Spicy Mint Beef

Do you know about the wonders of fish sauce?

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If you’re new to this essential of Thai cooking, fish sauce is an amber-colored liquid extracted from the fermentation of small saltwater fish with sea salt.  Some sauces contain only fish and salt, others add herbs and spices. Fish sauce that has been only briefly fermented has a pronounced fishy taste, while extended fermentation gives it a nuttier, richer and more savory flavor.

Sounds gross? It is delicious – just try it! You can find it at most grocery stores in their Asian section.  When you have it in your fridge you’ll never need to order Thai take-out again.

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This recipe was adapted from a Giada De Laurentiis creation that you can find here.   Adding the mint at the end makes the dish.

What to buy (serves 2):

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 serrano chiles, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound flank steak, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • juice of one lime
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup peanuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh corn cut off the cob
  • 1 head of iceberg lettuce, chopped or shredded

What to do:

  • in a large skillet, heat the oil over medium high
  • add the garlic and peppers and stir for about 2 minutes
  • add the meat and cook, stirring frequently, for another few minutes
  • combine the fish sauce, soy sauce, lime juice, honey and chili until well mixed and pour over the cooking beef
  • bring the mixture to a low simmer and cook, stirring frequently until the meat is cooked through, about 3 minutes
  • transfer meat to a serving dish and serve over chopped lettuce (or rice if you’re not feeling the greens), sprinkling mint and peanuts on top 
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