thai beef salad recipe

Thai Beef Salad Recipe

I’m not sure when we first starting eating this salad. I associate it with being on holiday. I remember making it on a long ago pre-kid houseboat trip. And I have fond memories of being at the family cottage grilling the flank steak on the ancient gas barbeque—delighted that Aunt Karen had fish sauce in her pantry (of course she did!).

It’s a very simple composed salad that’s full of bright flavours. The marinade gives the steak a salty, sweet richness, the lime juice in the dressing is palate tingly good and the herbs give the salad a final fresh lift.

The salad is also a good way to get more greens into the kids and to reduce the reliance on “meat in the middle of the plate” dishes.

Many cookbooks have a variation on this (on our cookbook shelf alone we have versions of this dish by Amanda Hesser, Nigel Slater, Mark Bittman, Canadian Living, Jamie Oliver, Jennifer Brennan, etc.). The recipe below is an amalgam of many…

We tend to use flank steak for this recipe but that can be a stupidly expensive at times; other times our butcher doesn’t have any flank steak. By all means substitute sirloin, skirt or a cut that you can grill and slice thinly (I’d avoid bone-in steaks. In the photo above, we used sirloin).

The marinade has almost the same ingredients as the dressing, so I’ve listed the ingredients twice to make measuring / prepping easier. We usually pour all of the marinade ingredients in a tupper wear or large ziploc baggie to marinate the steak overnight. You could likely get away with a much shorter marinade time (or no marinade at all) if you were in a rush, but we find the marinade makes for a tastier salad.

Marinade:

2 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons soy Sauce
Juice of 1 lime
1 inch of ginger, minced
2 cloves of garlic, mince

350 to 450 grams/ 12 to 16 ounces Flank Steak (or your favourite cut)

Vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons soy Sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons neutral oil such as grapeseed or canola
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil

Cucumber, cut into matchsticks
12 cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
Salad greens
small handful of fresh basil, cilantro and mint, stemmed (about a tablespoon of each)
Scallions, sliced thin (optional)
Chiles, seeded and chopped (optional

1. Combine the marinade ingredients and marinade your steak for 1 to 24 hours.

2. Put all the vinaigrette ingredients into a mason jar or other sealed container and shake to mix thoroughly.

3. Put your salad greens (I usually estimate two very large handfuls of greens per person) in a bowl and toss with 1/3 of the vinaigrette, reserving the rest. Put the dressed greens on a serving platter

4. Prepare a grill or hot cast iron pan and cook your steak. I prefer rare to medium rare for this. I’m looking to get a good crust on the steak, leaving the interior pink and tender, but cook the steak to your liking…

5. When the steak is done, let it rest on a cutting board for a few minutes. While it’s resting, cut the cucumber into matchsticks and slice the tomatoes in half. Sprinkle across the dressed greens on the platter.

6. Slice the steak across the grain into thin (half a centimetre) strips, add to a bowl, top with 1/3 of the vinaigrette and toss to mix.

7. Place the dressed steak atop the salad and then scatter the fresh herbs, chilies and scallions over the salad (we often put the chilies in a dish on the table so we can add them and the kids can avoid them). Drizzle with the final 1/3 of the vinaigrette as required – you want the salad dressed, but not swimming in it.

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Michael Forbes

About

Michael, a communications professional by day, is a father of two, an avid (but bad) hockey player, and an amateur cook. He finds it incredibly challenging to write about himself in the third person.


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