30 Jan2007

wag1

The first attempt at melding wagyu beef with some greens was a bit of a disappointment in that the beef was superb tasting but the cucumbers and tomatoes were a weak, watery foil to the beef. So I decided to add substance to the greens and at the same time, try to make the wagyu with more of a Thai dressing that would hopefully make the whole salad a bit more substantial, pop out more at your tastebuds. So for the base of Salad Version 2, I used crisp small romaine or cos lettuce leaves and added some slices of cucumber and tomato. You could easily add some seedless grapes for a touch of sweetness (the best Thai Beef Salad I have eaten was at the Oriental Hotel, their restaurant beside the river, which added grapes to their beef salad, excellent!).

Next, I grilled the Wagyu with just some salt and pepper, not marinated and ended up with a paler finished product that in Version 1, which used soy sauce. I laid the beef on wag2top of the lettuce and drizzled it with the following dressing: chopped shallots, thinly sliced lemongrass and makrut lime leaves, thai fish sauce (patis), a touch of brown sugar, sliced chilies, and lime juice. This salad was a palate shocker and delicious in a Thai way, but again there was something off on the balance of the whole dish. I was still not happy and will continue to experiment. Somehow, I am seeking a nicely done meat (closer to the dark caramelized meat marinated in soy sauce in Version 1), but with a vegetable that will hold to to it, and a dressing that doesn’t overwhelm. There were lots of great suggestions posted by readers in the previous salad and I will just have to keep on trying… on a scale of 1-10, this salad was perhaps a 6 or 6.5…

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Maria Clara says:

    You plating as usual is magnificent! If you can get your hands with palm sugar please do so instead of brown sugar. Palm sugar is the essential sweetening agent in Thai cooking. As with any Asian fare you have the element of yin and yang – sweet and sour – add rice vinegar in addition to your lime juice and a little splash of sesame oil for background taste. For Thai beef salad, they dredge their beef with dry roasted and ground rice before cooking it and pound with a mortar and pestle the makrut leaves, white part of lemon grass and chilies instead of thinly sliced. Add shredded carrots and bean sprouts for added crunch and color.

    Jan 30, 2007 | 8:33 am

     
  2. millet says:

    MM, i think another key is to keep the beef slices small so they don’t overwhelm the tender greens. your thai dressing sounds delicious. i love thai beef salad but i don’t like the toasted rice flour that they sprinkle all over it.

    Jan 30, 2007 | 1:29 pm

     
  3. tulip says:

    It’s a little expensive experimenting with wagyu,I hope you get it to your liking. One of my version is marinated with red wine vinegar, Worchestershire sauce , shallots and pepper. I grill it or pan sear. Balsamic vinegar, pepper, mustard and olive oil for vinaigrette. Arugula, lollo rossa and basil for greens plus capers/olives, tomatoes and cheese (i.e. feta)

    Jan 30, 2007 | 2:25 pm

     
  4. Marketman says:

    tulip, from a package of 500 grams (PHP500), I was able to make 4 portions/experiments, so while a touch expensive, it was in really small doses… millet, oddly, I don’t recall the toasted rice flour in salads I had in Bangkok…hmmm, think its a restaurant thingee? Maria Clara, yup, will try this with palm sugar too. Also, a touch of ripe tamarind adds another layer of flavor…

    Jan 30, 2007 | 2:35 pm

     
  5. tulip says:

    Marketman, the price is quite a good deal. Is that from a deli shop or the importer that recently opened to retailing wagyu beef? I am in search for a really good quality wagyu beef. Someone sent me some of this wagyu from the importer but my family feast on it, never had the chance to try it yet. But over the holidays, an in-law flew from Japan and gave me this Matsuzaka beef that was just excellent, it is a kind of Wagyu beef I was told.

    Jan 30, 2007 | 2:55 pm

     
  6. Marketman says:

    tulip, this wagyu is grown in Mindanao. You can get it from a vendor at the Salcedo market who sells the yakiniku cut for PHP500 for a small package. I also tried their osso buco cut which wasn’t bad. It is a bit oilier and sebo-ish than the imported but it still tastes far better than most local beef…

    Jan 30, 2007 | 3:29 pm

     
  7. TOPING says:

    Choice beef done right is heavenly. Ever tried it with mango (green or ripe) or red cabbage, MM?

    Jan 30, 2007 | 5:49 pm

     
 

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