Thai Tacos with Mango & Cucumber Salsa
and nuoc nam sauteed green beans
Nuoc nam (classic Vietnamese dipping sauce) makes another appearance this week, and I want to show you how versatile it is. It's used to add sweetness, savoriness, and tanginess to our proteins, salsa, and to simple green beans. You'll also love our Asian-spin on traditional tacos with a refreshing mango and cucumber salsa. Make sure to marinate your protein overnight for maximum flavor.
Thai Tacos with Mango & Cucumber Salsa:
- Steak, skirt - 1 1/2 lbs
- Homemade nuoc nam - 1/2 cup , ingredients listed separately
- Shallots - 1 bulb , minced
- Cucumbers - 1/2 lb , diced
- Mango - 2 , diced
- Cilantro - 1/4 bunch , chopped
- Oil, cooking - 2 Tbsp
- Tortillas - 8
- Water - 1 1/2 cups
- Sugar - 1/2 cup (you can also sub another type of sweetener, like honey)
- Garlic - 4 cloves , minced
- Fish sauce - 1/4 cup
- Lime juice - 2 to 3 Tbsp
- Hot sauce - to taste , (like Sriracha)
Sauteed Green Beans in Nuoc Nam:
- Green beans / haricot verts - 1 lb , trimmed
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Homemade nuoc nam - 1/4 cup (ingredients listed separately)
- Hot sauce - to taste
- Make nuoc nam - Combine water and sweetener into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer until reduced by about half, ~15 minutes. Mix with remainder of sauce ingredients and season to taste with hot sauce. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Steak - Tenderize with a fork and then combine with 1/2 cup (118 ml) of nuoc nam in a baking pan or a Ziploc bag. Marinate for up to 30 minutes and ideally overnight. (Can be done up to 1 day ahead)
- Shallots / Cucumbers / Mango / Cilantro - Prep as directed. Toss with 1/4 cup (59 ml) of nuoc nam and some salt. Cover and refrigerate if not using right away.
- Green beans - Trim off ends (give your kids a pair of scissors and get them trimming!).
- Try to take steak out of fridge ~30 minutes before cooking for most-even results. Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Brush with cooking oil and then add steak to heated pan. Sear for about 3 to 4 minutes each side. Set aside and let rest for about 5 to 10 minutes.
- After proteins are cooked, heat a saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add cooking oil and then beans to heated oil. Saute for about 1 minute and then add nuoc nam. Saute until your desired crunchiness level (I like mine extra crunchy, so another 2 minutes is all I do). Remember the green beans will keep on cooking ('carryover cooking') after you take them off the heat too! Season to taste with salt, pepper, or hot sauce.
- Heat up tortillas according to package instructions.
- Slice steak into smaller pieces or longer slices. For longer slices, remember to slice against the grain.
- Let everyone assemble their own tacos with steak and cucumber and mango salsa. Enjoy with your tasty green beans!