Spicy Beef with Peanuts & Chiles

Yield: 4 servings Total time: 30 minutes March 21, 2009

This spicy, aromatic, delicious dish featuring fish sauce, lime juice, shallots, serrano chiles, cilantro, and basil, is perfect for a date night. It comes together quickly, so have your side dishes ready.

Recipe from Fine Cooking.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. flank steak, thinly sliced on the diagonal against the grain
  • 2 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. fish sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt; more to taste
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbs. light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup salted peanuts
  • 2 large shallots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Thai or serrano chiles, stemmed and coarsely chopped (don’t seed)
  • 3 Tbs. canola or peanut oil
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 Tbs. chopped fresh basil

Directions

Toss the steak with 1 Tbs. of the soy sauce, 1 tsp. of the fish sauce, and the salt. Combine the remaining 1 Tbs. soy sauce and 1 tsp. fish sauce with 1 Tbs. of the lime juice and the brown sugar and set aside.

Pulse the peanuts, shallots, and chiles in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a small bowl.

Set a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until hot, about 1 minute. Add 1-1/2 Tbs. of the oil and once it's shimmering, add the beef. Cook, stirring, until the beef just loses its raw appearance, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Reduce the heat to medium, add the remaining 1-1/2 Tbs. oil and the shallot mixture, sprinkle with salt, and cook, stirring, until the shallots are soft, about 2 minutes.

Return the beef to the pan. Stir the soy mixture and add it, along with half of the cilantro and basil, and cook, stirring to let the flavors meld, 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and serve sprinkled with the remaining lime juice, cilantro, and basil.

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