Grilled flank with tomatoes and chilli-tamarind dressing

Prep 0 h : 35 m
Cook 4 h : 0 m


  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce

    2 tbsp kecap manis

    2 flank steaks (1kg each)

    1 tbsp grapeseed oil

    6 heirloom tomatoes, such as red and yellow oxhearts, thickly sliced

    2 golden shallots, thinly sliced

    1 cup (loosely packed) Thai basil

    Fried shallots

    Grapeseed oil, for shallow frying

    6 golden shallots

    Chilli-tamarind dressing

    75g tamarind pulp, dissolved in 100ml

    boiling water

    3 garlic cloves

    8 small red birdseye chillies, chopped

    80ml grapeseed oil

    4 red shallots finely chopped

    100g dark palm sugar, crushed

    100ml fish sauce, or to taste

    Juice of 3 limes, or to taste


  • Combine light soy, kecap manis and 200ml water in a small roasting pan, add flank steaks, cover tightly with foil and barbecue over low heat, turning steak occasionally and adding more water to the pan if it starts to dry out, until the meat can be pulled apart easily, 2 hours.

    Remove steak from pan, brush with oil and chargrill over high heat until caramelised, 5-10 mins.

    Set aside.

    For fried shallots, heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat, add shallots and stir continuously until golden, 2-4 mins.

    Drain and set aside.

    For chilli-tamarind dressing, strain tamarind pulp in a coarse sieve, pressing to extract all liquid.

    Set aside and discard solids.

    Pound garlic and a large pinch of sea salt to a paste with a mortar and pestle.

    Add chillies and pound to a coarse paste.

    Saute chilli paste and shallots in grapeseed oil in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until caramelised, 10-15 mins.

    Add palm sugar and stir occasionally until fragrant and the sugar is caramelised, 3-5 mins.

    Add fish sauce and tamarind liquid, remove from heat, cool briefly, then add lime juice and season to taste; it should be hot, sweet and sour.

    Shred steaks and arrange on a platter with tomatoes, and fresh and fried shallots.

    Drizzle with half the dressing, and scatter with Thai basil.

    Serve with remaining dressing on the side.