Katie Whiting is a regular reader of SPC and when she sent me a note about this great salad she makes for her family, I asked her if she'd do a guest post for us. And here it is! I love meal salads and this one sounds right up my alley. I've been craving Asian flavours lately and can't wait to try this one. Katie is a marketing coordinator and food connoisseur at Food Service Warehouse, a restaurant equipment and supplies web store. She's Mom to a son and a daughter and lives in California. — C.M.
Getting the family to eat salad can be a bit of a challenge but this Tri Tip salad will soon make it onto your kids special treat list. Our version of this well-known dish is heavily influenced by Thai flavors, but you can go as easy on the chili as you want. It’s a healthy meal that has a deeply satisfying range of flavors and enough interesting textures to keep even the most fickle feeder munching right to the end.
Tri Tip is a cut of beef from the sirloin area and is perfect for this kind of meal because it’s a tasty, tender cut that won’t break the bank. We love our tri tip marinated, so if you have time, prepare the meat the day before you plan to eat this delicious salad.
Tri Tip Salad
For the beef
1½ lbs Tri-tip (make sure you get it with the fat trimmed)
1 Tbs of fish sauce
½ Tbs of dark soy sauce
½ Tbs dark sugar
1 Tbs garlic, minced
A thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, grated
For the salad
(Ingredients in this section of the recipe are super flexible; within reason, just go with whatever you’ve got to hand, or follow our guidelines below).
1 cucumber, finely sliced lengthways
1 carrot, finely sliced lengthways
2 spring onions, finely sliced lengthways
1 good handful of bean sprouts
10 cherry tomatoes, chopped in half
5 medium radishes, finely sliced
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 small head of crispy lettuce, such as Iceberg, shredded
½ red onion, thinly sliced
8 baby sweetcorn, chopped into quarters
1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
For the dressing
2 limes, squeezed
a dash of fish sauce
lemongrass (preferably fresh and sliced from the white section of the stalk)
a red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 Tsp brown sugar
1 Tbs of grated coconut (or coconut cream)
½ cup unsalted peanuts
1 tbs coriander seeds
a sprinkling of sesame seeds
First, prepare the marinade. Combine everything from the ‘For the beef’ ingredients apart from the Tri Tip itself. Pound together in a small bowl until a smooth paste is formed. Cover the meat with the mixture and leave over night (or at least for a few hours).
When you’re ready to eat, remove the tri tip from the fridge and leave to stand while you slice all your vegetables. As you chop them, add them to a large bowl that you’ll be serving from later.
Now it’s time to grill the meat. How you cook your tri tip is up to you and depends on whether you like rare, medium or well-done steak. As a guide, an internal temperature of 125F will give you rare, 140-145F will give you medium and 160F will cook your meat through and through. Let the tri tip stand for about 10 minutes under some tin foil while you prepare the dressing.
Lightly crush the coriander seeds and toast in a dry pan along with the sesame seeds and peanuts. Keep a close eye on these – you don’t want them to burn!
Now mix the rest of the ingredients together thoroughly. Feel free to get a bit rough here, you want the chilli and lemongrass to start breaking down, and for all the sugar to dissolve. Taste and season as appropriate.
Pour the dressing over the salad in the bowl and mix well. Carve the meat into thin slices and place on top of the rest of the salad. Scatter the toasted seeds over everything and serve with green tea and chopsticks!