Kecap manis, a key ingredient in this recipe’s marinade, is an Indonesian soy sauce that usually contains star anise, garlic, and palm sugar, giving it a slightly sweet flavour and a syrupy texture. Marinating overnight gives the beef tremendous flavour and texture. You can find Japanese cucumbers at Asian or Middle Eastern markets; substitute English cucumbers if necessary.
8 oz (225 g) beef tenderloin
7 Japanese cucumbers
1/3 cup (80 mL) kecap manis
1/3 cup (80 mL) lime juice
1 red Thai chili, finely sliced
1 Tbsp (15 mL) sesame oil
1/4 cup (60 mL) lime juice
1 or 2 fresh red chilies, finely sliced
3 Tbsp (45 mL) fresh mint, chopped
3 Tbsp (45 mL) fresh Thai basil, chopped
1 Tbsp (15 mL) fish sauce
Mix together marinade ingredients. Place beef tenderloin in non-metallic bowl, pour in marinade, and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. Allow meat to return to room temperature before cooking.
Heat barbecue or chargrill pan and cook beef for 7 minutes. Cook less for rare and longer for well done. Allow to cool, then finely slice into thin strips and mix with salad ingredients.
Cut off cucumber ends and cut remainder into cylinders about 1 in (3 cm) thick. Using melon baller, scoop out flesh from each slice to make a cup about 1/3 in (1 cm) deep. Fill each cup with Thai beef salad.
source: "Sanafir", alive #314, December 2008
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