Hands-on time: 16 min. Total time: 30 min.
If regular Italian--or Genovese--basil is all you can find, it'll work fine. However, it's worth searching out a few varieties, such as purple, Thai, or lemon basil. Using a mix of varieties improves the salad by adding visual interest and nuanced flavors. If you can't find hanger steak, substitute flank instead.
1 tablespoon canola oil
12 ounces hanger steak, trimmed
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons minced fresh lemongrass
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
2 teaspoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons chile paste (such as Huy Fong sambal oelek)
1 1/2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1 cup thinly sliced English cucumber
3 large ripe heirloom tomatoes, cut into wedges
2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
1. Preheat oven to 425°.
2. Heat a large ovenproof stainless-steel skillet over medium-high heat. Add canola oil to pan; swirl to coat. Sprinkle both sides of steak evenly with salt and black pepper. Add steak to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until browned. Turn steak over. Bake at 425° for 8 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into thickest portion of steak registers 135° or until desired degree of doneness. Remove steak from pan; let stand 10 minutes. Slice across the grain.
3. Combine soy sauce and next 5 ingredients (through sambal), stirring well. Combine basil and remaining ingredients. Drizzle dressing mixture over basil mixture; toss gently. Divide salad mixture evenly among 4 plates; divide beef evenly among salads.