Meat Recipes

Beef, mushroom and rice noodle salad (Goi Bo)

March 6, 2009


Yep, the meat trip continues. This time though it really isn’t my fault. Honest Gov. You see, this lovely friend of mine, Jaden from SteamyKitchen emailed me a little while back and asked if I would take a couple of photos for the fabulous looking cookbook she has been writing. She needed some product shots done for the ingredients chapter of the book.

Ohh, that sounds like fun I thought. Then the nerves of course set in. I have never taken a shot for a cookbook before – never taken a shot for anything but my blog in all honesty. What if I screwed it up? She is on a tight deadline, and might not have time to reshoot. I ummed and arrred.. Then she told me I could be paid in beef. Kobe beef to be exact.


Course, Jaden is awesome, so I would have taken the shots without the offer of free beef.. but that is a rather nice gift all the same! I mean, lets be honest.. Money isn’t everything. Think of clouds, and daises, and the lovely smile on babies’ faces. AND KOBE BEEF.

So, I took the pictures. We had a fabulous day actually – Danika took some time to give me a hand setting things up, and offering up her rather talented creative advice (did I mention that my wife is an amazing artist?), we had a lot of fun, and spent some great creative time together playing with food and cameras. We were happy with the results. Jaden said she was too. Click the image below to see all of the shots we took:


 A week later, some wonderful looking Kobe arrived at my door. It sat in the freezer for a while, winking at me every time I opened the door. Ohhh, Kobe, you tease you…

Well, it just so happens that I got a new cookbook a while back, and have slowly been cooking from it through the week. The book is “Secrets of the Red Lantern”, and is a pretty darn decent Vietnamese Cookbook. Now, I am pretty new to Viet. cuisine – outside of Pho and Bahn Mi’s. This book has been a real eye opener for me I have to say. There is some really fabulous food in here. Very bright, very fresh tasting dishes. Thumbing through it one evening with a glass of Bordeaux I happened upon “Goi Bo” (ok, I don’t know how to do the special characters.. the O’s should look different..) – “ahhh, Goi Bo” I thought – that must be a beef, mushroom and noodle salad. Course, it also said that just below the Vietnamese title… The recipe sounded pretty fast, pretty easy, and really very tasty. That was it I decided, and then and there broke some of the kobe out of the freezer to defrost.

So the dish is really some marinaded beef, seared fast, with a ton of fresh fresh fresh herbs, some glass noodles, and a sexy little dressing. Oh, and fried shallots. Must not forget those.

It was a hit. I changed a few things from the original recipe. The recipe calls for sirloin, I used a NY strip of Kobe..not quite the recipe, but that is what I had (poor me..). It called for dried mushrooms, I only had fresh which I seared. I left out the toasted rice powder. A couple of other slight ingredient changes. Here is my version of the dish:

Goi Bo – Beef, mushroom and glass noodle salad recipe

1/2lb sirloin steak

3.5oz bean thread noodles

1/2 cup of fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 small handful of mint leaves

1 small handful of basil leaves

1 small handful of cilantro leaves

2 Kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced

1 red chilli, finely sliced

1/2 red onion, finely sliced

4″ of cucumber, sliced

1 tablespoon of chopped roasted peanuts

1 tablespoon of fried shallots (finely slice shallots, deep fry in oil until golden, drain on paper towel)


1 clove of garlic, crushed

1 tablespoon of soy sauce

1 tablespoon fish sauce

2 teaspoons of sugar

1 teaspoon sesame oil


1/6th cup sugar

1/4 cup lime juice

2 tablespoons of fish sauce

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

1 clove of garlic

1 tablespoon of sliced lemongrass (white section only)

1 small handful of cilantro leaves

2 tablespoons olive oil


To marinade the beef, mix all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl, add the steak, and coat well. Chuck it in the fridge for a couple of hours.

About 30 minutes before you are ready to actually cook, take the meat out of the fridge. Let it get to room temperature before cooking. Soak the noodles in hot water, according to package directions. Run under cold water to cool. Dry with a paper towel. Cut the noodles into short lengths.

