Saturday, February 6, 2010

Diary of a Secret Housewife: Elephant Walk's Loc Lac Recipe

One of our favorite Boston restaurants is the Elephant Walk, a Cambodian-French bistro.  When we lived in Cambridge, we used to walk the few blocks to the Porter Square location to celebrate any and all special occasions (some real, some invented just for the purpose of having an excuse to go to the Elephant Walk).  For a belated Valentines Day celebration several years ago, we even took a cooking class with Chef Gerard Lopez at the restaurant's kitchen, in which I experienced the highlight of my culinary life: operating the fryolator at the Elephant Walk.

Image source: Elephant Walk

(As an aside, let me tell you that I rocked that fry station.  I was ready to fry everything and anything I could get my hands on in that kitchen -- animal, vegetable, mineral, plastic.  It's possible they had to physically remove me from the fryolator to prevent me from frying anything else.)

One of the dishes we always end up ordering at the Elephant Walk is Loc Lac, a Cambodian-style sauteed beef tenderloin.  But since we haven't had the time or the budget to splurge on the Elephant Walk lately, I thought I'd take out my copy of the Elephant Walk Cookbook and make Loc Lac at home.  The results were pretty awesome, if I do say so myself.

Here's the recipe:

First, make the marinade.  Combine 7 garlic cloves, finely chopped; 2 tablespoons of mushroom soy sauce (I used 1 1/2 tablespoons of soy sauce and 1/2 tablespoon of Vietnamese fish sauce); 1 tablespoon sugar; and 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper.

In a large bowl, pour marinade over 1 1/2 pounds flank steak or boneless sirloin, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes.  Stir to coat.  Set aside for 30 minutes.  (I put the marinaded meat in the fridge for 2 hours.)

When you're ready to eat, in a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over high heat.  Saute the beef until medium-rare, 3 to 4 minutes.  The Elephant Walk recipe calls for serving the beef cubes on top of a few lettuce leaves.

Since I'm always trying to get some vegies inside my nutritionally deficient husband, I took the additional step of frying up some orange bell peppers, spinach, and thinly sliced onions in the pan I used to saute the beef, adding a little beef broth and scraping up the delicious browned bits and drippings left in the pan.

Finally, make the dipping sauce.  Combine 3 tablespoons of lime juice, 1 teaspoon of water, and 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper in a small bowl.

Serve the beef over jasmine rice, with the dipping sauce on the side.

Nom nom nom.

For a dish that takes all of ten minutes to throw together, Loc Lac is seriously tasty.  That being said, I do miss the sweet, savory, peppery bite of the Vietnamese version of this dish, Bo Luc Lac.  I plan on trying this recipe over at the fabulous Ravenous Couple blog soon.  I'll let you know how it turns out!


M and C February 8, 2010 at 12:56 PM  

I'm making this -- seriously!

Mrs. Hot Cocoa February 8, 2010 at 1:46 PM  

@ M and C: I hope you like it!! It makes your kitchen smell delicious for hours afterwards.

M and C February 9, 2010 at 10:50 AM  

I'll let you know how it goes. I think it will be on the menu tomorrow night and that I'll also have to add veggies. :)

Sugarpond February 10, 2010 at 9:46 PM  

I never know how to prepare flank steak, and I'm excited to try this one. The recipe turned out great!

Sugarpond February 11, 2010 at 7:45 AM  

btw, i love your cookbook collection in the background, we share an obsession! i'd like you to feature some of your favorites..

Mrs. Hot Cocoa February 11, 2010 at 11:29 AM  

@ Sugarpond: I have a problem about acquiring too many cookbooks. What's terrible is that I almost always pull my recipes off of the internet! I'll definitely post on my faves, though. Can you share yours as well?

Sugarpond February 11, 2010 at 2:05 PM  

I have the same problem! I love collecting cookbooks but most of my recipes are found online. How funny is that. I'll definitely share my favorites in the future.

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