I’ve been a few times to those wok restaurants, where you can choose all kinds of ingredients and give them to a chef, who woks them together with a sauce for you. Unfortunately, they don’t really work that hygienic (lots of cross contamination of products), so I can’t go there any more due to food allergy. But I’ve kept longing to taste one of those sauces again, the one that is dark, savoury, slightly spicy and salty. I did not exactly know what was in there (and you can’t really ask the chefs, because they generally don’t speak English), so I’d lost hope of tasting it again. Until I made this recipe. It was completely different than I expected, but it tastes just like that sauce of the wok restaurant!
It is quite a strong sauce, so I suggest to serve loads of plain rice with it to soak up the sauce, and a refreshing cucumber salad. On the photo you also see homemade chapatis, but I didn’t like those much with this recipe.
Cambodian marinated beef (serves 2)
Adapted from Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey
200 g beef that is suited for fast preparation (steak of some kind), in cubes and at room temperature
oil (coconut or vegetable)
1 tbsp sambal badjak or oelek
15 g garlic, pureed
25 g ginger, pureed
juice of 1/2 lime
1 tbsp palm sugar
3 tbsp dark soy sauce or ketjap manis
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp ketchup
freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the beef cubes and fry until preferred done-ness. Set aside. They will sit for a while, and will be reheated in the sauce, so I would advice to cook them a bit more rare than you would normally do.
Meanwhile, mix all the other ingredients together and taste for balance. Not all garlic and ginger are the same, and the taste of sambal/soy/ketjap differs per brand, therefore tasting is really necessary.
Pour the sauce into the pan that you used to fry the beef. Cook for about 2 minutes, then add the beef back in, heat through, and serve.