My Mom used to make this dish for us when she wanted us to eat our salad. This salad is a whole meal by itself including meat, veggies and served with rice. The Vietnamese salad dressing is very light and low in calories compared to the Westerner dressings.
For the meat, we used thin slide beef for stir-fried, or you can use thicker flank steak, grill or fry then cut it to smaller pieces when served.
If you have fresh lemongrass, please use it. Finely chopped it or just smash the bottom of it to infuse the oil. Lemongrass will add a Southern Asia flavor to any of your dishes! I didn’t have any fresh lemongrass so I used my favorite lemongrass and Thai basil infused oil. La Tourangelle Thai Wok Oil. This oil is very handy when you need lemongrass but didn’t have the fresh one.
1/ The meat: marinated the beef with 1teaspoon of soy sauce or fish sauce + 1 teaspoon of Thai wok oil or fresh lemongrass or sesame oil. Let’s it marinated for a bit while you prepare the lettuce and the salad dressing. Then when everything ready and about 10 minutes before serving, heat some oil in medium heat, throw in some smashed garlic. When the garlic started to smell amazing and turned a bit brown, add in the marinated beef, stir fry in high heat for about 5 minutes. It depends on how cook you want the beef to be. I like it medium raw.
2/ The salad:
Lettuces of your choice. I had green leaf lettuces. Red or white onion. For the dressing: combine 1 part of white or vegetable vinegar or lime juice + 2 parts of warm water + 1 part of sugar or honey maple syrup. Add just it to your taste but the original one is a balance of sweet and sour. Mix the dressing to thin slide onion and let it seat while stir frying the meat.
Assembling the lettuces, tomatoes then pour the dressing over it.
Put the stir-fried meat on top of the salad, it is up to you if you want to poor in the meat liquid from the stir-fry or just used the meat. I had some hard boil egg from the egg test other day so I used them.
Traditional, we dip the salad into soy sauce mixed with fresh chilies and served it with steamed rice.
I hope you will enjoy this simple and tasty salad! Let’s me know what do you think!😁 Cheers!