24 Jul

Ca va mes amis?

I’m sorry – I have been seriously neglectful of late! Between a trip to the snow, a few late nights in the office and some busy weekends I’ve been eating far more take away than I care to admit!

I even missed Bastille Day! I was planning to get all Frenchy, reinvent Little Miss Piggie as ‘Le Petit Cochon’ and whip up my favourite French fare to share with you but instead I was busy drinking red wine and playing board games in front of the fire in country Victoria! Do you blame me?!

Fortunately the recipe I plan to share with you today requires very little effort and time and the dividends you get from this baby make it a worthwhile investment (banker chat, no big deal, I wonder If the Fin Review needs a food writer?!)

A bit of background… I work in Surry Hills, which feels like the epicentre of Sydney’s food scene. This has its benefits and its drawbacks. I know, I know, I shouldn’t complain, but when you have such a plethora of options and are particularly bad at decision-making (as I am), this happens to pose a serious problem!!!

So it seems strange that of all the places at which we could eat, we often end up at The Naughty Chef; a dingy-looking, funky-smelling Vietnamese café on Elizabeth St.

The drawcard? Bun-Bo-Xao.

I was introduced to this Vietnamese salad early this year by a work colleague and have been chowing it down at every chance ever since (usually every Friday lunchtime!)

In fact, I got over waiting for Friday lunchtimes to come around and decided try to recreate it myself ‘a la maison’…

I recommend you try The Naughty Chef’s bun-bo-xao if you get the chance, but if not, try mine…ok, so I can’t quite claim this as my recipe, it’s more a Luke Nguyen / Naughty Chef hybrid, facilitated by moi!). It’s super easy, deliriously delicious and I’m going to take a punt and say it’s pretty healthy too(if that’s what your into!!)- three big ticks from me!!!

Not quite Porgie’s Bun-Bo-Xao

  • 500g sirloin or rump steak
  • 3 tbs fish sauce
  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp finely chopped lemongrass (I’ve used lemongrass from a jar before when the real deal wasn’t available)
  • 2tbs olive oil
  • 400g thin rice vermicelli
  • Shredded iceberg lettuce
  • Handful of mint leaves, torn
  • 4 tbs chopped coriander
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 2 spring onions, sliced
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber, julienned
  • Half a red onion, finely sliced
  • 1 lemon, quartered

Nuoc Cham20110724-042801.jpg

  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 3 chillies, finely chopped
  • 5 – 7 tbsp fish sauce (to taste)
  • 7 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Pour the fish sauce, crushed garlic and lemongrass over the steak. Cover and marinate in the fridge until ready to cook.

Make the nuoc cham by grinding garlic and chillies in a mortar and pestle until it resembles a thick paste.Combine the fish sauce, sugar, water and lemon juice in a separate bowl and stir thoroughly until sugar has dissolved. Add garlic & chilli paste and mix. Set aside.

Soak the noodles in boiling water for a couple of minutes. When soft, drain and rinse with cold water then chop up with kitchen scissors. Once drained, separate the noodles, vegetables and herbs between 4 large bowls.

Heat oil in frying pan over high heat until very hot. Place whole steak/s in and sear. Cook to your liking – I prefer it to be on the rarer side! Once cooked, allow to rest for a few minutes then thinly slice the meat and divide amongst the bowls.

Pour over some nuoc cham (adding more to taste if you wish) and serve with a wedge of lemon and a sprinkling of fried onion and crushed peanuts.

Yum…now I’m hungry for Naughty Chef! This is a perfect recipe for a fresh lunch or light dinner!

Next up – I’m searching for a good winter recipe to share with you – I’ve been reprimanded by my younger brother for not having gotten around to this already – sorry master! So in his words, I’m going to ‘fix that’!!!

Also – I’m heading home to the beautiful North Coast in a few weeks and hoping to pop in to my favourite local – Harvest Café at Newrybar for a meal! Stay tuned for a review!

Little Miss Piggie xx


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