Chargrilled skirt steak with vermicelli & peanut salad

by Al Brown | Cuisine issue #150
Serves: 6I'm predicting that skirt steak will soon become the barbecue cut of choice. It's a cheaper cut that's currently totally underrated - it has a little more 'chew' but more than makes up for that in the flavour stakes.

Lime & palm sugar dressing
120g palm sugar, grated or finely chopped
1 stick lemongrass, white part only, chopped to a paste
zest of 2 limes
1⁄4 cup lime juice
1⁄4 cup fish sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Place everything in a bowl and whisk to combine. Refrigerate until required.

To cook & serve
200g dried vermicelli rice noodles
1⁄2 cup peanuts, roasted
1-2 red chillies, deseeded, sliced
1 cup bean sprouts
1 cup coriander leaves and stalks, coarsely chopped
2 mangoes, peeled, stoned, diced 2cm
2 oranges, peeled, pips removed, diced 2cm
6 x 180g skirt steaks, scored with a sharp knife and pounded with a meat mallet to tenderise
canola oil for cooking

Cover the noodles with boiling water and stand for 5 minutes. Drain and cool under cold running water. Drain well then transfer to a bowl. Add the peanuts, chillies, sprouts, coriander, mangoes and orange. Add 1⁄4 cup of the dressing to the noodle mixture then mix and set aside.

Heat a large frying pan or chargrill to smoking point. Season the steaks with salt and freshly ground black pepper and rub a little oil into them. Cook for 2 minutes each side then remove and rest for 5 minutes.

Thinly slice the steaks across the grain. Serve with the noodle salad and more of the dressing.

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