Does your family ever look at you funny when you tell them that you’re preparing something out of the ordinary for dinner? Do they give you that skeptical look when you share the recipe title with them? In my ongoing effort to provide variety and flavor to our weekly meals, I often receive these sorts of looks from the fam. It all usually works out in the end though, so I’m not sure why I continue to get met with such skepticism.
Yesterday’s Edamame Dumplings were a prelude to our wonderful Asian-style dinner. Another choice from Cooking Light: Thai Beef Tacos with Lime- Cilantro Slaw. The side dish (not light) comes from the Blue Mesa Grill: Coconut Ginger Rice.
This is an easy, fairly quick meal. The “marinade” for the flank steak is super basic. It’s so basic, in fact, that I worried that there wouldn’t be much flavor for the beef. The marinade included sugar, ginger, fish sauce, chili-garlic sauce, pepper and garlic. That all gets thrown into a big ziploc with the flank steak, and it sits for just 20 minutes in the fridge.
The slaw is quick too- especially if you buy the bags of coleslaw mix and matchstick carrots. It’s tossed with similar spices as well as lime juice and cilantro.
The verdict: You should make this. Why? Because it’s different. When I told my family that we were having tacos for dinner, they said- ‘YAY!’ Then I told them they were Thai tacos and they looked at me like I had a major screw loose. During dinner, I heard things like, “Wow, these are really good.” (with a large element of surprise included.) My 6 year old even ate the slaw inside the taco, and I can tell you with 100% certainty that he wouldn’t eat that stuff if it was just sitting on a plate. I will also tell you that you should eat the slaw inside and outside of the taco. It’s pretty tasty either way.
*An additional note on the marinade for the steak: If you like spicy, it wasn’t spicy as prepared in the given recipe. If you want spice, add more chili garlic sauce. Marinating it longer may also help the spice flavor come through a little more.
But here was the real star of dinner: Coconut- Ginger Rice. It doesn’t sound all that exciting, but it was. Besides coconut milk, a couple other fun ingredients are included in this side dish: sushi ginger and pesto. I didn’t know if I could find sushi ginger, but I was able to locate it easily at my market’s sushi counter. If they don’t sell a little tub of it, you can ask the sushi guy and he’ll give you some (especially if you’re really nice and you tell him how good his sushi looks.)
We gobbled up this rice like there was no tomorrow. The next day we had yummy Thai taco leftovers, and wished we had made more rice too (since I had halved the recipe.)
And if you’re someone who doesn’t usually have things like fish sauce and chili garlic sauce at-the-ready in your fridge… go ahead and pick some up. You’ll be surprised how many recipes include these ingredients, and they’re easy to find in the Asian section of your market.
One of these days, the family may come to learn that my recipe choices are more often than not excellent ones. Until then, I can handle the looks. After all, there is usually a delicious ending.
The taco recipe can be found HERE.
The rice recipe can be found HERE.