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Vietnamese noodle and beef salad

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500 g beef strips
1 stalk lemon grass, finely chopped
1 small red chilli, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
200 g mung bean thread vermicelli
1 tbsp oil
2 spring onions, finely sliced
1 red capsicum, cut into strips
1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
2 tbsp mint leaves
lime wedges to serve


1 Place the beef strips in a bowl. Pound together the lemon grass, chilli and garlic in a mortar or blender. Add the fish sauce, soy sauce and sugar, mix well. Combine with the beef strips, marinate for 30 minutes.
2 Soak the noodles in boiling water until just tender (about 5 minutes). Drain and snip into manageable lengths with scissors. Add the oil to the beef, mix well
3 Heat the wok, ensure it is hot. Stir-fry the beef strips in 3 batches, reserving each cooked batch to rest in a bowl. Reheat wok between each batch.
4 Toss beef together with the noodles, spring onion, capsicum and tomatoes. Scatter with the sesame seeds and mint.
5 Serving suggestion: Serve with lime wedges if desired.


1 Cook meat in small batches, at a maximum of 250g at a time. When you add the meat to the wok, work from the outer side of the wok into the centre where it will be hottest.
2 Best beef cuts for stir-frying: Use beef stir-fry strips or prepare your own from rib eye/scotch fillet/tenderloin, sirloin/porterhouse/New York, rump, boneless blade, round, oyster blade or topside steaks.