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Asian Beef and Bok Choy Salad

Asian Beef and Bok Choy Salad
Asian Beef and Bok Choy SaladAsian Beef and Bok Choy Salad

The lesson of fish sauce:

Things are not always as they seem; the first appearance deceives many. ~Phaedrus

As I was preparing dinner this evening, I opened my bottle of fish sauce and was slapped in the face with a pungent reminder that things are not always as they seem. You’ve heard the old saying, don’t judge a book by it’s cover. I ‘d like to add to this train of thought, and share a profound new quote for all to ponder…Don’t judge a sauce by it’s smell. Deep, isn’t it?

Easy Asian Beef and Bok Choy Salad

I know, I know… this goes against your better judgment. Conventional wisdom says milk, herbs, oil, and pretty much EVERYTHING else, should be thrown out if it smells bad.

Yet with fish sauce, I find the more putrid and filthy it smells, the better the fish sauce. And let me tell you, mine truly provides a heinous stench that fills the kitchen. BUT–don’t let this deter you from using it! Fish sauce is a wonderfully flavorful ingredient, used all over Eastern Asia. It adds a distinct savory essence that can not be replicated with any other ingredient. The smell does diminish as you cook it, leaving a strong but appealing aroma.

Skeptical? The fact is, if you have ever eaten good quality Southeast Asian food, it’s almost certain you’ve unknowingly eaten fish sauce. It is a widely popular condiment for adding depth of flavor, used in many countries–especially in Vietnamese and Thai cuisine.

It’s easy to get comfortable with what you know, and never allow your horizons to be broadened. One of my favorite parts of teaching “Confidence In the Kitchen” class, is hearing a person say they enjoyed a dish we’ve cooked–something they previously believed to be inedible. I have secretly made it my quest to “help” others expand their taste buds, to overcome their stigmas about food. My husband would tell you that I have “helped” him overcome his dislike of fish, fennel, citrus desserts and maple syrup, to name a few. Of course, I was “helping” him against his will, in most cases, but my attempts paid off!  No grudges held.

All I ask is that you try to be open-minded after opening a bottle of odorous fish sauce. Who knows what this new receptiveness might lead to!

Simple Asian Beef and Bok Choy Salad

This is another recipe I adapted to fit into Tim Ferriss’ Slow Carb Diet, from The 4 Hour Body. To make this a “pure” Slow Carb Recipe, omit the sugar in the dressing.

To Make Asian Beef and Bok Choy Salad

Partially thaw the sirloin (or if it’s fresh, flash freeze it for 30 minutes) so that it is still firm, but a knife can cut through it. This helps to keep the meat from moving around while cutting it thin! Cut the sirloin in half, length-wise. Slice each half into very thin (1mm) pieces.

Love this Asian Beef and Bok Choy Salad!

Mix 2 Tb. of scallion whites, lime zest, ginger, garlic, fish sauce, soy and sugar in a medium bowl. Toss in the raw sirloin and allow it to marinate for at least 30 minutes—but up to 4 hours.

*To peel or not to peel the ginger…If the ginger’s skin in tight and smooth like baby skin–don’t bother with peeling it. But, if it’s slightly wrinkled and dry like “winter hands”, you can use a veggie peeler, or even a spoon to scrape it off.

Making Asian Beef and Bok Choy Salad

In a small bowl, mix together the peanut oil, lime juice, 2 Tb. scallions, chili sauce, salt, and sugar. Whisk the dressing well.

Cut the green leaves off of the bok choy. Hand-tear them into bite-size pieces. Then thinly slice the white stalks of the bok choy. Place both on a large serving bowl. Slice the red onions very thin. Using a veggie peeler, shave the 3 carrots to make carrot ribbons.

Roll the basil leaves tightly, then slice them into thin strips. Sprinkle all the veggies on top of the bok choy.

How to Make Asian Beef and Bok Choy Salad

Drain the marinade from the beef. Heat a wok or large skillet to high heat. Add 1 Tb. of oil and wait until it smokes. Then add half the beef to the wok—stirring continuously. Cook for 1-2 minutes until desired doneness is reached. Then repeat with the second half of the beef.

Stir Fry Asian Beef and Bok Choy Salad

Once the beef is cooked, toss the salad with the dressing and top it with the stir-fried beef. Serve immediately. Serves 4-6.

Asian-style tacos are really trendy right now. Try putting the salad and beef in a wheat tortillas!

