I love Asian food. I love the taste, the fragrance, the texture, the versatility – I could honestly live on it. And by Asian food I do indeed mean everything from Indian to sushi. But I especially love it when some cuisines coincide and mix, because that’s when all kinds of magic is born.
This dish, as seen on Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course, is probably one of his best in the show. Not only does it look incredibly impressive, it smells and tastes fantastic, and the dipping sauce really is something else. It is not perfect, for sure – but it is really worth a shot. Not to mention it will make you feel like an Asian chef, even though you’re just chopping and frying.
In his original recipe, Gordon uses beef mince mixed with pork mince – but if you’re on a budget like me, one of them will do just fine. The mince turned out rather dry for me and not at all crispy – I’m not sure if the added pork would help that. Then again, it seems to me that crispy texture creation and me are just at constant war. I love eating it – cannot recreate it.
Here’s what you need:
For the beef:
1 pack of mince beef
1-2 red chillies, finely sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
A piece of root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 lime, zest and juice
1-2 gem lettuce
For the dipping sauce:
Sesame seed oil
Bunch of fresh coriander, coarsely chopped
1 chilli, deseeded (unless you like your food super hot) and roughly chopped
So to start off, heat your pan until it’s almost smoking. With a dash of olive oil, fry the mince until crispy (well, if you can – I can’t). Remove and drain in a sieve.
Wipe the pan with a piece of kitchen towel. In a dash of sesame oil, fry the garlic, the ginger and the chillies for a minute or two. Add a spoonful of brown sugar to caramelise, then add your mince back to the pan.
To the mix, add your lime zest and a generous squeeze of juice. Ramsay also suggests spring onions, added at the last minute for some crunch, but I didn’t have any this time.
Mix your dipping sauce in a separate bowl and serve your mince in gem lettuce leaves to impress anyone.
Now smell your kitchen… That’s something, isn’t it?
Note about the dipping sauce: it doesn’t taste anything like I imagined. But don’t let that discourage: it is actually very nice with the beef. I served the dish as a main course, but when you have guests over, this could pass as a lovely party nibble as well as a starter. Attention: it is super spicy, so if you don’t like it hot like some, cut back on either the chilli or the ginger.
Love the texture of the dish, and I highly recommend it to anyone with a taste for the exotic :) Just try and keep your beef moist!