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Thai charred chilli-rubbed meat skewers with Thai basil dipping sauce

The world of satay is tremendous. It differs in every country in Southeast Asia in flavours and variety. Everything you can think of is grilled, meats, pork, sausages, seafood, vegetables, tubers and so much more. Each is coated or smothered in a delicious marinade and always cooked over a charcoal fire for that lovely smoked taste. It is common on street corners and the massive food halls everywhere and hard to both miss and resist.

This is a very elegant recipe. The meat is marinated in a lovely spicy-sweet glaze that infuses the meat. The meat cooks to a lovely soft moist texture helped along by the soy sauce. Traditionally this dish is done with cubed beef or lamb but I chose to do it with sirloin steak and mutton chops to adapt to my guest's dietary requirements. The side of creamy basil mayonnaise is perfect adding a touch of herb to every bite. This is a dish i will be making again, and then again!

This cookbook is beautiful, packed with gorgeous photographs, and loaded with outstanding recipes. I will admit, the recipes are not the easiest to make, but the recipes always turn out spectacular. I did have the opportunity to enjoy Vong's cuisine at his restaurant in Chicago, and the experience was a delight. The flavours were wonderful, and the French training is evident in the balance of flavours and beautiful presentations. This is my go-to cookbook for contemporary Thai cuisine, one that belongs in every serious chef's kitchen.

For more recipes from this amazing cookbook, click here.



Ingredients:

For the marinade:

3 garlic cloves

2-3 Thai red chillies, or to taste

1/2 cup soy sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons palm jaggery or brown sugar

Zest of 1/2 orange

1 small handful cilantro with tender stems

1 tablespoon fish sauce, Thai preferred

Salt, to taste


1 lb beef sirloin or rib-eye steaks, or mutton chops


For the dipping sauce:

2 cups fresh Thai basil leaves

1 cup water


1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup olive oil


1 egg yolk

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 teaspoon fish sauce, Thai preferred

Salt, to taste

OR

1/2 cup ready mayonnaise


Make the marinade by adding all the ingredients to a small blender and purèeing till smooth. Taste for chilli and sugar and adjust as needed.


Marinate the meat for at least 4 hours, but I usually let it go longer to have the flavours penetrate the centre of the steaks.


Make the dipping sauce by bringing the water to a boil. Add the basil leaves and blanch for 1 minute. Drain and cool under running water. Squeeze out as much water from the leaves as possible.


Add the leaves to a small blender with the oil and salt. Purèe to a smooth liquid. You can pass the purèe through a fine-mesh sieve if desired, but I usually don't bother. Remove the purèe from the blender but do not wash.


Add the egg yolk, lime juice and salt to a blender and start. Slowly add the basil purèe till you have mayo. Remove and store in the fridge till needed.


If you are using ready mayonnaise, add the basil purèe to the mayo directly and mix in. Store in the fridge till needed.


To cook the meat, grill on your BBQ for 4 minutes on the first side and 4 minutes on the second for a rare steak. Remove and tent for 1 minute. Slice the meat on the diagonal and serve hot with the dipping sauce.


To cook in the oven, preheat the oven to 375° F. Layer the meat onto a lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Turn the oven to broil mode. Cook close to the broiler for 3-4 minutes till charred. tent and serve like above.

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