Asian Beef and Bok Choy Salad

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time:25 minutes

Cook Time:5 minutes

A Slow Carb Recipe

Ingredients:

For the Beef:

  • 1 ½ pounds sirloin
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions, mostly whites
  • Zest of 1 large lime, or 2 small limes
  • 1 ½ tablespoons grated ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

For the Dressing:

  • ¼ cup peanut oil
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions, greens
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon chili-garlic sauce or sriracha
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 teaspoon sugar

For the Salad:

  • 1 large head of bok choy
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onions
  • 3 carrots, shaved into ribbons
  • ½ cup thinly sliced basil leaves

Directions:

  1. Partially thaw the sirloin (or if it’s fresh, flash freeze it for 30 minutes) so that it is still firm, but a knife can cut through it. This helps to keep the meat from moving around while cutting it thin! Cut the sirloin in half, length-wise. Slice each half into very thin (1mm) pieces.
  2. Mix 2 Tb. of scallion whites, lime zest, ginger, garlic, fish sauce, soy and sugar in a medium bowl. Toss in the raw sirloin and allow it to marinate for at least 30 minutes—but up to 4 hours.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the peanut oil, lime juice, 2 Tb. scallions, chili sauce, salt, and sugar. Whisk the dressing well.
  4. Cut the green leaves off of the bok choy. Hand-tear them into bite-size pieces. Then thinly slice the white stalks of the bok choy. Place both on a large serving bowl. Slice the red onions very thin. Using a veggie peeler, shave the 3 carrots to make carrot ribbons.
  5. Roll the basil leaves tightly, then slice them into thin strips. Sprinkle all the veggies on top of the bok choy.
  6. Drain the marinade from the beef. Heat a wok or large skillet to high heat. Add 1 Tb. of oil and wait until it smokes. Then add half the beef to the wok—stirring continuously. Cook for 1-2 minutes until desired doneness is reached. Then repeat with the second half of the beef.
  7. Once the beef is cooked, toss the salad with the dressing and top it with the stir-fried beef. Serve immediately.

Making this recipe? Why not take a quick shot and share it on Instagram! Make sure to tag it #ASpicyPerspective so we can see what you're cooking!

Click HERE for more “The 4 Hour Body” inspired Slow Carb recipes!

The Best Asian Beef and Bok Choy Salad

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61 Responses to “Asian Beef and Bok Choy Salad”

  1. Belinda @zomppaposted April 18, 2011 at 6:14 am

    Heehee, vintage. I like that! YUM.

    Reply

  2. pamposted April 18, 2011 at 7:03 am

    I like my fish sauce the smellier the better too!

    Reply

  3. Celiaposted April 18, 2011 at 7:21 am

    Love the recipe-resurrection idea! This looks delicious, and I didn’t see it the first time around, so I’m happy you’ve redone it. Great tip re: freezing the beef – and gorgeous santoku! I totally need one of those…

    Reply

  4. Cherineposted April 18, 2011 at 7:38 am

    This looks wonderful!

    Reply

  5. Jennifurlaposted April 18, 2011 at 8:05 am

    This looks nothing less then delightful, I might need to sample a dish with this type of sauce now. You have me intrigued.

    Reply

  6. Fresh and Foodieposted April 18, 2011 at 8:32 am

    Sommer this looks so good! One of my favorite things to order at Thai restaurants is the Thai beef salad, but this looks so much better than anything I’ve ever ordered! So many good things going on in here — delish!

    Reply

  7. Roxanposted April 18, 2011 at 8:47 am

    Fish sauce is an amazing thing isn’t it? I try not to think about it too much. Once I saw a show on how it’s made… I’ve tried to erase that from my memory.
    Also, this dish looks amazing! I would love to have some for lunch.

    Reply

  8. Dmarieposted April 18, 2011 at 9:14 am

    I’m not into beef but thrilled to see this post, because I didn’t know Bok Choy was good eaten raw. Thanks, Spicy!

    Reply

  9. HmarieKposted April 18, 2011 at 9:16 am

    Thanks for this!!! I tried cooking with fish sauce a couple weeks ago, must not have cooked it long enough, or used too much… because I could really taste it. I will not give up on it though thank you!!!

    Reply

  10. rebeccaposted April 18, 2011 at 9:19 am

    great salad i love fish sauce

    Reply

  11. Jo-Lynne {Musings of a Housewife}posted April 18, 2011 at 9:32 am

    This looks DIVINE. Oh my word!! I’ve never used fish sauce, but I might have to try it now.

