Cambodian pepper beef salad (lok lak) (367 calories per serve)

I used to live in Cambodia and my nanny would often make this dish for me. I recently went back to attend a dear friend’s wedding and that’s when I remembered this dish again. There are so many variations of this dish but the one that my nanny made is very peppery and more on the sweet side, although I have reduced the sweetness in this recipe.

Serves 4

Prep time 20 mins + 1 hour marinade
Cook time 10 mins

500g lean beef, thinly sliced (I prefer porterhouse for this as I like it really tender)
1 lime, juiced
1 tbsp black pepper, freshly ground
1 tbsp tapioca flour
1 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
4 tbsp light soy sauce
1 Chinese lettuce head
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp neutral oil
1 clove garlic, crushed

Marinate the beef with the lime, black pepper, tapioca flour, brown sugar, oyster sauce and soy sauce and leave for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, prepare the bed of salad on a large serving plate. Start by laying the Chinese lettuce leaves topped with tomato and onion slices. That’s how my nanny always served it. Some variations also use cucumber.

Heat up the oil in a large wok or pan and add the garlic. Let it sizzle a little to become fragrant.

Stir in the beef strips and cook for about 5-10 minutes until the meat is cooked and the sauce thickens.

Pour over the bed of salad and serve with steamed rice.

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