Oh wow!  Loved this dish.  Inspiration came from Gourmet Traveller’s latest Slow Food Cookbook, however heading into Spring I just didn’t feel like slow cooking.  I loved the idea of the tomato salad (and the beef) but thought it would better suit my food mood if it was cooked on a nice hot grill.  Really difficult to pick the stand out in this dish as every ingredient married so well together…….. it was seriously good.  A definite favourite in the warmer months.

Prep time:  30  Minutes       Marinating time:  Min 30 Mins      Cooking time:   20  Minutes     $$  Medium Budget

Serves 4

2 x 300gm Porterhouse steaks (approximately 1-1.5 inches thick)

2 tbs of Kecap Manis (Indonesian sweet soy)

2 tbs of light soy sauce

2 tbs of Sriracha chilli sauce (any hot chilli sauce will do but not sweet)

400gm of assorted tomatoes, sliced, halved or wedged (I did all 3 purely for aesthetics)

200gm of snow peas, strings removed and sliced top to bottom

1 cup of coriander leaves

1/2 cup of Thai basil leaves (mint, Vietnamese mint or normal basil will do if you can’t get it)

1/2 a red onion, thinly sliced top to bottom

200gm of rice stick noodles

Deep fried shallots, for garnish

For the Chilli Tamarind Dressing:

2 tbs of peanut oil (grapeseed oil, vegetable oil will also do)

2 tbs of tamarind concentrate (or paste dissolved in the water)

80ml of boiling water

1 garlic clove, finely minced

2 long red chilli’s, seeds removed and very finely minced (you can use a small processor for this and the garlic)

1 red eschallot, finely diced

2 tbs of fish sauce

3 tbs of coconut sugar (brown will do but halve the quantity)

Juice of 1 lime

Mix the kecap manis, soy and sriracha sauce together in a small bowl and pour over the steaks in a shallow dish.  Make sure the steaks are well covered in the marinade and set aside for at least 30 minutes.

Mix the tamarind concentrate and boiling water together and stir well.  Strain the mixture through a fine sieve and discard any leftover pulp.  Heat a medium sized saucepan and add the oil.  Fry the garlic, chilli and eschallot on a low to medium heat for approximately 10 minutes.  Add the coconut sugar and fry for a further 3-5 minutes or until caramelised.  It will probably split but don’t worry, it will come together again when the liquid is added.  Pour in the tamarind liquid and fish sauce and stir to combine.  Simmer for a couple of minutes and then remove from the heat.  Allow to cool a little and then stir in the lime juice.  Have a taste, it should be slightly hot, sweet and sour.

Place the snow peas in a small bowl and cover with boiling water.  Allow to stand for 2-3 minutes and then drain and run under cold water.  Place them, the tomatoes, red onion, coriander leaves and thai basil leaves in a large bowl and toss gently to combine.

Heat a BBQ grill or griddle pan to a nice high heat.  Cook the steaks for approximately 4 minutes either side for medium rare (cooking time will depend on thickness of steak).  Remove from the grill and set aside to rest for 4 minutes.  Slice the steaks across the grain about 1/2cm thick.

Place the noodles in a large pot of boiling water for 6 minutes.  Drain and rinse under hot water, place them back in the pot and pour a little of the leftover steak marinade in the pot.  Toss to combine.

To serve, divide the noodles between four serving plates.  Using your hands, grab a nice pile of the tomatoes and place it beside the noodles.  Scatter the sliced steak over the top and then spoon over the dressing (you may have leftover dressing).  Sprinkle over some crispy shallots and serve.