Friday 5 September 2008

lemongrass beef noodles

This salad is delicious. The ingredients are so fragrant and pungent and sum up all the things I love about Vietnamese food.

First the steak is marinated in gorgeous lemongrass overnight, then grilled and served warm, sliced over herby noodles drenched in spicy nước chắm. Divine!

I first discovered this recipe back in 2006 and have wanted to make it ever since. Now that Jonas is back at work, and I have my nights free again, I thought it was a perfect opportunity to give it a try.

This is my contribution to Presto Pasta Nights, founded by Ruth at Once Upon A Feast but this week hosted by Abby of Eat the Right Stuff.

Bún Bò Nướng Xả (Lemongrass Beef Noodle Salad)
Based on a recipe from Little Bouffe. Serves 2 as main course.

2 stalks lemongrass
6 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoons soy sauce
4 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
450g beef sirloin
1. Trim the lemongrass stalks by removing the roots and reserving only 6cm from the base. Remove the tough outer layers and chop the core.
2. Blend the lemongrass and garlic in a food processor until finely ground.
3. Add remaining ingredients (except steak) and blend.
4. Place the steak in a plastic bag or container and pour in the marinade. Turn the steak until well-coated and refrigerate overnight.

Nước Chắm:
6 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons sugar
1 minced garlic clove
1 minced red chilli
Method: Blend together and allow to sit for 10 minutes or more to infuse.

Marinated steak (from above)
¾ cup nước chắm (from above)
200g rice vermicelli
½ cup shredded holy basil (rau quế)
½ cup chopped coriander leaves
1 cucumber, halved lengthwise and sliced thinly
1 tomato, deseeded and sliced thinly
1 red chilli, minced


1. Heat a large skillet on high, add steak and cook, 1-2 minutes per side. Set aside on cutting board 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to package; drain and rinse in cold water.

3. Toss noodles with fresh herbs, chilli and half the nước chắm.

4. Divide the noodles among 2 bowls. Add cucumber and tomato on top.

5. Slice the steak thinly, on the diagonal, and distribute slices among plates.

6. Serve remaining nước chắm on the side.



  1. anna, it's 8 o'clock in the morning and my mouth is watering at the thought of your lovely dish! thanks for sharing with ppn.

  2. I have everything except the rice noodles (I forgot to pick some up last time I shopped), and the beef. So I'm going to make this with regular flour noodles, and pork roast. Mmmm!

  3. It is a stunning dish and since my brother-in-law will be in town, I think it's going to be one of the stars this week.

    Thanks for sharing with Presto pasta Nights


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