Vietnamese Beef Carpaccio
- 2 limes
- 1 tsp white sugar
- 3- cm piece of lemon grass bruised, peeled and finely sliced
- 1 Tbsp finely grated fresh ginger
- 1 clove garlic peeled and finely chopped
- 1 small green chilli deseeded and finely sliced
- 2 Tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 tsp finely grated palm sugar
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 2 drops sesame oil
- 750 g fillet steak
- a little olive oil for rubbing
- 4 tsp 20 ml oil, for frying
- micro-herb leaves
- white and black sesame seeds
Rub a little olive oil all over the fillet. Wrap the meat lengthways in a large sheet of clingfilm and twist the ends in opposite directions to create a tight log. Tuck the ends underneath and chill for at least 2 hours, or until needed.
Heat the oil in a large pan and, when it is blazing hot , quickly brown the meat on all sides. This should take no more than 2-3 minutes and the meat should remain quite raw inside. Place in the fridge to cool for 15 minutes.
Cut the fillet into slices 3-4 mm thick. Place the slices between two sheets of clingfilm and use a rolling pin to thin and gently stretch the meat to the desired thickness. Alternatively, you can use the back of the blade of a heavy knife to stretch and flatten the slices.
To make the dressing, cut the limes in half and dip the cut end in the white sugar. Place them, sugar-side down, in a hot non-stick frying pan. Cook until the cut surface is nicely browned and caramelised.
Cool the limes for a few minutes, then squeeze the warm juice into a blender. Add all the remaining dressing ingredients and whizz at high speed until well combined. The dressing should be slightly coarse.
Spread a little dressing on the base of a platter or several smaller plates. Arrange the meat slices on top and drizzle with the remaining dressing. Sprinkle with micro-herb leaves and sesame seeds and serve immediately.
The fillet can be seared, sliced and refrigerated, and the dressing made, up to 3 hours in advance, but put them together just before you serve the dish or the dressing will ‘cook’ the fillet.