For the Thai paste:
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 inch piece of ginger, julienned
- 1 lemon grass stalk, trimmed with tough outer layer removed, finely chopped
- 5 dried red chillies, pre-soaked in water for 15 minutes
- 1 tsp tomato paste
- 4 tbsp coconut milk
- 0.5 tsp turmeric
For the noodles:
- 150 g dried vermicelli noodles
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 500 g lean sirloin, trimmed of fat and finely sliced
- splash of coconut milk, if the noodles are too dry
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 4 spring onions, washed and finely chopped
- handful of coriander, washed and torn plus extra to serve
- handful of Thai basil, washed and torn plus extra to serve
- juice of 1 lime
Place all the paste ingredients into a blender and blitz until it forms a paste.
Place the noodles in a heatproof medium bowl, cover with boiling water and leave to soak for 5 minutes until tender. Drain and cool.
Heat the oil in a wok over a high heat. Add the steak and the paste, and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until fragrant and the meat is slightly charred on the edges. Add some more coconut milk if the mixture becomes too dry.
Add the fish sauce. Toss in the spring onions, noodles, coriander and basil, and remove from heat.
Turn out into a bowl and squeeze over some lime juice. Sprinkle a couple of leaves of coriander and basil on top, and serve.
Chef's tip: this works perfectly for lunch the next day. Cool completely then store in an airtight container and take to work the next day.
Cookery author and TV chef, Shelina Permalloo