Up your game: Asian-style ostrich
Ostrich steak or fillet is the perfect meat to use for this Asian-style dish: fascinatingly, it’s a rich, almost maroon color for a bird. Here it’s served on a bed of fresh egg noodles in a spicy, fragrant green curry sauce.
Ostrich is lean, low in cholesterol and needs minimal cooking. I used asparagus in this dish but you can use in-season mange tout or even spinach.
This dish is complex and satisfying in flavor and I suggest you serve it for guests you want to treat or for a meal at home prepared for that special somebody.
Ingredients (Serves 4)
For the noodles:
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil (olive oil can also be used)
- 12 salad onions or 3 spring onions, snipped
- 1 red chilli finely chopped
- 3 teaspoons green curry paste (available at most supermarkets and delis)
- 3 dried lime leaves
- 200g asparagus, cut into 3cm lengths. Discard the hard ends. (You can substitute with mange tout, spinach or green beans.)
- 1 can coconut milk (I used the ‘lite’ variety)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (I used the reduced sodium variety)
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- 1.5 teaspoons palm sugar (or 1 heaped teaspoon of brown sugar)
- 250g fresh egg noodles (use any Asian noodle of your choice)
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil (optional)
For the ostrich:
- 2 teaspoons peanut oil
- 4 x 150g rectangles of ostrich fillet or steak (I used steaks in this recipe)
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 1/3 red chilli, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
- 3 teaspoons sesame seeds, lightly toasted in a dry pan on the stove
- Coriander leaves
- Lime wedges
- Remove the ostrich from its bag. It needs a minimum of 10 minutes to breathe.
- Heat a wok on high and add the two tablespoons of peanut oil.
- Fry the spring onions for 20 seconds and add chilli, green curry paste and lime leaves. Stir briskly.
- Add asparagus and cook for two minutes, stirring and reducing heat slightly, if necessary.
- Add the coconut milk, soya, fish sauce and palm sugar. Stir well.
- Cook for 4–5 minutes, stirring well.
- Add noodles and lime juice, stirring. Test seasoning. Wait for the noodles to heat through.
- Add sesame oil and set aside, removing from heat.
- Pat ostrich steaks dry with kitchen paper towel. Be thorough about this or the meat will ‘stew’ and not brown.
- For the ostrich marinade, add the oyster sauce, chilli and ginger to a bowl. Add the steaks and coat.
- Allow steaks to marinate for a minute or two, but no longer. (Exposure to salt will draw out moisture and affect the meat’s succulence. Ostrich dries out quickly.)
- Heat a non-stick frying pan to medium and add the two teaspoons of peanut oil.
- Fry the steaks for 30 seconds on each side. Cook a little longer if you prefer a medium steak.
- Coat in toasted sesame seeds and serve on a bed of green curry egg noodles with coriander leaves and lime wedges.
And there we have it. You don’t need an occasion in order to celebrate with a delicious meal but, if you have one, this may be just the dish to do it with.
Recipe contribution from Food and the Fabulous. For more of her tasty recipes head on over to her blog.