    Reply

  12. Kellyposted April 18, 2011 at 9:56 am

    Your blog is so cute and I love your pictures! This dish looks fantastic!

    Reply

  13. Tricia @ Saving room for dessertposted April 18, 2011 at 10:20 am

    Congratulations on the feature at Tasty Kitchen! Thanks for the tip about freezing the sirloin first. Great tip!

    Reply

  14. Kellyposted April 18, 2011 at 10:50 am

    Just stumbled upon your blog via Maris’ @ InGoodTaste. This looks fantastic. I love a good Asian salad, somehow the flavors feel more filling, savory, and indulgent then a regular ol’ salad. Yum!

    Reply

  15. Yesimposted April 18, 2011 at 10:56 am

    looks awesome!

    Reply

  16. melissa@IWasBornToCookposted April 18, 2011 at 11:06 am

    This looks great! I like the idea of putting it in tortillas, too.

    Reply

  17. Lindsey@Lindseliciousposted April 18, 2011 at 11:08 am

    Oooh I’m glad you featured this retro recipe. I love fish sauce, though after I saw how they made it on one of Anthony Bourdain’s show I was like maybe I don’t… But it does add so much flavor! This is just in time for summer.

    Reply

  18. carolinaheartstringsposted April 18, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    What great photography. It looks delicious.

    Reply

  19. Kathleenposted April 18, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    This looks Ah-mazing!!!

    Reply

  20. Nikki Whitedposted April 18, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    I’ve been wanting to cook a few Asian inspired meals! Thanks for the reminder recipe Sommer!

    Reply

  21. Chris and Amyposted April 18, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Great looking salad! A nice spring dish!

    Reply

  22. Pudding Pie Laneposted April 18, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    I think I’ve definitely has fish sauce in Chinese cooking, but I like the smell! Speaking of, have you ever tried smelly tofu? It’s quite common on street markets in China and the smell is… quite bad. But the taste is AMAZING. So I totally agree with you – no judging by the smell! :)

    Reply

  23. Vanderbilt Wifeposted April 18, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    I’ve never been brave enough to use fish sauce, but I’ve heard of its miraculous cooking qualities. This looks awesome! May have to give it a try.

    Reply

  24. Katie@Cozydeliciousposted April 18, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    Haha, yes, fish sauce smells terrible at first, but it is a fantastic ingrediant!

    Reply

  25. Lizposted April 18, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    I love these kind of salads…and now I know what to do with our leftover flank steak! Mmmmmmm….

    Reply

  26. Ann @ Apples and Twinkiesposted April 18, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Ooo…this looks wonderful with great deep flavors. I can see why you reposted this!

    Reply

  27. Memoriaposted April 18, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    Ah, the chopsticks are crossed! I hope you’re not superstitious :D. Anyway, my mom would love this salad. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  28. Hyosun Roposted April 18, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    I love your quote “don’t judge a sauce by its smell”. Very true. What a great salad idea with lots of Asian flavors! Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  29. torviewtorontoposted April 18, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    yummy looking salad looks delicious

    Reply

  30. Shelbyposted April 18, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    I totally agree about fish sauce! I made hamburgers once with it and it was really one of the best burgers I ever made!

    Reply

  31. fooddreamerposted April 18, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    Mmm, I am very glad you pulled this one out of the shadows because it looks delicious. I bought bok choy once and was pretty stymied on how to use it all up, so this is a wonderful recipe.

    Reply

  32. Victoria @ Mission: Foodposted April 18, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    I agree that sometimes old recipes need to be highlighted for new friends to see :) This definitely looks like a light and delicious meal. Heavy in protein and flavor!

    Reply

  33. Heleneposted April 18, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    It looks so good. I don’t like the smell of fish sauce either.

    Reply

  34. Parsley Sageposted April 18, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    Delicious dish. Personally, I don’t mind the smell of fish sauce. I’m REAL good at imagine the yumminess that’s soon to come…kinda works as a personal stink-odor blocker. Thanks so much for sharing :) And for swinging by Deep Dish

    Reply

  35. Marisaposted April 18, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    Wow! I love this. I remememer my first whiff of fish sauce–not a pleasant experience! But like you say, it really can’t be judged by it’s smell. With such a stink, it’s hard to believe that it can incorporate such great flavor.

