Vietnamese grill steak with rice paper rolls & announcement

August past quickly enough. And it's already mid September. I've took a little long break from blogging world. Because I couldn't keep my mind still to write. And had been procrastinating bounding myself to my desk for hours staring at the screen; fingers ready on the keyboard waiting for the words to flow. Natta, that didn't happen because I was busy with something else. Actually, many other exciting things. Firstly, the bar which I've conceptualized with The Butter Factory finally OPENED! And I was busy to the bream gearing up for the grand opening. Well, I promise to write more about it on my other post because this deserved all the spotlight, a post by itself. 
Apart from bar opening, the other exciting thing that need some shouting is my new youtube channel - Girl vs Apron  Ha! This is so much fun and different from how I share my recipes. Now, there's sound, motion and me showing you some techniques that's just difficult to express merely with words and photography. Venturing into motion recipes, I must say, the first time shooting wasn't easy at all. I didn't know what to say or how to smile. Thanks to the talented people at Camp Up Studio for encouraging me to do this and for being so patience taking the same shot 50 times because I was camera shy. Their setup was big! With all the professional camera gears and lighting so bright that will light up a street. My kitchen turned into a set like those cooking shows. For a moment, I felt like a star.
On the flip side to all the glam-ness you see on TV, Everything else is planned to the dot, shots and scripts all organized on call sheets which a team of people working on the backend (I never knew it existed). They will be in my kitchen busy setting up while I dreamily stroll in in my pyjamas to make coffee; I drank my coffee with guilt. My three minutes webisode is actually more than 3 pages long on paper. Now, with the 3rd shooting tomorrow, I am still afraid but I sure that I am more confident than the last time. Hopefully we will finish the shooting a little earlier in time for dinner. Girls vs Apron will last forever so please visit my channel and click subscribe. Leave comments and let me know what you like to see.
With all these going on the past month, cooking continues. I still cook after I got home at 10pm. I still volunteer myself to cook at friends house gathering and most importantly to share my food with people I love. For Foodmanna, I promised to share each post with a recipe. Here's a recipe to a weekend dinner a couple weeks ago sharing with friends over good wines. Vietnamese grill steak with rice paper rolls - Flank steak is my new favorite. It's cheap, flavorful with a good marinate and goes a long way.

1 kg flank steak
2-3 cucumbers
A bunch of coriander
A bunch of Thai basil
Vietnamese rice paper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Basic Vietnamese Dressing - recipe below

1 cup brown sugar
½ cup fish sauce (add to taste)
3 stalk lemongrass, use only the white part
1 whole garlic bulb, peeled
1 large red onion, skin remove and chop into quarters
½ cup olive oil

In a food processor, process everything together until smooth. Marinate the flank steak for at least 4 hours. The flavor will be better if left overnight in the refrigerator.

When ready to serve, make the dressing below. With a peeler, peel the cucumber, lengthwise, into thin ribbons. Lay them on a platter.

Heat a grill pan until smoking hot, add the marinated flank steak and grill for 2 minutes and flip over grilling the other side for the same time. Flip over again and grill for another minute. The doneness of the steak should be medium. Remove from grill and let it rest covered for 10 mins on a chopping board.

When the steak is cool, slice thinly at an angle. Add the sliced beef with all its juice on top of the cucumber ribbons. Garnish with coriander, Thai basil, a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and the Vietnamese dressing.

Serve salad with rice paper for guest to wrap themselves. A bowl of water and a tied bunch of basil can be serve on the side to wet the dried rice paper.

Basic Vietnamese Dressing (Nuoc Cham)
1½ cup fresh coconut juice or water
8 tablespoon fish sauce
6 tablespoon fresh lime juice
6 teaspoon rice vinegar
6 tablespoon sugar
2 deseeded and finely chopped fresh red chili
5 cloves of finely chopped garlic

Combine the coconut juice or water, rice vinegar and sugar in a saucepan, and gently bring this to a boil. Let the mixture cool down to room temperature then add the fish sauce, lime juice, chili and garlic. Adjust accordingly with more sugar, fish sauce or vinegar. I like mine really spicy so I doubled the amount of chili. This delicious dipping sauce is ready to be served.

-till next post, ss. 

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