Occasional stories, food and travel inspiration

Occasional stories, food and travel inspiration

Steak with Asian Dressing

Determined to turn my food blogger butt back into a yoga butt, I went to the gym on Sunday. Here’s what happened.

1:00pm: I arrive at the gym.

1:01pm: I step onto a cross training machine and attempt to select a program. Lights flash. Nothing seems to work. The machine keeps flicking between ‘resume workout’ and ‘workout paused.’ Great.

1:o2pm: I dismount and select another machine, trying to look like I had planned this all along. This time I manage to select a fat burning programme and set the machine for 20 minutes.

1:04pm: I reach my target heart rate. Simultaneously, I realise that I forgot to bring a towel.

1:05pm: Sweat is forming in places I didn’t know I had sweat glands.

1:06pm:  I remember that I’m supposed to stretch before I start my work out.

1:07pm: I regret the blueberry danish I ate yesterday. And that cinnamon donut. And those chocolates.

1:08pm: There are cute boys at the gym. It’s a shame I’m doing a great impression of a panicked water buffalo trying to climb a moving barrel at the moment.

1:09pm: Legs hurting. Chest heaving.

1:10pm: Lights are flashing before my eyes. I’m seeing stars. Oh wait, that’s just MTV playing on the wall-mounted TV.

1:11pm: Why do all gyms only play MTV and the boring news? What would happen if they played food TV programmes like Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations or anything by Nigella Lawson instead? Would people exercise or would they just think, bugger this – I’m going to go eat something tasty. I suspect the latter.

1:12pm: I’m hungry.

1:13pm: How much longer is it? OK, I’m over the hill now. Too easy!

1:14pm: There’s a man on a mat doing sets of sit ups in front of me. That’s just showing off IMO.

1:15pm: So what if I can’t do sit ups? I can make great pho.

1:16pm: Now I feel like pho.

1:17pm: Exercise is good for me. I owe it to my kids to stay healthy blah blah. Oh, forget it – I just want to be able to fit into my skinny jeans without rupturing my kidneys.

1:18pm: Feeling the burn now. Push past it, Christina. You can do this!

1:19pm: I can’t do this.

1:20pm: I. Can’t. Breathe.

1:21pm: Almost there. On the homestretch now.

1:22pm: YES!!! I’ve done it. Endorphins are kicking in. I LOVE EVERYONE!!

1:23pm: Cool-down? There’s a 5 minute cool-down? Forget it – I’m going to cool down by going to weigh myself.

1:24pm: What???!!! That CAN’T be right. Unless my scales at home are wrong… damn! No wonder my jeans are tight.

1:30pm: Home again. What shall I eat now? I know, I’ll cook a dish inspired by that fantastic steak with an Asian dressing I ate at Press* Food & Wine the other day. It’s low-fat and protein-packed so it’s perfect for gym junkies like myself.

1:40pm: Eating steak and a huge side salad now. Experiencing utter, utter bliss.

1:50pm: Basking in the happy knowledge that I have not sacrificed my taste-buds for my thighs.


Steak with Asian Dressing



  1. Cook steak to your liking – I like mine medium rare so I brush a steak with oil and then heat up a fry pan until smoking. I add the steak and let it cook for a few minutes (depending on thickness) and then turn and cook it until the steak feels ‘soft’ with the back of my tongs.
  2. Remove steak to a wooden chopping board and let rest for a few minutes.
  3. Using a sharp knife, slice steak into thin-medium pieces. Thinner is nicer.
  4. Arrange steak on a plate and pour over drippings from chopping board.
  5. Spoon dressing over and then garnish with spring onions, dried shallots and anchovies (optional).
  6. Sprinkle with salt flakes and freshly ground pepper.
  7. Serve with a salad and crusty bread.


  1. Don’t use commercial chilli sauce – those sauces are designed as condiments. My Chilli Sauce can be used as a condiment but it works equally as a dressing on this steak. It’s not hard to make – you just bung everything in a pot, cook it and then blend it — and you’ll be left with lots of leftovers sauce that keeps beautifully in the fridge. It’s also great as a homemade present at Christmas time.
  2. Serves 2 in theory when accompanied by a green salad and fresh bread and butter.
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