Monday, June 13, 2011

Steak salad with fermented black bean dressing

One of my favorite Chinese dishes is beef chow fun with fermented black bean sauce. Of course, I rarely indulge in such dishes. However, my favorite component is really the beef and the sauce; I could take or leave the noodles. So, perhaps it only makes sense to serve the beef and sauce over lots of veggies. This is adapted from a flank steak recipe from Sunset magazine, but I tweaked it quite a bit.

I decided to make the beef in the oven, but if you don't want to heat up your kitchen, of course you could use the grill instead. I used an oven-grilling method that I read about in Cook's Illustrated and I absolutely loved the results. This is probably my new go-to cooking method for London broil. Just be sure to slice it very thinly as otherwise it may be tough. An electric carving knife was very helpful here.

Serves 4 as a main dish


  • 1 top round London broil (about 1.5-2 lbs), excess fat and gristle trimmed
  • 1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium beef broth (chicken broth would probably work too)
  • 1/4 cup fermented black beans, rinsed
  • 3 Tbs shao xing wine or sherry
  • 3 Tbs grated fresh ginger
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar or cider vinegar (I used cider vinegar)
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 oz roasted salted peanuts or cashews, crushed
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • Salad greens of choice (I used a baby spinach blend)
  1. Combine the tamari or soy sauce, broth, wine or sherry, ginger, vinegar, beans, and honey. Marinate the steak in this mixture overnight.
  2. When ready to make the salad, preheat the oven to 500 degrees for at least 30 minutes. Remove the steak from the marinade and pat dry, reserving all of the marinade. Lightly grease a heavy cast iron skillet (I used coconut oil) and heat on the stove on high heat for 3-5 minutes. As soon as the steak smokes (about 5 seconds), transfer to the oven. Cook for 3.5-4 minutes, turn steak, cook for another 3.5-4 minutes, then remove from oven and let the steak rest for 5 minutes. Slice paper thin on the bias against the grain.
  3. Meanwhile, boil the reserved marinade until reduced by half. When the steak is done cooking, add any accumulated meat juices from roasting or slicing to the dressing.
  4. Mound salad greens on four plates. Top with bell pepper and scallions. Top with sliced steak and sprinkle with cilantro and crushed peanuts. Drizzle with the warm dressing and serve.


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