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Asian-Style Beef Barbecue in Lettuce Packages

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Serves four.

  • Make the menu:
    Pan-Asian Dim Sum
  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 84

Everything is better when it comes in a package, right? In this case, the package is fresh and light. Since the broiler cooks food quickly, the beef is ready in a matter of minutes.  

  • 3/4 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt; more as needed
  • 2 medium hearts of romaine or 1 large head red or green leaf lettuce, separated into leaves
  • 1 cup small cilantro sprigs
  • 1 cup small mint leaves (or larger leaves torn into small pieces)
  • 6 medium radishes, thinly sliced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions, including tender green parts
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce (I like Koon Chun brand)
  • 1 lb. flank steak, 1 inch thick
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. sesame seeds

Bring 1-1/2 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Add the rice and salt, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer gently until the rice is tender and the water absorbed, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, arrange the lettuce leaves in a bowl and set the cilantro, mint, radishes, and scallions in separate piles on a plate. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the hoisin with 2 Tbs. water; reserve for assembly.

Position an oven rack 5 to 6 inches from the broiler element and heat the broiler to high. Line the bottom of a broiler pan with foil and replace the perforated top part of the pan. Season the steak with a large pinch of salt and the pepper. Broil the steak until it loses its raw appearance on top and begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Brush the steak with about 2 Tbs. of  the remaining hoisin, and broil until lightly browned, 2 minutes longer. Turn the steak over with tongs and broil until it begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Brush generously with the remaining hoisin, and broil 2 to 3 minutes longer for medium rare (130°F on an instant-read thermometer), or to desired doneness (don’t let the hoisin burn; if necessary, move the pan to a lower rack).

Transfer the steak to a cutting board, sprinkle with the sesame seeds, and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut into thin slices across the grain at a slight angle. Arrange the steak and rice in separate bowls. Let diners assemble their own packages, filling the lettuce leaves with the rice, steak, cilantro, mint, radishes, scallions, and a drizzle of the diluted hoisin.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with Spicy Asian Roasted Broccoli & Snap Peas on the side and a cool glass of Lemongrass Lemonade to drink.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on four servings; Calories (kcal): 410; Fat (g): fat g 11; Fat Calories (kcal): 100; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 3.5; Protein (g): protein g 28; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 4; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 48; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 710; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 45; Fiber (g): fiber g 3;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Wow very delicious! Great melange of flavors and everyone of them adds to the dish. I grilled the steak (used flat iron steak), but otherwise stuck to the recipe. Could either be starters for many or dinner portion for 4 people. Paired with a dry rose, lovely.

I thought this was quite good. I fixed it exactly as directed. I think I would prefer to eat this on the plate with a knife and fork with the rice on the side, rather than trying to hold it (which was difficult). The meat was very good, and I liked the addition of mint and cilantro. It did have a nice, light feel to it. I would make this again, and perhaps add a little heat to the spices.

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