About this recipe:This colourful Thai-style dish is bursting with fresh flavours and deliciously contrasting textures. The dressing is completely oil-free, so despite the beef and nuts this dish is light in calories.
450g (1lb) lean sirloin steak
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp caster sugar
2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
1½ tbsp sunflower oil
For the dressing
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp mild chilli powder
1½ tbsp clear honey
2.5cm (1in) piece fresh root ginger, grated
4 tbsp rice vinegar
juice of 1 lime or 1 lemon
For the salad
¼ medium red cabbage
½ red pepper
1 mango, peeled, stoned and cut into strips
2 plums, sliced
55g (2oz) watercress leaves
3–4 spring onions, chopped
fresh mint and coriander leaves
2 tbsp chopped roasted unsalted peanuts
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Method Prep:30min › Cook:10min › Ready in:40min
To make the dressing, put the paprika, chilli powder, honey, ginger and vinegar in a saucepan and slowly add 225ml (8fl oz) water, stirring. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lime or lemon juice. Set aside.
Shred the cabbage; cut the cucumber into matchsticks; and cut the pepper into thin strips. Combine all the salad ingredients, except the peanuts, in a large shallow serving dish and toss gently together until evenly mixed. Set aside.
Cut the steak into thin strips for stir-frying. Put the steak in a bowl with the garlic, sugar and soy sauce, and toss together so the strips of steak are seasoned. Heat a wok or nonstick frying pan over high heat, then add the oil. Add the beef and stir-fry until the strips are evenly browned and cooked to taste.
Spoon the stir-fried beef over the salad. Drizzle the dressing over the top and sprinkle with the peanuts. Serve immediately.
Some more ideas
*Add cubes of fresh or canned pineapple (canned in juice rather than syrup) or kiwi fruit to the salad, to increase the fruit content. *Spice up the salad with very thin strips of fresh red chilli – particularly if you have a cold: scientists have suggested that eating chillies can help to alleviate nasal congestion. *Replace the mango with 2 nectarines, unpeeled and sliced. *For a vegetarian version, omit the stir-fried beef and increase the quantity of peanuts to 150g (5½oz). Peanuts are an excellent source of protein and contain much less saturated fat than meat.
Apart from adding its delicious spiciness to the dressing, ginger also aids digestion.