Get a taste of Vietnam without leaving home with sesame-lime beef

A home cook’s inspiration to step outside of his or her typical recipe arsenal can come in several forms, whether it’s an interesting new ingredient, or a cookbook with delicious-sounding recipes from unfamiliar lands.
This dish is an excursion into the Vietnamese kitchen created by combining two cookbook recipes. Beef fillet in lime dressing sounded tempting, but nearly raw meat: not so much. And it was hard to ignore a recipe for stir-fried beef strips in a creamy sauce featuring sesame paste. The solution? Combine them.
This dish will join the usual weekday dinner rotation before you know it.

Ingredients (serves 2-3 people):
500 grams beef fillet,
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 lime
1 garlic clove
1 piece of ginger
1 lemongrass stalk
3-4 fresh coriander stems
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1-2 teaspoons sesame paste
1-2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 red chili pepper
300-400 grams basmati rice

1. Cook rice according to instructions on package. Wash and pat dry meat. Remove pepper’s seeds, then cut into thin slices. Peel and finely dice garlic and ginger.
2. Wash and finely dice coriander stems; the leaves are not used in this dish. Clean lemongrass stalk. Cut off its upper, woody part, as well as its base. Finely chop. Wash lime and grate the peel before squeezing out its juice.
3. For the marinade, combine fish sauce, soy sauce, lime juice, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, coriander stems, lime peel and sugar. Chop the meat into small, thin slices, then marinate for about 2 hours.
4. Before cooking, remove the meat from the marinade and scrub off any bits left over from the marinade in order for the meat to cook better.
5. Heat oil in a pan and quickly saute meat at high heat. The meat can still be a bit pink inside. Add the leftover marinade, sesame paste, sesame seeds and chili pepper, bring to the boil, then let simmer until the marinade is warm and the meat is cooked as desired.
6. Scoop rice into the middle of a plate, then spoon over the sauce and cooked beef. — dpa