To prepare dressing, combine first 5 ingredients in a bowl; stir well with a whisk.
To prepare steak, heat a large nonstick skillet or grill pan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Rub both sides of steak with pepper. Add steak to pan; cook 6 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove from pan; place on a cutting board. Cover loosely with foil; let stand 5 minutes. Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices. Place steak in a bowl. Drizzle with half of dressing, and toss well.
To prepare salad, combine watercress and next 5 ingredients (watercress through carrot) in a large bowl. Drizzle with remaining dressing, and toss well. Divide salad evenly among 6 plates; arrange steak evenly over salad. Sprinkle each serving with 1 teaspoon peanuts.
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We loved this dish, with its zingy bright hot flavors. I did make three changes: added spinach, arugula, and butter lettuce; cut the amount of herbs in half; and added 1 TB of canola oil to the dressing. I also doubled the greens as it's a pretty small one-dish meal unless you add more greens.
This is an exciting dish for the palate - a totally different and amazing blend of flavors. Tingly on the tongue from the chile paste, funky from the fish sauce, super fresh mint and basil, savory/peppery beef, and the crunch of the peanuts to top it all off. So refreshing.
This recipe was the most interesting to try. I would class it as exotic as it has flavors normally unknown to my palette. The flank steak was very good, but if you haven't ate watercress before, it is a new experience. It did not rate a 5 for me, but try it once.
I made the dressing and steak as directed. Very easy and quick. Served with edamame on the side. The spice and flavor was full, but lime overpowered the dish. Needed something else to round this out - probably oil, but of course that would change the calorie/fat content. I used spinach instead of watercress since I had it on hand and the salad flavors were great, but again overpowered by the dressing. I might try to work with the dressing - less lime juice, maybe add a teaspoon of oil and rice wine vinegar. Even beef broth or chicken broth might work.
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