Sunday, July 18, 2010

Spicy Shredded Beef

This is one of my favorite Hmong dishes. It's Hmong because I haven't eaten it anywhere else besides our Hmong household lol. I've been eating/making this ever since I was a young girl.

We had some relatives that stayed with us for a few days and one of them made this dish for us. It was the first time we've ever had this dish (my family and I) and we thought it was soooo good! It still is. I've been making it since then. The funny thing is that back in the old days even though it was available at the time such as the food processor, can opener, mop and broom, etc., my family never bought any of those "modern" appliances. We did everything the old-fashion-back-in-Laos days. Yep, we chopped meat manually, opened the cans with knives and mopped the floors with towels using our feet. Even though the convenience was out there, I still chopped this meat manually for several years until just a few years ago, I finally decided to go buy a mini-food processor. That was why I didn't like making this dish as much because it took so much time chopping the meat, but I knew it was all worth it.

1 lb of beef (I normally just buy the beef for beef stew that comes in chunks at the store)
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1 1/2 tbsp of fish sauce
1 1/2 tbsp of lime juice (has to be fresh, never use that other kind!)
1 tbsp of dried red chilli pepper, crushed


Spread the meat evenly on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil at 500 degrees until brown on each side, about 20 minutes the first side and 5-10 minutes the other side. When you turn over to the other side, be sure to drain the liquid off the baking sheet. You do not want the meat to get moist. It needs to be dry, almost like beef jerky.

This is how the meat should look like after it's cooked on both sides. I let my meat cool off either still on the rack or in a dish. I don't like to run things that are hot in my food processor for fear of burning the thing. It's happened before at another household.

Once meat has been cooled off, chop (shred) the meat in a food processor until medium-finely chopped; otherwise, you can manually chop the meat with a knife.

Using a mortar and pestle, pound two cloves of garlic until bruised.

Next, throw in the meat, cilantro and green onions. Mix with a spoon.

Add the fish sauce, lime juice and pepper. Mix well with a spoon. This is where you might want to go sparingly because you might like yours less salty, sour or hot. This is just how I made mine and I like things spicy and hot!

Using the pestle and spoon, mix and pound all the ingredients together. I prefer using the mortar and pestle because it allows one to infuse all the flavors together. I don't get the same effect with any other method.
Keep pounding it a couple of times until the meat and herbs are somewhat bruised:

This dish is meant to be served at room temperature or even cold. I just like eating it with white rice and mixing the two. Tastes great with sticky rice too.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Favorite Recipe Search

Can you guess what the most searched recipe is that leads visitors to my blog? It's so sweet. (Pun intended.) Yep, just about everyday, someone across the globe searches for "nab vam" or "tricolor dessert." I do wish more people would leave comments, especially if they have tried the recipe. It would help me improve things if the recipe needs improvement or provide others more tips. I don't blame them. Nab vam is a yummy dessert, probably the yummiest Asian dessert there is out there since we aren't known for our desserts. Have you ever notice that when you go to an Asian restaurant, there isn't much variety in the dessert menu (if there is one at all)? I think most Asian restaurants have a dessert section in their menus just to cater to the American public since Americans consume so much sweets.

Thanks for visiting!