Vietnamese Rare Beef Salad

Inspired by his travels in Asia, Tom used this dish in his cookery theatre demonstration at the Exeter Festival of South West Food & Drink 2012. Serves 5 - 6 as part of a larger meal.


Approx 500g chunky rib eye steaks 1 cucumber, peeled into long strips – stop at seeds & discard
4-6 tbsp fish sauce                         200g sugar snap peas, cut in half lengthways 
Juice of 4 limes 200g rice noodles, soaked & ready to use
3 tbsp palm sugar 250ml chicken stock
200g fresh ginger handful baby basil leaves
2 cloves of garlic handful coriander leaves
2 red chillies, deseeded ½ handful mint leaves
400g bamboo shoots 2 tbsp salted peanuts, crushed & pan roasted



Get a griddle pan hot. Oil the steaks & season with salt & pepper. Griddle for 2 mins or less either side – you want to keep it rare. Set aside to rest.

Put the fish sauce, lime juice & palm sugar into your serving dish. Grate the ginger & garlic straight in using a fine microplane, slice the chillies as fine as possible and add to the dish. Add the chicken stock & stir to mix & dissolve the palm sugar. Taste for the flavour balance – add more fish sauce/lime juice/sugar if you need to. Add the noodles, sugar snap peas, cucumber, bamboo shoots. Slice the beef thinly & add to the salad. When you’re ready to serve add all the fresh herbs, mix again & top with the crushed peanuts.

Thai Penang Curry

 Again inspired by Tom's travels, this traditional yellow Thai curry serves 8 as part of a larger meal.




For the curry paste: For the curry:
1 tbsp shrimp paste  150ml clear chicken stock
3 garlic cloves, peeled 3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 shallots, peeled 400ml coconut milk
2 fresh lemongrass stalks 1 tbsp fish sauce (or to taste)
1 tsp ground turmeric Juice of 2 limes
200g fresh ginger, peeled 200-300g green beans
2-3 red chillies 1 tbsp palm sugar
Handful of kaffir lime leaves 300g monk fish medallions (boneless/membrane removed)
3 tbsp salted peanuts 10 fresh peeled prawns
  10-12 scallops




Put all the ingredients for the curry paste in a blender & blend to a paste.

Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy based saucepan. Add the curry paste and fry until aromatic – you just want to cook out the spices slightly.

Add the chicken stock, bring to the boil & reduce by 1/4, then add the coconut milk & bring to the boil.

Add the palm sugar, fish sauce & lime juice in stages, tasting all the time for the sweet/sour/salty flavour balance.

When you’re happy with the flavour add the monk fish & cook for 2 mins. Add the green beans, scallops & prawns and cook for 3 minutes more.

When the fish is cooked transfer to a dish & serve with coconut sticky rice. This dish is lovely as it is, or garnish with slices of spring onion/shredded chilli/chopped lime leaves.

Smoked Haddock and Salmon Fishcakes

These fishcakes can be made in two sizes: large to serve as a starter or fish course, or mini to serve as canapes or party nibbles with a tartar sauce dip.

Serves 5 or 6 as a starter or 30 canapes.

Fishcakes ingredients

700g    cooked mashed floury potatos such as Ukon Gold, Maris Piper or King Edward made without milk or butter

425g    skinned and boked smoked haddock fillets

200g    smoked salmon fillet  

35g      capers

1 tbs    Dijon Mustard 

1           Bayleaf

1tp        fresh thyme

1           crushed garlic clove   

25g      butter

4           lemons -1 for cooking and three to six halfs for serving milk

             handful of rough chopped flat-leaf parsley

             salt and pepper


Fishcake coating

tray of plain flour

tray of  2 whisked eggs

tray of breadcrumbs

a deep-fat fryer or frying pan


Creamed Anchovy Spinach ingredients

250g    spinach

3           chopped anchovy fillets

100ml  double cream

1 tbs     olive oil

25g       butter

              salt and pepper


Fishcakes method

Place the haddock fillets into a saucepan with the bay leaf, garlic and thyme. Cover with cold milk and bring to the boil then remove from the heat and allow to cool for about ten minutes.

Score the salmon skin and season with salt and pepper. Deep fry this skin side down in the butter and a little oil, and whilst doing this season the belly with salt and pepper. After about three and a half minuted carefully turn the salmon over and fry the belly for another minute and a half. The middle of the fillet should only just be cooked and slightly pink. Remove from the heat and allow to cool

De-skin the salmon then flake both fish into a bowl keeping it in chunky pieces.

In another bowl mix the cooled mash potatoes with the capers, parsley, mustard and a little salt and pepper. Add to this the fish and gently mix together by hand, taking care to preserve the chunks whole.

