I'm bitchin in the kitchen… and you get to taste the fruits of my labor

Tu Kai Sais ‘n’ Yu Du’un Bagen

lettuce wraps with an Asian-style beef curry

Shortly after my husband and I got married, I learned what his answer would be to, “What are we having for dinner?”

He’d say, “Tu Kai Sais ‘n’ Yu Du’un Bagen.” Of course, I had absolutely no clue what this meant (let alone how it was spelled). Apparently it’s what my late father-in-law (who served in Vietnam) would say to the kids when they’d ask what was for dinner.

Loosely translated – from Burke-lish, not Vietnamese – it meant, “Whatever your mom cooks and you’ll eat it or wear it.”

We started thinking that there really should be a recipe for TKSNYDB. So after we figured out how to spell it, I played in the kitchen last week, and came up with this.

Ingredients (serves two)

  • ½ lb thinly-sliced steak
  • ¾ tsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1½ tbsp sesame seed oil
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 2″ ginger, julienned
  • 4 green onions, julienned
  • 1 red pepper, julienned
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • ¼ cucumber, peeled and julienned
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • a dash fish sauce
  • sesame seed oil for cooking (about 1 tsp)
  • 10-12 leaves iceberg lettuce

Sauce ingredients

Peanut butter sauce

  • 1 tsp peanut butter
  • ¼ tsp hot sauce
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
Honey-mustard sauce
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp soy sauce
  1. In a bowl, mix the sesame seed oil, lime juice, curry powder and salt. Marinate the beef for at least 30 minutes (covered, in the refrigerator).
  2. Mix your sauces as above, cover and refrigerate until serving time.
  3. Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat, and add the teaspoon of sesame seed oil. Heat until it smokes and then turn the heat down to medium-low.
  4. Saute the ginger. As soon as it starts browning, add the green onion, and saute for just a minute or two. Then add, in quick succession, the red pepper, bean sprouts and cucumber.
  5. When the veggies are well-mixed, add the marinated beef. Stir well and cook until it’s browned (it won’t take long to cook, because it’s thinly-sliced).
  6. Once the meat is cooked, add the fish sauce. Give it a couple whirls, then add the chopped basil.

To serve, place a bit of the curry in a lettuce leaf and top with whichever sauce you’d like. And you’re done!

I know what you’re thinking. These are lettuce wraps. I suppose they are, but where would be the fun in calling ’em that? Not to mention it’s the only way I’ve been able to get my husband to eat bean sprouts so far!

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Dhara Mistry
Dhara Mistry moderator

This looks yum.. I am already drooling :D I will have to substitute tofu with steak... Also I wonder how will soy chunks taste with the recipe...


@mywritingworld The recipe itself is actually very easy. Try pronouncing the name: tookysiysnyoodoonbaigun... :)

Dhara Mistry
Dhara Mistry moderator

Oops! I mean't I will have to substitute steak with tofu... damn the typos :)

Shonali moderator

@Dhara Mistry LOL! My guess is that it will taste as good, but I think you should marinate them much longer.

Here's another idea; try using chunkily-sliced (is that a word?) portobello mushrooms instead of the steak, or combined with the tofu. They are so meaty themselves, they'll probably add great texture to the dish. If you do, let me know how it works out, please?

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