    Reply

  36. Danposted April 18, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    OMG, that looks excellent. Great photos!

    Oh, fish sauce – yeah, when it’s used right, mmmmmmmmmm.

    But don’t unknowingly spill any and let it fester :-)

    Reply

  37. elle marieposted April 18, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    Look at that well seasoned WOK!! The ever-so-perfect slices of beef look very chic, and I love the background table used, the contrast in colors are PERFECT!

    Reply

  38. Saraposted April 18, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    I have to admit that I don’t have fish sauce in my kitchen…that’s how refined I am in tastes :( but I think you just made me want to buy it because this recipe looks simply fantastic.

    Reply

  39. Kristenposted April 19, 2011 at 5:41 am

    I love steak salads. I love Asian food. What’s not to love about your salad?! Sounds great. I am glad you reposted this one.

    Reply

  40. Biren @ Roti n Riceposted April 19, 2011 at 9:00 am

    I dont think I’ve tried stir fried beef with fish sauce but it looks really good. I must say I use fish sauce very sparingly. A bottle of it lasts forever.

    Reply

  41. Emily @Cleanlinessposted April 19, 2011 at 10:21 am

    I WANT TO JUMP ACROSS THE ROOM WITH THIS DISH!

    It is so perfect. And photographed so beautifully, too!

    Reply

  42. Pingback: Asian Beef and Bok Choy Salad — Villeroy & Boch Blog

  43. GastronomeTartposted April 19, 2011 at 11:52 am

    Looks delicious! I love Bok Choy! Great pictures as well!

    Reply

  44. sweetlifeposted April 19, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    vintage, love it..great idea with time our pics do get nicer, lol
    I love fish sauce and great tip with the meat..makes for easier slicing

    sweetlife

    Reply

  45. Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchenposted April 19, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    Everything about this recipe is delightful! Thank you for sharing – it looks SO SO good! ♥- Katrina

    Reply

  46. Joyposted April 19, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    The salad looks so good.

    Reply

  47. Baking Serendipityposted April 19, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    I’ll be honest, I’m a little skeptical, but I’m trying to break outside of my box and this might just be the way to do so :) Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  48. Angie's Recipesposted April 19, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    Sirloin stir-fried with fish sauce…wow that’s one totally flavoursome combination. I love it!

    Reply

  49. Winnieposted April 20, 2011 at 5:33 am

    Love fish sauce! Great salad and great post overall ;)

    Reply

  50. Ilkeposted April 20, 2011 at 10:20 am

    I am not sure if I can bring myself to smell anything fishy! Salad looks good! Bok choy has been my new favorite veggie , especially baby ones , so cute :)

    Reply

  51. Julianaposted April 20, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    Your beef bok choy salad looks perfect…nicely done, and you made me laugh about the fish sauce…I know exactly what you mean hehehe! Hope you are having a great week Sommer :-)

    Reply

  52. Kate@Diethood.composted April 20, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    Oh that beef…wow…I am absolutely loving this. I am surely going to try this variety :)

    Reply

  53. A Little Yumminessposted April 21, 2011 at 10:13 am

    I hear you on the fish sauce smell…I often end up using soy :). Looks so so so YUM!!

    Reply

  54. Magic of Spiceposted April 21, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    Very true about fish sauce, lol…Great looking salad!

    Reply

  55. marlaposted April 22, 2011 at 7:17 am

    Ah yes, you cannot inhale fish sauce too deeply but it does add amazing flavor. Beautiful recipe :)

    Reply

  56. The Mom Chef ~ Taking on Magazines One Recipe at a Timeposted April 26, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    I’m so glad you brought this recipe around again because I never saw it the first time and I LOVE it. I’m a huge fan of all those ingredients (fresh ginger makes me swoon). I’ll be making this for sure.

    Reply

  57. GastroStuposted August 18, 2011 at 3:07 am

    Great looking dish, perfect for a summer lunch :)

    Reply

  58. Marie Coleposted September 21, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    Yep I agree about fish sauce…It makes all the difference to cook with, but don’t smell it. ;)

    Reply

  59. Mrs. Craftyposted September 21, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    I might give it a go. I’m sure my house has smelled worse than a little fish sauce. :) Between the husband, teenage son and two dogs, not to mention all the garlic we LOVE to cook with. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  60. Sarahposted February 10, 2012 at 10:26 am

    YUM! This was so tasty! And thank you so much for providing the recipe for the first ever meal prepared by me, that my fiance liked =)

    Reply

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