Monday, October 1, 2018

Bò Nướng Hành Hương (Vietnamese Beef-Onion Roll) #FamilyGlobalEatingChallenge

I stumbled upon a group called the Global Family Eating Challenge - a 5-week cooking challenge designed to introduce variety, new cuisines, and fun new meals! It's run by Jade of Jonesin' for Taste and Jenni of The Gingered Whisk. Sounded like fun. They announced: "Week One’s Challenge is: Asian Cuisine! See - we told you this wouldn’t be hard! Asian cuisine is probably one of the most well known international food that most people are familiar with. But - have you ever cooked it at home?"

While, they admitted that “Asia” also covers India, Kazakhstan, and parts of the Middle East, they wanted to focusing on East Asia for this week, specifically Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Mongolian, and Taiwanese food.

We do love Japanese food and have made a fair amount of it, including: Momiji Tempura (maple leaf tempura), Tantanmen Ramen made with a 30+ hour broth, and Sakana No Misoyaki and Tataki Kyuri. Korean food is also a family favorite. I always have a few jars of homemade kimchi in the fridge and Kimchi Soondubu Jjigae (Kimchi-Tofu Stew) and Bulgogi make an appearance on our table often. 

But I decided to stray a little bit off that list. But not too far. Vietnam is a favorite Asian tabletop destination for us. Cà Phê Trứng(Vietnamese Egg Coffee), Canh Suon Khoai Tay (Vietnamese Spare Rib Soup), and Bánh Mì Xíu Mai (Spicy Meatball Bánh Mì) were all delicious adventures for us. So, I decided to try a new-to-us Vietnamese recipe.

Bò Nướng Hành Hương is the Vietnamese version of Japanese Nikumaki: beef wrapped around green onions, then grilled. I prefer the Vietnamese version as it has more spices for flavor, giving the meat a sweet, sour, and salty taste. And, perhaps, it's a ubiquitous Asian dish because a friend mentioned that it looked like a Korean BBQ dish.

Ingredients makes 2 servings
  • 1 pound beef tenderloin steaks, pounded thin
  • 2 green onions
  • ½ T five spice powder
  • ½ T tamarind paste
  • 1 t honey
  • 1 t soy sauce or gluten-free tamari
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 2 T canola oil
  • 1 t sesame oil + more for drizzling
  • Also needed: 100% cotton twine for tying

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients except the beef and green onions. Pour the mixture over the beef and let marinate for thirty minutes in the refrigerator. Remove the beef from the fridge and bring to room temperature, approximately another thirty minutes.

While the meat comes to room temperature, trim the green onions to just an inch longer than the beef. Blanch the onions and set aside.

To assemble, lay the beef on a cutting board and place the green onion in the center. Roll the meat into a tight cylinder and secure with 100% cotton twine. The diameter of the roll should measure no larger than 1½ inches. 

Grease a grill pan and heat until just below the smoking point. Grill the beef for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, searing the meat. Transfer the beef to a platter and drizzle with sesame oil.

Cover with foil and let stand for 10 minutes before slicing. Using a sharp knife, slice the rolls into ½" pieces. Serve immediately. I served it with a dipping sauce of gluten-free tamari and sesame oil.

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