Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thai Grilled Steak with Basil Fried Rice

If you're like me, you have a "try this recipe soon" collection that is growing faster than the US national debt. My "try soon" list is like the universe, it is infinitely expanding.

"try soon" is a misnomer, because usually it's a year or more before I get around to trying any of them.

This is one I saw in a guest post at In Jennies Kitchen, that was written by Alice of Sweet Savory Life. A year and two months later, I finally got around to it. She just seasoned her steak with salt and pepper, which is fine, but I wanted to add a little more heat to balance out the sweetness of the sauce.

Thai Grilled Steak with Basil Fried Rice
adapted from Coconut Peanut Sauce Beef

1.25 lb flank steak
1/2 to 1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 can coconut milk
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tsp curry powder
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp cilantro, chopped

2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup diced onion
1 cayenne pepper, finely diced (can substitute red bell pepper)
1 clove garlic, minced
3 cups of cooked Jasmine rice, cooled
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp water
1/2 tsp sugar
15-20 leaves basil, halved and stemmed

Garnish: Toasted coconut shavings and cilantro

Set up your grill for direct heat cooking and start the fire to preheat the grill to 450-500f. I was using natural lump charcoal in the Big Green Egg, no wood chunks.

While the grill is warming up, make your sauce by stirring all of the sauce ingredients over medium high heat until well blended and thickened. This took about 10 minutes, I think.

Season your steak with the salt, pepper, and garlic powder. I used a hot blend of chilies that I dehydrated and ground up this summer. But cayenne would be a good substitute.

Grill the steak for about 4 minutes a side until it hits an internal temperature of 125f. Remove to a cooling rack and rest, loosely covered with foil.

While it is resting, put the wok on the grill and add about 1/2 TBSP of a high temp cooking oil such as safflower or peanut oil. If you are using a kamado style cooker like the Big Green Egg, go ahead and shut off your bottom vent. Your coals will get plenty of air as is.

Cook the eggs first, watching it closely. This takes only about a minute or two compared to the stove top.

Remove to a plate and chop.

Add another 1/2 TBSP of oil and then stir fry the onions and cayenne for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Add the cooked rice, stirring and flipping for about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the soy/water/sugar mix and stir together.

When the rice looks done, at the last minute return the chopped egg to the wok and add the basil leaves. Toss together. The heat from the rice should wilt the basil leaves.

Thinly slice the steak. Serve with the basil fried rice, ladle the sauce over the steak and garnish as you wish. The recommended toasted coconut definitely contributed to the taste, it didn't only look pretty.

This sauce is so good I think I could almost eat it as a soup! It has a velvety texture and the flavor seems to shift as you're tasting it. It is a little sweet, so I am glad that I added the heat to the steak, it worked out ideally.

The meal delivered on all points, it wins "meal of the week/weekend". It's a true keeper. I might add some spring rolls next time just because they'd be the perfect excuse for using more of that sauce!