Southeast Asian Steak Salad

Finger Hot is the commercial name for this asian-type pepper that is actually very similar to fresh cayenne and can be used in any recipe to add heat without changing the flavor. It is a good chile to chop and use in stir fry.

They are thin-walled and measure about 1/2″ wide and 5″ to 8″ long. These chiles also dry very nicely.

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1/2 head romaine lettuce
1/2 small English cucumber
1 small shallot
1-2 small fresh finger hot chiles
1 garlic clove
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tsp. Asian fish sauce
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 (1-1/4″ thick) rib-eye steak (about 3/4 pound)
1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves

Tear the romaine lettuce into pieces and put into a bowl. Halve the cucumber lengthwise and seed. Thinly slice it crosswise and add to romaine pieces. Chill the romaine mixture, covered.

Mince the shallot, finger hot chiles and garlic (wear rubber gloves when handling the chiles) and put in a large bowl. Stir together with the lime juice, soy sauce, 1Tbsp. of the oil, the fish sauce and the sugar until the sugar dissolves.

Pat the steak dry and season it with salt. In an 8-10″ heavy skillet heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over moderately high heat until hot, but not smoking and saute the steak for 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare.

Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let stand 5 minutes. While the steak is standing, stack the mint leaves and thinly slice. Toss the mint with the romaine mixture and all but about 2Tbsp. of the dressing until combined well. Divide the salad between 2 plates and slice the steak. Toss the steak with the remaining dressing and arrange on the salads.

Yields 2 servings.