In this recipe, traditional French steak tartare, which is made with minced beef and served raw with egg yolk and seasoning, is given a Vietnamese makeover with the addition of Asian herbs and seasonings. The egg yolks used are quail, and it is dressed with a signature Vietnamese nuoc mam cham.
- 400 g sirloin steak (see Note)
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) lemon juice
- 1 tsp fried red Asian shallots
- 1 tsp fried garlic
- ¼ tsp toasted rice powder
- ½ tsp garlic oil
- 6 sawtooth coriander leaves, finely sliced
- 1 large handful Vietnamese mint, finely sliced
- 1 bird's eye chilli, sliced
- 1 large handful bean sprouts
- 1 large handful perilla leaves (see Note)
- 8 quail egg yolks (in quail egg half-shells)
Fish sauce dressing (nuoc mam cham)
- 60 ml (¼ cup) white vinegar
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 60 ml (¼ cup) fish sauce
- 125 ml (½ cup) water
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.
To make the dressing, place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until the sugar is dissolved.
To make the steak tartare, remove all visible sinew from beef. Using a sharp knife, cut the steak into very small pieces, about 4 mm wide.
Place the steak in a bowl and add lemon juice. Mix well. (The lemon juice will slightly citrus-cure the beef.)
Add fried shallots, fried garlic, toasted rice powder, garlic oil, coriander, mint, chilli and ⅓ cup of the dressing. Use your hands to combine until well incorporated. Divide the mixture between four plates.
In a separate bowl, mix bean sprouts and perilla leaves. Add to each serve of tartare, then top with a quail egg yolk in its shell. Serve with the remaining fish sauce dressing.
• We used eye fillet steak.
• Perilla leaves are large, purple and dark green leaves available from Asian grocers. Often shredded and used in Asian cuisines, they are called shiso leaves in Japanese cookery.
Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Sarah O’Brien. Food preparation by Suresh Watson. Recipe courtesy of Luke Nguyen of Red Lantern, Sydney. Creative concept by Lou Fay.