Photo: Debbie Teoh
This is a really special Laos-style meat dish that is made into a pizza. The sauce and meat may be prepared up to three days in advance. This ensures that you may get a quick-to-cook, balanced meal on weekdays to enjoy. Tip: Charring the vegetables for this sauce is the key to unlocking the smoky flavour
Recipe serves 8-10
Preparation time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 10-15 minutes
For the ginger-marinated beef:
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 clove garlic, chopped finely
40g ginger, peeled and ground finely
15g lemongrass, finely ground
1 tablespoon oil
200g beef tenderloin, cut into 3cm chunks
½ teaspoon corn flour
Extra cooking oil, for pan-frying
For the smoky tomato sauce:
200g tomatoes, roasted over fire
3 stalks bird’s eye chillies (or 5g); de-stemmed and charred (adjust based on your threshold for spicy food)
3 tablespoons fish sauce to taste
10g palm sugar, or to taste
5g or 1 stalk cilantro, chopped
1 sprig spring onions, sliced
3 pieces 10” round ready-made pizza base (store-bought)
A small handful basil leaves
2 fresh tomatoes, sliced
100g mozzarella cheese
For the beef:
1. Using an electric blender, finely grind all the ingredients, except beef, adding a little water to help ease blade movement.
2. Marinate the beef for at least 10 minutes.
3. Cook the beef and its marinade in a pan until tender, and the sauce sticks to the meat.
4. Once cooked and slightly cooled, cut beef into bite-sized slices
To prepare sauce:
1. Place the tomatoes on a rack over the fire and roast for about one to two minutes before turning over.
2. Char the bird's eye chilli, turning once for about one minute, and let it cool.
3. Put the chilli and peeled tomatoes into an electric blender and finely grind.
4. Transfer the mix to a saucepan, adding fish sauce and sugar, and simmer for five minutes or until slightly thick.
5. Stir in chopped cilantro and spring onions.
6. Sauce may be prepared up to three days in advance, and stored in a container in the refrigerator.
To assemble the pizza:
1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C, grease a tray and place pizza base over it.
2. Spoon smoky tomato sauce onto the base, spreading evenly to coat and form a layer.
3. Top with slices of tomatoes, basil leaf and slices of beef with its sauce.
4. Sprinkle cheese and bake in pre-heated oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until pizza is crispy.
5. Serve immediately.
With more than 10 years experience in the food industry, Debbie Teoh is a true-bred Nyonya who hails from Malacca, Malaysia. She is the author of numerous cookbooks, including 'Underwraps' by Marshall Cavendish Cuisine as well as 'Penang Food Guide & Cookbook' and 'Nyonya Flavours' by Star Publications. Teoh develops and tests recipes for companies, and contributes articles to magazines. She is also a Nyonya food consultant for Tourism Malaysia.