Put all the salad dressing ingredients in a food processor, and blend to combine.

I like to cook good steak in a cast iron pan, not on the BBQ. Heat the pan up over a high heat until it is roasting hot. Pour in a little oil. When it is really smoking, add in the steak. Chances are, depending on the oil you are using, it is all going to catch on fire. Blow out the flames once the novelty has warn off, and your fire alarm is blaring. Sear for a couple of minutes on each side, then turn down the heat, and cook a little longer – until it is cooked to your liking. Personally, I am a medium-rare kinda guy, but you didnt’ need to know that. Take the beef out of the pan and let it rest for a couple of minutes. In that same pan quickly sear the sliced mushrooms. Cut the meat across the grain into thin slices.

Combine the beef with all the other ingredients, apart from the toasted peanuts and fried shallots. Toss to combine. Add the dressing slowly, until everything is just coated. Put onto plates, and top with the fried shallots and roased peanuts.

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  • nina March 6, 2009 at 8:30 am

    Is it ok if I scream: “Whoooooo-ooooooo” I can just imagine the flavor explosion in my mouth!! Great pics as always!!!

  • Y March 6, 2009 at 9:07 am

    That noodle salad looks great! I have that cookbook, because I also love the restaurant. Love your spice and rice/noodle shots, by the way.

  • Jesse March 6, 2009 at 10:41 am

    You needn’t have worried about your shots… they look wonderful as always! Lovely, perfect dish! Mmm!

  • radish March 6, 2009 at 11:52 am

    this dish looks amazing!! i’ve been meaning to get more involved in making vietnamese food, i’m pretty uninitiated. thank you also for the lovely comment you left on my blog! your photography is truly truly stunning and i will also be back 🙂

  • Judy March 6, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    Loved the pictures that you took for Jaden! They really turned out beautifully! I also have decided that I need to get the Red Lantern cookbook!

  • Hungry Gal March 6, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    I would like to be paid in Kobe beef. But I amafraid I might die of heart failure by the fall. Your photos are very beautiful. I might have to check out that cookbook, I love Vietnamese food. (Who am I kidding? I love food. period.)

  • sue bette March 6, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    Hi Matt, love the photos, especially the spices! Beautiful!
    I’ve been eying the red lantern book for a while now, I think I am going to break down soon – it looks fantastic!

  • maggie (p&c) March 6, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    Truly gorgeous shots. How cool! And the dish looks delicious. Congrats!

  • Anticiplate March 6, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    You guys are a great team. New career?

  • Olga March 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    Awesome photos! And the salad sounds really delicious (despite or maybe because of the long list of ingredients).

  • Rita March 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    Hum, my husband would love that. Thanks for sharing, the photos are beautiful.

  • Food Woolf March 6, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    Matt, Great looking photos. Amazing food styling. You really are quite the talented bloke. With an artistic wife such as yours the two of you will soon conquer the world! Can’t wait to see Jaden’s cookbook and your gorgeous photos!

  • matt wright March 6, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    Thanks everyone for such great comments! To all that asked – the book is really worth getting. Given, I don’t know much about Viet. food, but this seems like it has some pretty authentic stuff in it, and some really fabulous recipes.

    Anticiplate: not just yet… a career change sounds scary 😀

  • Heather March 6, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    What a great trade, and lovely photos.

  • Hélène March 7, 2009 at 12:29 am

    What a great deal. I just reviewed this book at the library. What a beauty. I’m thinking of getting it.

    Beautiful pictures!

  • Susan March 7, 2009 at 1:26 am

    Lovely, absolutely lovely!

  • Kevin March 7, 2009 at 2:57 am

    That salad looks so good!

  • diva March 7, 2009 at 8:40 am

    i love how this looks and i really like vietnamese cuisine cause it always seems really clean. by the way, you take awesome food shots. it’s great that you get to help out in a cookbook. 🙂 the reward of kobe beef definitely makes it about a million times more exciting! x

  • Brittany March 7, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    I’m not blowing smoke up your ass when I say that you are one of the finest food photographers out there. You had no reason to fret.

