Friday 24 May 2019

Edward Hayden: Sweet & Sticky Beef, Salad of Bok Choi, Chard with Lime, Chilli & Ginger Dressing

Chef Edward Hayden has just returned from Shanghai with IDEAS on putting a spicy twist to SUMMER DINING

Sticky beef salad
Sticky beef salad

Before this trip, my understanding of Chinese food was the somewhat westernised versions we see in the local Chinese takeaway.

During my time in Shanghai I spent lots of time learning how the Chinese chefs prepare and cook their meals. They use lots of various types of leafy green vegetables and aromatic leaves and as you can see from the photo above, some of their vegetables are visibly different to ours such as the aubergine.

I was there on a teaching exchange programme with Anne Grace Tubritt, my colleague from Waterford Institute of Technology.

As much as I tried to impress the fundamentals of our Irish cuisine on our Chinese students, I also tried very hard to soak up as much of the trends and culinary practices of China - which I factored into today's recipes.

They use lots of chilli, ginger, garlic and lemongrass as well as fresh herbs, and I found that the foods they serve are less sauced than their European re-creations.

Given the new Chinese beef contract for Irish producers, I thought it would be good to showcase a great beef recipe using some quintessential Chinese flavours such as the sweet chilli and the soy sauce which make for a very tasty combination in the salad.

In China, all fish was served in its entirety - head, tail, the works! It's not something we are as familiar with in Ireland so feel free to cut them off before cooking if desired.The gentle infused flavour from the coriander, chilli and lemongrass works wonderfully with the fish.

They eat lots of different types of mushrooms and one of the favourites was the enoki which I have teamed with some broccoli and oyster sauce as a side accompaniment.

We didn't see many desserts in restaurants, but after a meal they served lots of varieties of fruit including dragon fruit and lychees. I've made a deliciously fragrant sugar syrup to glaze the fruit and a platter of this type should be a big favourite with your dinner party guests.

Sweet & Sticky Beef, Salad of Bok Choi, Chard with Lime, Chilli & Ginger Dressing

Sticky beef salad

Serves 4 as a starter


Lime, chilli & ginger dressing: 3 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp rapeseed oil

Juice of 1 lime

½ red chilli diced very finely

1 inch root ginger finely chopped/grated


1 carrot

1 head of bok choi

Large handful red chard

¼ head Chinese cabbage shredded

¼ head red cabbage shredded very finely

3-4 stems spring onions sliced

2 tbsp peanuts/cashew nuts

Sweet & sticky beef:

A little rapeseed oil for cooking

2 rib eye/striploin steaks (approx 10oz/300g each)

2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

To garnish: Edible flowers

Pea shoots


1. Combine all the dressing ingredients together and store in the fridge until required.

2. Using a vegetable peeler, peel long strips of the carrot.

3. Pile the bok choi and chard onto a large serving platter. Neatly arrange the carrot ribbons, Chinese cabbage and red cabbage on top. Sprinkle on spring onions.

4. Heat a large griddle pan until smoking hot. Add the rapeseed oil and then place the steaks onto the pan and cook, depending on thickness, for 3-4 minutes on each side. Once cooked on each side coat the steaks with the sweet chilli sauce which will instantly begin to caramelise on the pan.

5. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the steaks to rest for a couple of minutes before slicing the cooked steak and place it neatly and directly on the top of the salad. Drizzle with some of the prepared dressing and then sprinkle with the peanuts. Serve immediately, garnished with the pea shoots and edible flowers.

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