To Order-In or Not to Order-In, that is the Question.


There is something truly wonderful, decadent even, about having food delivered right to your door. Whatever you fancy – Italian, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, or Indian – it is available, and with minimal fuss. Home delivery is a convenience of modern life that few of us would ever want to give up.

However, there is something to be said for cooking for oneself, and one’s friends or family. Placing a dish of something home cooked on the table and watching as it is eaten and enjoyed can bring a real sense of pride and accomplishment. Conversely of course, it can be a god-awful disaster if you botch the recipe, but never fear, here is an idiot-proof recipe that with knock the socks off your dining companions.

Inspired by the spicy beef salads of Thailand and Cambodia, this dish has some heat to it, but includes fresh vegetables like cucumber to cool the mouth. If you’re not a fan of chili, simply leave them off or serve them on the side. Instead of ordering take-out next time, why not give this a go. Serve it with steamed rice, and extra cucumbers on the side.

Hot & Sour Salad of Beef

Prep: 35mins

Serves: 4


7 oz. beef sirloin

1 tbsp. thick sweet soy sauce


For the salad

2 cucumbers, sliced on a diagonal

2 spring onion, finely sliced

½ cup cilantro leaves

½ mint leaves

1 red capsicum, finely sliced

1 red chili, seeded and julienned


For the dressing

Juice of 1 lime

1 tbsp. poppy seeds

2 tbsp. fish sauce

2 bird’s eye chilies, finely sliced

2 tablespoons Sweet Chili Sauce



Rub the soy sauce all over the beef and grill over a medium-high heat until rare, about 8 minutes. Rest for 10 minutes.

While the meat is resting, toss all the salad ingredients together. Slice the beef and mix through the salad, adding the meat juices.


To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a jar and shake well. Taste – it should be hot, sour, salty and slightly sweet.


Pour the dressing over the salad and fold through to mix the flavors then remove to an airtight container and keep refrigerated until ready to eat.