Vietnamese Sirloin Skewers With Spicy Carrot Salad Recipe

Carrot salad, laced with sugar snap peas and serrano peppers, offers a bright, refreshing counterpart to caramelized beef skewers. Jennifer Olvera

Note: Ponzu is a Japanese vinegar sauce that can be found in most Asian supermarkets. Leftovers are tasty tucked into pita or roti.

Recipe Facts

Active: 30 mins
Total: 0 mins
Serves: 4 servings

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  • 7 tablespoons fresh juice from 6 to 7 limes, divided
  • 1/4 cup ponzu sauce (see note)
  • 4 tablespoons fish sauce, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds beef sirloin, 1 1/2 inches thick, cut into 1/8” thin planks against the grain
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
  • 3/4 cup sugar snap peas, strings removed and sliced into slivers
  • 2 serrano chilies, thinly sliced


  1. Combine 4 tablespoons lime juice, ponzu sauce, 2 tablespoons fish sauce, olive oil, brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and crushed red pepper in a gallon-sized zipper-lock bag. Add sirloin and toss with 3/4 of marinade to coat. Place in refrigerator and marinate at least four hours or overnight.

  2. About an hour before you’re ready to eat, soak 12 large bamboo skewers in water (unless using metal skewers). Whisk granulated sugar, rice wine vinegar, remaining 3 tablespoons lime juice, remaining 2 tablespoons fish sauce and cilantro in a large bowl. Add carrots, peas, and serranos. Season to taste with salt. Stir to combine and place in refrigerator to marinate.

  3. Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals on one side of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Alternatively, set half the burners on a gas grill to the highest heat setting, cover, and preheat for 10 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate.

  4. Thread individual slices of beef onto skewers and place directly over coals. Cover and cook until charred, about 2 minutes. Flip skewers, cover and cook until second side is charred, another two minutes. Transfer to a large plate and let rest for 3 minutes. Serve skewers alongside carrot salad, passing reserved marinade tableside.

Special equipment

Wooden skewers

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