Hanger Steak Salad

Hanger Steak Salad
Suet Chong
Provided by:
total prep
If you have a well-stocked Asian pantry, this is the kind of thing you can make last minute. If not, then go buy yourself the makings of a well-stocked Asian pantry! Your salad-dressing-of-sorts takes the form of a pan sauce that you pour over the steak right before serving. The only question is, what cut of steak? Hanger is a wonderful cut; it's a strip of muscle that more or less holds the internal organs in place, and its proximity to the organs gives it a rich, liver like depth of flavor. The problem with hanger is there is very little of it on each animal. If there's none available at your local butcher, substituting skirt or flank is better than fine. Oh, and in the spirit of full disclosure? This dish is a salad in Southeast Asian name only--unlike an American salad, it's missing, well, the vegetables. Call it what you will, it's great stuffed into a crispy baguette, though it was made for white rice. 

Reprinted with permission from Eat with Your Hands by Zakary Pelaccio, 2012. Published by Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons palm or brown sugar, or more to taste
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons fish sauce, or more to taste
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or more to taste
  • Two 1-inch-thick hanger steaks (about 7 ounces each)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • About 1 tablespoon neutral oil, such as grapeseed or canola
  • 2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine or dry sherry, or more to taste
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 6 fresh Thai bird chilies, thinly sliced
  • 2 fresh long red or green chilies, such as Anaheim or Hungarian Wax, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium red onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh Thai basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves

Directions

  • In a small bowl, stir together the palm sugar, fish sauce, and lime juice. Taste the mixture. Do you want it sweeter, saltier, or more acidic? It’s up to you.
  • Generously season the steaks with salt and pepper. Heat a large cast-iron skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat until it’s smoking. Add just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan and add the steaks. Cook until beautifully brown on one side, about 6 minutes, then flip and cook for 4 more minutes more for medium-rare. Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and let them rest for 5 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and add the Shaoxing wine, scraping up any brown bits with a wooden spoon. Add the garlic, ginger, and chilies, cook for 30 seconds, and remove the skillet from the heat.
  • Slice the steaks against the grain. Add them to a bowl and top with the pan DRINK liquid. Then add the fish-sauce-lime dressing, the onion, and the herbs. Toss and serve.