    This. THIS looks amazing.

    Moxie just closed this weekend and is now under new ownership. It’s an “upscale vietnamese restaurant”…..because we needed more asian food in this neighborhood (???)
    another queen anne restaurant bites the dust : (

  • helen March 7, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    The ingredient shots are awesome. I’d work for Kobe beef too!

  • Carrie Oliver March 7, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    Matt, your photos are beautiful. You have also solved my dinner dilemma, thank you – and while I don’t have Kobe-style on hand I do just happen to have some kaffir lime leaves from Jaden’s garden in my freezer (I took her artisan beef and she gave me kaffir, vanilla, and saffron – a very fair trade for me)!

  • White On Rice Couple March 7, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    Excellent, excellent shots, Matt! I think Kobe should be the new foodie’s currency. Or duck prosciutto! 😉 The Viet recipes are the real deal in Secrets of the Red Lantern. Regions and family recipes will always vary, but they give you good stuff in the book. Great stories, too. Did I say great shots, yet? F’in beautiful, man. Well done. Todd.

  • Nurit - 1 family. friendly. food. March 8, 2009 at 6:17 am

    Gorgeous photos!
    Oooo, what a long list of ingredients, but that top pic does look so tasty…

  • Julie March 8, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    You are far too humble! Those shots are fabulous. Congrats on the kobe… that’s like winning the lottery!

  • Lang March 8, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    Beautiful pictures and scrumptious Goi Bo. The book looks like a keeper too. Congrats on kicking off what will no doubt be a stellar career in professional food photography!

  • mallory elise March 9, 2009 at 1:31 am

    oh that’s great composition in that first photo–that dark wood looks great against the white noodles.

  • Tom March 9, 2009 at 6:36 am

    Fantastic photos! Not sure if you’re a better photographer or a better cook or maybe gifted in both. Surely, I can see the former but haven’t tasted the latter. Cheers.

  • Giff March 9, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    your photos are always cookbook worthy!

  • matt wright March 9, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    Thanks everyone for the comments!
    Heather: Thanks very much! A great trade indeed (the Kobe was only part of it actually)
    Helene: I really recommend the book, it is fab.
    Susan: Thanks!
    Kevin: Thanks too!
    Diva: you are too kind. It was great to work with Jaden, and get beef!
    Britt: Queen Anne sure seems to get a turnover of restaurants.. And yeah, it sure doesn’t need another Asian place, but that Ragha (sp) place is terrible
    Helen: thanks!
    Carrie: Cheers, the original recipe called for angus sirloin I seem to remember. I guess you could use any pretty tender cut – but you would know better than I, being the beef queen!
    WoRC: I agree we need food as a currency! Glad to hear the book is the real deal, because I love it
    Nurit: The ingredients aren’t too bad.. I thought that myself, but then found I had most of them right there, and there was nothing I couldn’t get at a regular store or market
    Julie: Just doing the shots for Jaden was like winning the lottery
    Lang: Haha, too kind.. Pro photography – hah, not quite.. I just fumble around with a camera
    Mallory: thanks! that dark wood is a plant stand that robbed out of our living room!
    Tom: Thanks! That is the great thing about a blog.. as long as I make it look pretty, people think it tastes good 😀
    Giff: Too kind!

  • Janna March 11, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    The color contrast is beautiful, both on and off the plate.

  • Teri Lyn Fisher March 16, 2009 at 2:24 am

    What a beautiful picture! Love the light. I also love the new blog layout. Very nice!

  • Carrie Oliver March 21, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    I just have to tell you that in the past two weeks, my husband and daughter have asked me about 10 times (no kiddin) to make this recipe again. So tonight it is! We did use sirloin, wet-aged 21+ days so nice and tender. Can’t wait. Thanks again for posting and for reminding me to get that book.

  • Vivian Boroff August 22, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    I absolutely love this book. Everything from the family stories to the gorgeous photography and delicious recipes. I love the Goi Bo and I can’t wait to make it again.