeno pepper, I just put a dash of dried crushed red pepper instead.
*I also use regular vermicelli pasta noodles (or thin spaghetti) from the pasta aisle. Not rice vermicelli…


  1. This looks really good. I'm in the middle of planning next weeks menu ... I shop of Friday's and it takes me a few days to plan when we're trying lots of new stuff !! This just might make it onto next weeks menu !!!

  2. you must be sick, or extremely busy. I guess I'm rubbing off on you in blogland! where are the pics?
    oh by the way the food looks great! you really could be a photographer for a cookbook. and of course everything else :-)


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