Servings: 6 Prep: 15 min Cook: 15 min Total: 1 hr 30 min
These flavorful skewers are AMAZING! The flavors are rich, salty, aromatic and complex, without impacting your blood sugars … almost at all! You could eat piles of these things … and they’re pretty easy to make, too!
However, there’s some wacky stuff going on, here …
One of the primary flavorings is Fish Sauce. Fish sauce is like salt or … soy sauce … in Thailand. It’s used everywhere and in everything, but … to me … fish sauce is weird. For one, it’s called “Fish Sauce” (Nam Pla), which is bad enough to make me want to leave the room. I like fish and I like sauce, but sauce made out of fish? Too unusual! It’s also FERMENTED fish (usually anchovies), which is extra icky. It’s a lot of fresh little boney fishes, mixed with salt. It’s covered then left to sit in the sun for about a year. Sometimes, they uncover it to let it air out and get a tan. After several more months, it’s squished and the liquid is removed. Fish sauce! It’s a pungent brown liquid. It’s salty and it stinks like that weird cheese you’re afraid to try … mixed with old fish! If you have a really hot pot and add some fish sauce to the bottom of the pot, the odors stemming from the hot fish sauce vapor might make you exit the kitchen. You’re almost certain to tear up and complain! I know I do!
The weirdest thing about fish sauce, though, isn’t what it is, or how it’s made, or how it smells … the strangest thing is that … IT’S DELICIOUS!!! It’s a funky salty flavor, with some deep, hard hitting umami. It’s yum! When combined with aromatics (ginger, lemongrass, lime leaf, etc), chilies, acids (like lime juice or vinegar) and something sweet … it’s amongst one of my absolute favorite flavors!
Thai Grilled Beef SkewersPrint Rate
- 1 1/2 lb beef tenderloin sirloin or ribeye, cut into strips
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger minced
- 4 each garlic cloves minced
- 1 tbsp lemongrass minced
- 2 tbsp lime juice freshly squeezed
- 1 tbsp brown sugar equivalent
- 18 each bamboo skewers soaked in water for 30 minutes
- salt pepper and chili flakes, to taste
- 2 tbsp coconut oil for grilling
- Mix together each of the ingredients in a bowl, except the salt, pepper, chili flakes, coconut oil and skewers.
- Let marinade in the refrigerator for an hour.
- Thread the beef on the bamboo skewers.
- Pre-heat a grill.
- Season the beef with salt, black pepper and chili flakes (or, instead, add a bit of Thai chili paste to the marinade!)
- Once the grill is hot, brush it with coconut oil and quickly place your beef on the grill.
- Grill each skewer, until it's nicely seared and cooked to your desired doneness.
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5 thoughts on “Thai Grilled Beef Skewers”
Could you sub out the fish oil for low sodium soy sauce?
Hi Jennifer. Sure! I personally probably wouldn’t, as I think the core flavor of these particular skewers COME from the fish sauce. I could almost call them "Fish Sauce Beef Skewers". While you could do it, you’d really be changing the dish quite a bit. The end result is likely to be delicious, but … different. If you swap the fish sauce for low sodium soy, I might also suggest eliminating the lemongrass. Then, you’ll get more of a soy-ginger-lime profile, which … is also awesome! I hope that helps!
I have a question about lemongrass. I have some growing in a pot on my deck (mostly because they said lemongrass repels mosquitoes.) Do you just cut up a blade of the grass like you would, say, a chive or is it more like a green onion where you have to pull up the root?
And you’re right about the fish sauce, every time I use it I think there’s no way I’m going to be able to eat this, but the end result is always delicious!
Hi Heather, I’m sorry about the delay. I took a last minute trip and am just now going through my older comments. In any event, comparing it to a green onion is probably the best way to look at it. Pull out the entire stalk and wash it. You can chop and use the entire thing if you plan to strain it out. One trick is to whack it with the back side of your knife, severely bruising the stalks and then tossing them into a liquid to pick up some flavors. However, if you plan to EAT any of the lemongrass, the best option is to use the white portions only, much like a green onion. You CAN eat the whole thing, but the white part is the best. Be sure to chop it very fine (or puree it), as it’s very tough. I hope this helps and … again … sorry for the delay!
Thanks for letting me know! I might make these tomorrow now that I know how to use the lemongrass.