Luke cooks this delicious dish literally on the train tracks! There is little space either side of the tracks as it’s kept clear for the locals to use as pathways.
- 100 g beef sirloin, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
- 200 g fresh flat rice noodle sheets
- 1 litre vegetable oil, for deep-frying
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 cup sliced Chinese celery cut into 2 cm lengths
- ½ cup shredded carrot
- ½ onion, cut into thin wedges
- 1 baby bok choy, quartered lengthwise
- 2 tsp fish sauce
- 2 tsp light soy sauce
- 2 spring onions, sliced into 4 cm lengths
- 1 long red chilli, cut into julienne
- 125 ml (½ cup) chicken stock
- 2 tsp cornflour, mixed with 1 tbsp water
- 1 tsp fried garlic
- handful coriander sprigs
- handful Asian basil leaves
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
1. Place the beef in a bowl, add 2 teaspoons of the oyster sauce and a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss to combine and stand for 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, stack 4 layers of the rice noodle sheets on top of each other, then cut into 4 cm squares.
3. Heat the oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 150°C. Cook the rice noodle pieces for 5 minutes or until light golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.
4. Heat 1 tablespoon of the deep-frying oil in a wok over high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, then add the beef and stir-fry for 2 minutes or until browned. Remove the beef and set aside.
5. Add another tablespoon of the deep-frying oil to the same hot pan, then stir-fry the Chinese celery, carrot, onion and bok choy for 1 minute. Add the fish sauce, soy sauce and remaining 2 teaspoons of oyster sauce and stir-fry another minute. Add the cooked beef, spring onions and chilli and toss to combine well. Add the stock, then slowly drizzle in the cornflour mixture, stirring continuously until the sauce is slightly thickened.
6. Place the noodle pillows into a shallow bowl, then top with the stir-fried beef and vegetables. Garnish with the fried garlic, coriander and Asian basil and serve immediately.
Catch Luke Nguyen on the tracks dishing up Vietnamese fare in the brand-new series, Luke Nguyen's Railway Vietnam.