This is a great Vietnamese recipe that turned out surprisingly well. I had thought that it wouldn’t be very flavorful, given the method of marinading the meat, but it was very flavorful. In this case I did not have the needed lemongrass, so I substituted lime leaves. It was still very good with this substitution, but my guess is lemongrass would have been the best ingredient to use. Note that it is NOT beef jerky, and it needs to be cooked.
I found the recipe in a cookbook, and I photocopied the page. Sadly, I cannot attribute this to an author because I don’t have the title of the book, nor do I remember where I had access to it. After several web searches, I found the recipe, verbatim, on another blog, but they had just pirated it and claimed it as their own. I don’t work like that.
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What you’ll need:
- 1 lb very lean beef (sirloin works well)
- 2 lemongrass stalks, trimmed and chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 dried chilies, seeded and chopped (or use 2t chili flakes or one fresh Thai chili, seeded)
- 3T honey
- 1T nuoc mam*
- 2T soy sauce
What to do:
Trim any fat off the beef and slice it against the grain into thin slices. Note that it’s easier to partially freeze the meet before slicing.
In a small food processor or with a mortar and pestle, grind the lemongrass, garlic and chilies into a paste. Stir in the honey, nuoc mam and soy sauce to complete the marinade.
Now set up the beef, marinade and wire racks for the drying process. Dip each slice of meat into the marinade and set it on the wire rack. Any type of cooling or cooking rack works well, as long as it allows air to flow above and below the slices. Repeat until all the meat has been dipped and added to the rack(s).
Refrigerate the meat, uncovered, for two days. Of course, during this time it will dry out and the marinade will penetrate the meat.
Cook the meat on a grill or in the broiler until just cooked. Because it’s so dry, it will cook faster than you would anticipate, so check on it for doneness every minute, until done. I think mine took less than 3 minutes in the broiler.
Serve with a sweet-chili dipping sauce or make extra nuoc mam and use that.
*If you don’t have any remade nuoc mam at home, here’s an easy version of it for this recipe. Just mix these ingredients together:
- 2T lime juice
- 2T sugar
- 3T fish sauce
- 2T water