Thursday, July 30, 2015

Salad # 11: Cambodian "Loc Lac" salad bowl

You've probably already seen this dish on my FB posts many times.  This is a different take on the popular Cambodian beef dish.  Typically. the beef loc lac is served as an entree, accompanied with white jasmine rice.  Seeing that the blog theme is "salad", we'll skip the rice and make this dish a meal of its own.

Similar to any other salad, choose the base vegetables you prefer to use.  You can get as fancy as you want or keep it simple.  The typical Cambodian loc lac includes lettuce, onion, tomato and cucumber. I used Boston Bibb lettuce, red onion, pickling cuke and roma tomato.  I also had a couple of jalapenos for a nice kick.

Wash the veggies and let it air dry.  pat with a paper towel if necessary then slice the tomato, cukes and onions.

For the second step. you can keep it simple and order beef stir fry or you can whip up your own.  I used sirloin steak tips for my stir fry base.  You can use chicken, pork or seafood.  Since we are trying to keep this a "healthy" dish, ditch the MSG and try to use quality ingredients. Yes, they may be a bit more pricey but check out the sales at Market Basket or Whole Foods.  Sometimes I even snag these specialty items at Homegoods or Marshalls.

Coconut oil
In lieu of vegetable or corn oil, use coconut oil.  It's easier to digest and doesn't get stored as fat. Also in some studies, it's been argued that coconut oil increases metabolism and promotes weight loss.

Fish Sauce
With fish sauce, us Asians typically go for the free one (the one you get after spending $50.00 at an Asian store). Spend a few extra bucks ($8.00 to be exact)  for a high quality, all natural, "Extra Virgin" fish sauce.  The red anchovies are sources from the Phu Quoc archipelago by Vietnam and Cambodia.  The beach town is on the Mo and I's bucket list for the near future. Vietnam Fall 2016?

Himalayan Pink Salt
There's a bunch of reasons why Himalayan pink salt is better than your everyday Morton's salt.  I don't know them all, just Google it.  I think I bought it because I read about it in a Women's Health magazine.

I'm not going to go through the entire recipe of making the stir fry ( I might contradict myself and include some ingredients that contain preservatives and additives .. *ahem* oyster sauce and soy sauce)

Basically my beef stir fry includes sirloin tips, fish sauce, sugar, pink salt, oyster sauce, soy sauce, ground course black pepper, sesame oil, rice vinegar and fried garlic.

Once the stir fry is almost complete, I use cornstarch and water for the sauce and add a few jalapenos and sliced onion.

In a bowl, arrange the lettuce, tomato, onions and cucumbers.  Add a 1/2 to 2/3 cup of beef stir fry.  Drizzle some freshly squeezed lime juice on the salad for the dressing.

Optional: Top off with a sunny side egg. (In this case, I did)

The salad itself is about 600 calories.  Throw in the fried sunny side up egg, then it's another 70-100 calories (depending on what and how much oil you used)

If you really can't part ways with the rice. Scoop 1/4 to 1/2 cup and toss it in the salad for a hearty rice bowl.  It's almost like the Cambodian version of Chipotle's.

If you decide to go the rice bowl/fried egg route with 1/2 cup of rice, the calories bump close to 800. It still a good option in lieu of a high calorie Chinese or Cambodian take out entree with rice.