On a recent weekend get away to New York City it was staggering to stumble about Chinatown and see with my very own senses of sight and smell just how authentic it all is. Having lived and breathed Asia myself I was in love the moment I made ground out of the Subway and ventured up Canal Street, this is a must on anybody's go to list if in the city and in need of something reminiscent of South East Asia. Manhattan's Chinatown is one of the oldest ethnic Chinese enclaves outside of Asia. The char siu bao was phenomenal as were some near damn perfect sui mai, but today we shall leave them to the experts I think.
Here's a barbecued steak idea for home, nothing whatsoever like the char siu of a good bbq shop, but easily something to brighten a cold late Winter night at home...
4 x 200g rib eye beef steaks
Olive oil, to drizzle
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
Large handful of lemon thyme sprigs
1 glass of dry white wine
1 large courgette, trimmed
1 medium aubergine, trimmed
1 large red onion, peeled 4 globe artichoke hearts, cooked
For the dipping sauce 4 tblsp mayonnaise 3 tblsp Greek yoghurt Pinch of cayenne powder Zest and juice of 1 large lemon
Put the steaks in a bowl or food bag with a generous drizzle of olive oil, some freshly ground black pepper, the garlic, spices, a few sprigs of lemon thyme and the white wine. Toss everything together, then leave to marinate at room temperature for one hour.
For the vegetable skewers, slice the courgette in half lengthwise, then cut into 1.5cm thick half-moons. Slice the aubergine into quarters lengthwise, then cut across each quarter into 1.5cm thick wedges. Chop the red onion into small chunks or wedges and the globe artichoke hearts into quarters.
If using wooden skewers, soak them in a bowl of cold water. Put all the vegetables into a bowl. Pick the leaves from the lemon thyme and toss through the vegetables with some freshly ground pepper and a generous glug of olive oil. Thread the vegetables alternately on to the skewers.
Season the beef and vegetables with salt just before you start barbecuing. Allow 10-15 minutes for the vegetable skewers on the barbecue, turning them regularly until the vegetables are tender and golden. Cook the steaks over a high heat, allowing 3-5 minutes on each side, then allow them to rest on a warm plate for 5 minutes.
For the dipping sauce, mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl, adding lemon juice and seasoning to taste. Serve the steaks on warmed plates with two vegetable skewers per person and the dipping sauce in small bowls on the side