I was in the mood for a spicy Asian meal on this rainy Tuesday, so I prepared a Thai dish called ‘Crying tiger’ (it’s supposed to be so spicy that even a tiger would cry). It’s one of the best meals ever, you just have to prepare in advance the ‘marinating’ of the beef (2-3 hours, or even better, the night before). I always keep a bottle of Cognac for cooking – it does wonder to my sauces. You will need a good griddle pan to char-grill the beef.
Ingredients: (4 servings)
4 x good-quality sirloin steaks (faux-filet)
2 tbsp fish sauce/ nuoc mam
1 tbsp oyster sauce (most supermarkets have this)
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp cognac
2 garlic cloves (minced)
3 tbsp peanut oil
1 tsp. sugar
For the serving sauce:
1 tsp chopped red chilli (just add what you can handle)
1 finely chopped shallot
Handful of chopped coriander
1 tbsp fish sauce/ nuoc mam
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
Finely chopped fresh lemongrass (if you can’t find this, then you can buy dried lemongrass)
More chopped coriander
In a large bowl, prepare the marinade sauce with the fish sauce, oyster sauce, soya sauce, minced garlic, oil, sugar & cognac and stir well. Place the beef in the bowl and make sure to cover the meat in the sauce. Cover and set aside at room temperature for 2-3 hours or overnight in the fridge.
Prepare the steamed rice of your choice (I always buy mine in Asian supermarkets and I have a wonderful Cuisinart rice cooker – can’t live without it). Make the side sauce in a small bowl, with the chopped chilli, finely chopped shallot, chopped coriander, fish sauce and lime juice. Should you prefer a spicier, sweeter or more acidic sauce, simply season to your liking. I usually prepare 2 sauces, one for the kids without chilli, and one bombarded with chilli for the adults!
Heat your griddle pan to a maximum heat and when the pan is sizzling hot, grill the beef approx 3 minutes on each side, or to your cooking preference (medium, well done or ‘saignant’). The beef is best underdone, so try not to evercook it.
When ready, slice the beef thinly, place a handful of chopped coriander on top and drizzle with sauce. Serve with hot steamed rice, sliced lime and cucumber on the side.
A beautiful simple meal.