London lunch box: Thai beef noodle salad

Laoise Casey
Laoise Casey

For this week’s lunch box it’s all about a one pot wonder. One pot dishes are great kitchen fall backs. While of course it can be lovely to spend a couple of hours recreating more difficult recipes at home, sometimes I just fancy throwing everything into a pan and being done with it. Although I’m happy to save on time, there can’t be any compromise on flavour. After all we are talking about the serious business of our lunch box here, aren’t we? Generally, I stick to pasta for my solo pot repertoire, but recently I’ve started turning to my wok for inspiration, which has opened up a whole new world of quick dishes. It turns out that sometimes a little change can be just what is needed.

Here we’re using rice vermicelli noodles which are soaked in boiling water (Ok, so it’s a one bowl-pot-wonder then). For our Thai style salad, we’re taking some rump steak, thinly sliced, which cooks quickly while remaining tender, in a marinade of garlic, ginger, red chilli, rice wine vinegar and fish sauce. For crunch we’re adding carrots and spring onions then finishing it all with coriander and a splash of lime. If I’m taking this in my lunch box, I make it all the night before, apart from the spring onions and coriander, which I sprinkle on top the next day just before eating. So, get your pan (and bowl out), whip this up, then give yourself the rest of the night off.

Ingredients (serves 2)

200g rump steak, sliced into thin strips

1 garlic clove, crushed

15g fresh ginger, crushed

1 red chilli, finely sliced (remove the seeds first if you prefer less heat)

1 tbsp rice wine vinegar

1 tbsp fish sauce

1 tbsp olive oil

2 medium carrots, thinly sliced

120g rice vermicelli noodles

Juice of half a lime

4 spring onions, thinly sliced

Small handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped, including the stalks

Sea salt flakes, cracked black pepper


To marinate the beef:

In a bowl mix the steak with the garlic, ginger, chilli, vinegar and fish sauce. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix to coat thoroughly.

To cook the noodles:

In a heatproof bowl, cover the noodles with boiling water and leave for 5 minutes. Stir well and drain.

To cook the beef:

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a wide-based pan on a medium-high heat. Once hot, cook the beef for 3–4 minutes. Add the carrots and cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in the noodles and lime juice and toss well. Sprinkle with the spring onion and coriander.

Laoise (Lee-sha) is a chef, food stylist and writer, living in London. Follow her on Twitter @laoisecooks and Instagram @laoisecooks. She studied at Leiths School of Food and Wine, where she now teaches. She has worked in a number of top London restaurants including The Dairy in Clapham and Paradise Garage in Bethnal Green.