170g dried rice vermicelli noodles
300g rump steak, trimmed, cut into 3mm-thick slices
1 small Lebanese cucumber, seeds removed, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 small carrot, peeled, cut into strips with a julienne peeler (or grated)
1 cup bean shoots
¼ cup fish sauce
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp sugar
1 long red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
2 tbsp vegetable oil
½ cup Thai basil leaves
½ cup mint leaves
½ cup crispy fried shallots*
1 stalk lemongrass, white part only, bruised, sliced
1 tsp black peppercorns
3 garlic cloves
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp sugar
Use a mortar and pestle to pound the lemongrass, peppercorns and garlic to a rough paste. Combine steak with lemongrass paste as well as the fish sauce and sugar. Set aside while you prepare the rest of the salad ingredients.
Soak the rice vermicelli in room temperature water for 3-4 minutes or until softened slightly. Then cook in boiling water for 1-2 minutes or until just tender. Drain and rinse under cold running water until the noodles are cool. Drain the noodles and divide among serving bowls. Top with cucumber, carrot and bean shoots.
Make a dressing by whisking together the fish sauce, vinegar, lime juice, sugar and chilli. Set aside.
Heat vegetable oil in a wok or large frying pan over high heat. Add the beef and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes or until almost cooked. Add 1 tablespoon of the fish sauce dressing and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove from heat and divide the beef among the serving bowls. Top with basil, mint and fried shallots. Serve warm.
You can usually find crispy fried shallots in the Asian aisle of many supermarkets or from an Asian grocer.