Seared beef, cape gooseberry, mint and chilli salad with roasted rice

Christine Manfield combines tender seared beef with fruit and herbs to create a wonderfully flavourful and deliciously textured salad
Seared beef, cape gooseberry, mint and chilli salad with roasted rice
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes plus 3 mins resting
  • Effort: medium



  • 250 g beef fillet
  • 2 small dried chillies, roasted and ground
  • 1/2 tsp pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 tbsp chilli oil
  • 12 physalis, cut in half
  • 1/2 long red chillies, sliced into fine rounds
  • 2 red shallots, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp ginger, finely sliced
  • 4 lime leaves, finely shredded
  • 1/2 small cucumber, finely sliced
  • 4 radishes, finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp mint leaves, shredded
  • 2 tbsp Thai basil, torn
  • handful of tatsoi leaves
  • 1 tbsp long grain rice, roasted and ground
  • 1 tbsp fried sliced shallots
  • 8 betel leaves

For the sweet tamarind dressing

  • 100 ml tamarind liquid
  • 20 g palm sugar, shaved
  • 75 ml strained lime juice
  • 15 ml ginger juice
  • 25 ml fish sauce
  • 10 ml sesame oil

Tips and Suggestions

Fried shallots can be bought from Chinese food stores, but are easy to make at home. Slice red shallots finely lengthwise and fry in a good quantity of vegetable oil over moderate heat until golden brown - the shallots should float freely in the oil as they cook. Remove pan from heat immediately and pour the hot oil through a sieve into a stainless steel bowl. Spread fried shallots on paper towel to drain and cool. Reserve flavoured oil for other cooking. Store shallots in a sealed conainer to keep them crisp.

To make tamarind liquid, simmer 1 part tamarind pulp to 4 parts water for 30 minutes or so, then pass pulp and water through course mesh or conical sieve. Discard fibre and seeds. Tamarind liquid keeps refrigerated for up to 1 month.

Kaffir lime leaves, Thai basil, betel leaves and tatsoi leaves can be found in Chinese or Thai supermarkets.


1. First make the tamarind dressing. Heat the tamarind liquid in a pan, add in the palm sugar and heat until combined.

2. Whisk in the lime juice, ginger juice, fish sauce and sesame oil and set aside.

3. To cook the beef, rub the surfaces of the steak with the ground chilli and freshly ground pepper to coat.

4. Heat a heavy-based frying pan until very hot. Add in the chilli oil and sear the beef for 3 minutes, then turn and sear on other side for 1 minute.

5. Remove from heat and rest the meat for 3 minutes while you prepare the salad.

6. To make the salad, mix together in a large bowl the cape gooseberries, chilli, shallots, ginger, lime leaves, cucumber, radish, mint, basil and tatsoi leaves.

7. Add the tamarind dressing and toss.

8. Slice the rested seared beef into 1cm thick slices, add to the salad and toss to combine.

9. Place 2 betel leaves each on 4 serving plates and arrange the beef salad on the leaves, dust with the roasted ground rice, sprinkle over the fried shallots and serve at once.

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