"Kohlrabi is a root vegetable that is much loved in Vietnam as it can be eaten both raw or cooked. It is crisp and tastes a bit like a water chestnut crossed with cabbage. When buying tamarind, be sure to buy it in block form. Don’t go for the ready-made pastes, as their flavour is inferior to the blocked pulp." - Chef Luke Nguyen



100g kohlrabi, peeled and julienned
100g carrots, peeled and julienned
100g beetroot, peeled and julienned
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
300g lean beef eye fillet, trimmed and sliced into 3 mm slices
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons tamarind water
handful sawtooth coriander leaves, sliced
handful Vietnamese mint leaves
2 tablespoons fried garlic chips
2 tablespoons 'Nuoc Mam Cham' dipping sauce
1 tablespoon roasted peanuts, crushed
1 red bird’s eye chilli, sliced


In a bowl, combine the kohlrabi, carrot, beetroot and sugar. Mix well and set aside for 10 minutes, then drain.

Place a frying pan over high heat. Add the oil and fry the garlic until fragrant. Add the beef, season with the pepper, then stir-fry the beef for no more than 3 minutes — only until just cooked through. Transfer the beef to a bowl, add 1 tablespoon of the tamarind water and toss to combine.

In another bowl, combine the kohlrabi, carrot, beetroot, sawtooth coriander, Vietnamese mint, garlic chips and tamarind beef. Add the remaining tablespoon of tamarind water and the 'nuoc mam cham'.

Toss the salad to combine all the ingredients. Garnish with the peanuts and chilli and serve.

Recipe from Luke's Book - The Food of Vietnam. Click here to purchase the book now.

Phuong Nguyen