When I suggested that the market fairy (the daughter) procure for me some kohlrabi this week, I new I’d be doing it with a bit of eye of round I had tucked away in the freezer. Probs as a foil pack thing or in the BBQ wok, but cooked together in some way, shape or form.
For shits and giggles, and because I always do this before committing because I like to know what my options are don’t tell Rob, I googled “beef and kohlrabi recipes” and I came across this delightful recipe for Korean beef tacos with cabbage and kohlrabi slaw, which I clearly did not follow as you may have sussed by the title of this recipe. It’s far too toasty out to be slow cooking anything (I would argue that a slow cooker isn’t a bad way to beat the heat, but being home in this weather without an air conditioner and having the joint smell like an oven on top of feeling like one does not appeal) plus I did not have 8 hours or taco shells and I sure as hell wasn’t about to make any.
Inspired, I riffed on that recipe like a mad, recipe-riffer.
This recipe isn’t nearly as no-cook as those wasabi tuna summer rolls, but the only thing in this that does need cookin’ is the meat, which can be flash-fried in a wok or, as I have done, on the grill either in a BBQ wok or a foil pack.
This is a hardy salad with wonderfully balanced flavours and textures and everything can be prepped up to a day in advance, making it a nice meal for entertaining as your visiting time won’t be all tied up in the kitchen. Unlike other salads, it also makes great leftovers.
This recipe makes 4 entrée-sized salads or 6-8 side salads.
Definitely give yourself a lot of lead time in prepping it because you’ll want everything to sit for a bit to marinate once combined.
What you need for the slaw:
- 4 cups of hardy vegetables, shredded, cut into matchsticks or thinly sliced (for the salad pictured, I used about 2 cups (4-5 large leaves) of shredded cabbage, 1 cup (1 small or half of a large) of matchsticked kholrabi and two hakurei turnips, quartered and thinly sliced – other contenders could be broccoli, bok choi, carrots, peppers, snow peas, parsnips, celeriac, radishes, and so on…)
- 1 shallot or 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- 3 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 2 tsp honey
- 2 tsp chili flakes (or to taste)
What you do for the slaw:
- At least one hour before serving, mix all ingredients in a bowl until well-combined.
- Cover and chill.
What you need for the rest:
- 400g eye of round, thinly sliced against the grain
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 3tbsp light soy sauce
- 3 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp Shaoxing wine
- Juice of one lime
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tsp chili flakes
- 1 bale (about 200 grams) of sweet potato starch noodles (I am suggesting these specifically because they are thicker than their mung bean cousins and hold up better in this recipe)
- 1 good handful of basil and/or mint leaves for the top
What you do with the rest:
- At least one hour before serving, mix together the sesame oil, water, wine, lime juice, honey, garlic, green onion, fish sauce and chili flakes in a medium seal-able bowl/container to make the marinade.
- Reserve 1/4 cup of the marinade, then add the beef to the bowl and toss until thoroughly coated. Cover and chill.
- Get your noodles soaking in enough hot water to coat. You can give them a little help by popping them into the microwave, water and all, for three minutes on high. Once they’ve fully softened, drain them very thoroughly and set aside. If they’re sticking, toss them in a little sesame oil.
- When it’s go time, cook the meat over high heat until just seared, then transfer to a plate or bowl and let it sit while you plate the rest.
- Divide the noodles among your serving vessels (larger, shallow bowls are perfect for this) , then the slaw, then the meat and drizzle each dish with a little of the reserved marinade.
- Chiffonade the herbs and sprinkle on top. Do not skip this. They are not just a pretty garnish because once you stir everything together, like so……you will get nice, bright pops of herby goodness that will make your mouth very happy.