For large fiscakes divide the mixture into six, for canapes about thirty, and shape into round, flat patties. Chill to firm them up.

Next coat the fiscakes all over in flour, then beaten eggs, and follwed by breadcrumbs.

Deep fry in oil at 160C for seven to eight minurtes until golden brown. Place on kitchen towel to absorb excess fat.

At this point the fishcakes could be frozen for use another time, but make sure they are de-frosted before frying.


Creamed anchovy spinach method

Heat a pan with 25g of butter and 1 tbs oil and fry the chopped anchovies for a minute or so. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and the spinach, and fry for about a minute until it just begins to wilt. Add the cream and simmer for about two minutes.

To serve the large fiscakes, place some of the anchovy spinach in the centre of a plate and surround this with the creme sauce. Lean a fishcake on the side of the spinach and serve with half a lemon.

Fish Soup


650g Diced Fish (Finished Soup)           

100g Butter

1kg Whole fish meat (for soup)            

100g Plain Flour     

Pinch of Saffron (marinade in fish meat)             

1 teaspoon Dried chilli flakes

300g Diced Carrot  

400ml White wine 

300g Diced white onion

1 teaspoon Mace

300g Diced Celery

50g Tomato puree 

15g Sliced Garlic    

1 teaspoon Paprika

23L Fish Stock        

Juice of 2 lemons

150ml Veg Oil        

20g Tarragon



Marinate whole fillet of fish in the saffron for 1 hour

Heat oil & butter in a heavy bottomed pan

Fry diced vegetables in the hot oil & butter on a medium heat until soft (don’t colour)

Once vegetables are soft add saffron fish, fry until white and broken up

Add garlic, chilli flakes, paprika, mace, tomato puree, fry until flavour is evenly mixed throughout the dish

Add flour and cook out

De-glaze in white wine, reduce by half

Add fish stock & bring to the boil, simmer for 10 min’s


Add salt, lemon, tarragon & add diced fish


Beef Carpaccio

The beef fillet is initially quite expensive, but it does not need to be used all at once, and as each serving uses just a small amount, the fillet goes a long way. The beauty of it is that you can keep it in the freezer and use it for a number of meals!

There are two methods of serving this dish, one of which requires a rotary slicer.

Serves 20

The Marinade Ingredients

700g fillet beef

200ml soy sauce

150ml balsamic vinegar

800 ml olive oil

1 heaped teaspoon black peppercorns

1 heaped teaspoon sea salt

2 bay leaves

1 handful / 20g thyme

1 handful / 20g flat parsley

1 whole unpeeled garlic bulb, cut in half through cloves


The dressing – quantities per portion

10g diced shallot

1 thinly sliced radish

10 leafs of flat parsley with stalks removed

1 sprig of fresh thyme with the leafs stripped off

1 tbs rice wine vinegar

2 tbs olive oil

1tbs of the meat marinade

Five thin slices of goat’s cheese

Salt and pepper

Put all the above in to a bowl and mix together. This can be done a few hours in advance if kept chilled.


Trim off any excess fat off the meat, roll and tie the meat up with string so that it retains its shape throughout the marinade. (You can always ask your butcher to do this for you).

To make the marinade put the balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, thyme, flat leaf parsley, salt and peppercorns, garlic bulb halves, bay leaves and oil into a large bowl and stir all the ingredients together.

Place the tied meat in a container and pour the marinade over the top, stir it all together ensuring the meat is covered by the marinade. Place in a fridge for 4 days, turning the meat once a day to ensure the meat is cured evenly.

After four days remove the meat from the marinade and take off the string. Now wrap the meat in Clingfilm and roll it up tightly.

Method if using a rotary slicer

Pop the Carpaccio into a freezer and leave until frozen solid. The rotary slicer will be used to slice the meat whilst it is still frozen. In this way you can cut as many or as few slices as required and return the rest to the freezer for another occasion.

At least half an hour before serving set the rotary slicer to produce very thin cuts of around three or four millimetres. As the slices are so thin, they will thaw out at room temperature in just a few minutes. Return any unused meat to the freezer for another time.

Method if slicing by hand

After wrapping the meat in Clingfilm place it in a refrigerator to chill.

When ready to serve, use a sharp knife to slice the meat as thinly as possible. When you have cut enough slices, the rest can be wrapped tightly in Clingfilm again and frozen for use another time.


Cut five slices per person and arrange them on a plate in a circle with each slice overlapping. Just before serving, into the centre spoon the dressing and then drizzle some oil / vinegar mixture over the meat. Finally place the goat’s cheese slices on top.