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Cambodian Beef Salad
This substantial Khmer-style beef salad combines lots of contrasting tastes and textures. We preferred the meatiness and rich flavor of boneless short ribs, but if they’re not available, use flat iron steak instead. Rather than sear the beef and slice it after cooking, we slice it first, then cook it in a flavorful liquid that later becomes the salad dressing. So that the beef is easier to cut into evenly thin slices, freeze it uncovered for about 20 minutes, until partially frozen.
pounds boneless beef short ribs, trimmed and sliced about ⅛ inch thick (see note)
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
01In a medium bowl, toss the beef with ½ teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. In a large saucepan, stir together the fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, oil and ¼ cup water. Bring to a simmer over high, then add the beef and cook, stirring constantly, until the meat is no longer pink, 2 to 3 minutes; the beef will release liquid as it cooks. Remove the pan from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes.
I'd like to make this ahead for workday lunches, but I worry that the beef will deteriorate in the lime dressing. Any advice on making this ahead?
Hi Siri -
You are correct that the meat will start to break down in the lime juice and become mushy making this recipe not a great candidate for make ahead. Additionally, the oil in the cooking liquid and the beef fat that is released during cooking will solidify when refrigerated and the cabbage will continue to wilt as it sits since it's tossed with salt, which will break it down.
The Milk Street Team
We made this the other day and it will enter our regular weeknight rotation. Not the most amazingly delicious, but a solid dish given how quick it is to prepare, the short list of ingredients, and tons of veggies. We served it with white rice. It had a lot of flavor, but nothing my tots (6 & 3) wouldn't eat (though we did serve the jalapeno on the side).