Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Crying Tiger (Suer Roong Hai)

It's been extremely hot these past few days in Vancouver to the point where I only want to each cold/ raw dishes.  D and I have had our fair share of sushi and cold noodles (unfortunately, nothing worth noting, so no write ups).  I actually wanted to eat in after so many meals of eating out.  

I looked through the freezer and fridge to check out my ingredients; I had the makings for an awesome salad, but D's not much of a salad man.  So I then skimmed through a few cookbooks for inspiration and came across "Crying Tiger - Suer Roong Hai" in Lemongrass and Sweet Basil Traditional Thai Cuisine by Khamtane Signavong.  I've made it before, and it's pretty good, but I had other plans for it that night.

The following is an excerpt from the book about this dish:

This is a very special dish from Isan.  Legend has it that it owes its name to a time when the many tigers that roamed the thick forests there would come to the villages in search of food, especially cattle.  The first tiger would take the best part of the meat, then the second tiger would discover this and cry loudly because it had missed out.  Some people also say that the grilling meat makes a noise like a crying tiger - whichever version you favor, the dish is irresistible.

I decided to turn this steak dish into a salad wrap like I've had at Vietnamese restaurants back in Texas.  I wished I thought to take pictures before we started to eat because everything looked as good as it smelled and tasted.  It was very refreshing.  D actually ate the leftovers with rice the next day, and it was just as good.  I hope you'll try the recipe and enjoy it as much as D and I did. 

I tweaked the recipe a little bit to accommodate my available ingredients and time shortage.  The following is what I made that night:

1 pound flank steak

4 teaspoon soy sauce
2 teaspoon oyster sauce
1 finely diced Thai chili pepper or 1 teaspoon chili powder (can adjust for more or less heat)
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
3 teaspoon sugar
4 cloves finely chopped garlic

Wrap/ Salad Ingredients:
Lettuce leaves
Cucumber slices
Mushroom slices
Tomato slices
Pineapple pieces (can or fresh)
Fresh Garlic
Rice Paper (which I didn't have, but wished I did)

3 cloves finely chopped garlic
1 Thai chili pepper
2 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice
2 teaspoons sugar

1. First marinade the steak at least 30 minutes.
2. To make the sauce, combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until sugar has dissolved.  Taste to see if any adjustments are needed (some brands of fish sauce are very salty - may need to add more sugar and/ or a little bit of water).
3. Prepare all the veggies for the wraps/ salad.
4. Remove steak from marinade and place on heated grill or pan.  Cook until desired temperature.  I cooked mine for about 10 minutes on each side for a medium.  The steak will shrink, this is normal.
5. Let steak rest for a few minutes, then slice thinly against the grain and place on platter.
6. Serve over veggies with the sauce for a Thai/ Vietnamese style salad, or wrap in lettuce and/ or soften rice paper with desired veggies.
7. Enjoy and if eating it wrap style, have lots of napkins on hand.

No comments: