Hot, sour and sweet; the Thai nation seem to marry these three amazing tastes to perfection and it is such incredible food. Thai food appears simple and complex at the same time, combining a myriad of flavours that play tricks with your taste buds. I've been cooking from David Thompson's comprehensive Thai Food book for some years now, and although Thai food isn't on our menu half as much as I would like it to be, it is always a real treat when it is.
My friend William Leigh is a huge fan of Thai food and has visited the country several times. Thankfully Wil has a great Blog which lists several of his inspiring recipes from his travels, and Thai food appears to be a huge influence on his writing. I have never visited Thailand but when life calms down and money becomes available, it is on the list.
In the meantime, I will consult the huge pink book and keep having a tweak. This recipe is influenced by Jason Atherton of Maze in London who did a great feature in The Guardian a few weeks back. I had one of my tweaks and turned the recipe on its head with a few additions and minuses. It ticks all of the Thai food boxes that make their food so appealing to me; fresh and sour from the grapefruit, salty from the Nam Pla, hot from the chilli and English Mustard. Thai/English fusion food - maybe I've started something?
Hot and Sour Sirloin Steak, Pink Grapefruit and Avocado Salad
2 inch thick quality aged sirloin steaks
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 red birds eye chilli, finely sliced
1 tbsp English mustard
Salt and pepper
For the salad
1 pink grapefruit, skinned and segmented
2 avocados, peeled and sliced
2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 handfuls of fresh spinach
A handful of fresh coriander leaves
4 spring onions, trimmed and sliced
2 banana shallots, peeled, halved and sliced thinly
For the dressing
1 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
Juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp Nam Pla, fish sauce
1 tbsp soya sauce
1 tbsp Mirin rice wine
1 - Mix together the garlic, chilli, mustard and a little salt and pepper. Rub onto the steaks.
2 - Heat a thick frying pan and add a little vegetable oil. Ensure it is searing hot. Add the steaks and cook to your liking; rare, 3 minutes each side; medium, 5 minutes each side; well done, 7 minutes each side. Leave to rest for 5 minutes and assemble the salad.
3 - Make the dressing by whisking the ingredients together in a bowl.
4 - Toss the salad ingredients together a dress with a little of the dressing.
5 - Pile onto plates. Slice your steaks into strips and arrange on top of the salad. Finally drizzle over some of the dressing ans serve with more lime wedges.