Do you ever go to a restaurant, eat something, and say to yourself “I HAVE to make this at home.” Well this was one of those recipes. A salad so filling and delicious that enticed so many parts of the palate that I knew I not only was obliged to make it…I simply HAD to.
There was also the small factor of redeeming my reputation from a horrible meat purchase which influenced my quest…I had bought the most vile steak (don’t even ask me whether it claimed to be flank/skirt/hanger it was worse than stew meat. I wouldn’t feed it to my dog (okay I don’t have a dog–but I wouldn’t even feed it to my neighbor’s dog ten doors down). I had unfortunately fed it to my starving boyfriend and after about three attempts at this bovine jerky of sorts we resorted to simply eating the french bread it was served on and sopping up excess meat juices (beggars dinner to be sure). I had been hoping for the lovely french dip of my childhood. Alas. So–forgetting my past failures, I flung myself into this new, wonderful recipe:
Sexy Steak Salad
Ramen noodles-1 package
2 6oz steak (okay-generic I know, bad chef…just chose what looks best and what is your favorite and slice it nice and thin–I did big meaty chunks for mine but for a more delicate portion, fine strips will plate better)
1 avocado-large dice (again-you can do slices and fan, upscale away if that suits you)
1 mango-large dice
roasted, salted peanut halves-4 T for topping
1 Napa cabbage-shredded (you will not use the whole cabbage, 1/2 should suffice)–I also don’t use the entire leaf, I discard about a 1/4 of the coarsest part.
fresh cilantro and mint–2 sprigs each, chiffonade/coarse chop
sweet chili sauce-5T
sesame oil-3 T
Chinese rice vinegar-3T
hot pepper flakes-2 T
Shred your cabbage. Chiffonade your cilantro and mint. Dice your mango. Mix your vinaigrette but do not toss. Set all aside, separately.
Cook your Ramen noodles (do not use the package of seasoning!) Drain, sprinkle with sesame oil to separate the noodles and coarsely cut the long noodles to allow for more bite sized portions.
Next, prepare your lovely red meat. If you can grill–grill your steak to med-rare. Let it rest and then carve as desired. If you can’t–I live in a small apartment in NYC with strong smoke alarms and no backyard–then pan sear it to med-rare. (it is best if the steak is slightly warm after resting because then when you get a bite of it pared with mango and avocado the tastes explode in your mouth).
As your steak is resting, slice your avocado and mix your cooled ramen noodles with your Napa cabbage (if the ramen is not cooled it will cook your cabbage). Next add your mango, fresh herbs, and avocado. Delicately toss with vinaigrette till coated to your desire. Top with steak and peanuts.
As you sit down to this meal, enjoy the satisfaction of a hearty salad with definite sex appeal. Compliment yourself on the execution and don’t be too shy to lick your plate clean.