There are only 2 unwritten rules to journalism, despite what professional journalists and academics will tell you. They are as follows:
- Any online recipe you read has to start with 4 paragraphs of anecdote about how the author either inherited the recipe from their now-dead-gran, or found it whilst travelling the depths of the Badab-e-Surt on a transformational journey in 2016.
- Any article written since April 1st 2020 has to start with “Remember when X…” as though being asked to stay at home for a few months has rendered us all completely incapable of remembering the past. With that in mind…
Remember when we could travel? That was good wasn’t it. Queueing for two hours at Stanstead on the way in. Queuing for 3 hours at Luton on the way back with a sunburn and no battery left. A hostel down an alleyway that smells faintly of piss. Standing outside a bar for 2 hours waiting patiently to get that Instagram snap so your friends would know you were having a good time when really you’re covered in bed bug bites, and you and your partner have just had an argument about how to pronounce tzatziki*? Travel, yeah? Amazing.
Anyway, the best thing about travel (whether you agree or not) is the food. Whilst this does lead me to question what the 38m tourists a year who visit the UK are thinking, at least if you’re from here, you can go almost anywhere else and have a better meal.
With that in mind, here’s HERD’s first ever cooking column (probably). We’re going to cook stuff from abroad. And because we’re all poor now, we’re going to do recipes you haven’t heard of but that don’t involve you scouring the aisles of multiple ethnic stores in search of annatto seeds. All the recipes are going to be 5 steps, 20 minutes, about a fiver.
This week, we’re off to Thailand. No more Thai Green Curry for you, furlough boy. We’re going street food – Nam Tok. Translates to Waterfall. Waterfalls are a bit of you, aren’t they? Travel, eh. 10 minutes, 5 steps. I believe in you even if nobody else does.
(Contains beef. If you don’t like beef, substitute it for haloumi and grill it instead. Or eat something else)
Nam Tok (Serves 1 – because you’re not allowed people over right now)
|1 shallot – thinly sliced |
2 spring onions – thinly sliced
2 handfuls of mint – roughly cut
2 handfuls coriander (inc. stalks, you animal) – roughly cut
1 chili (Thai if you can) – thinly sliced
1 tbsp rice (note: uncooked)
200-250g of rump steak (flank works)
Handful of rice.
|Frying pan x 2 (griddle if you have one) Optional: pestle & mortar|
Assemble the fellas listed above. Do all the slicing and cutting listed above. Bung it in a bowl.
Cook some rice.
Get two pans. Heat some vegetable oil in one.
Heat the other one up with no oil.
Season your steak with salt and pepper.
Put your rice into the hot dry pan. Toast the rice until it’s brown
Put your steak into the hot oily pan.
Cook the steak until it’s cooked how you like it. It will be brown.
Everything is brown. Except you, because you’ve not left the house since March.
Turn off the pans.
Let the steak sit for a few minutes. Slice into…slices?
Crush the rice in a pestle and mortar.
(If you haven’t got one, use a rolling pin or anything blunt and a plastic bowl. Crush it like your dreams of home-ownership, a livable pension, or finding a partner during a pandemic)
Put the beef in the bowl.
Put a tablespoon of fish sauce in the bowl.
Squeeze a lime into the bowl.
Mix the contents of the bowl.
Sprinkle the crushed rice over the top.
Serve on top of some rice
Eat. Nam Tok
*It’s pronounced tzatziki.