To me, this is a salad for all seasons! It’s a veritable feast of flavours, all working in synergy, yet boldly making their presence felt with each tantalising bite – lemongrass, lime, coriander, chillies and the ubiquitous fish sauce!
To get the best out of this salad, you need a good cut of meat, sirloin steak is perfect for it, cooked medium rare is best. It’s just a case of mixing the beef with the rest of the salad ingredients, including the dressing with a final topping of toasted rice or peanuts, I prefer to go the peanut route.
The actual salad mix is really up to the cook but tomatoes, cucumbers, spring onions & fresh coriander leaves are a must, and the dressing also varies from household to household. Even I don’t have a set mix, sometimes going with vinegar, at other times with lime juice, sometimes adding ginger & galangal, at other times, not. You get the picture!
You can serve this while the beef is still warm or completely cool, same goes with the dressing. This of course means that you can prepare the beef and dressing separately, hours in advance, then put it together at the last minute.
Serve this salad as an accompaniment to any other main dish like, Pad Thai, Thai Green Curry and Rice or it can even serve as a light meal on its own, perfect for lunch, especially for those on a low carb diet!
Check out the Thai page for more delicious recipes!
Ingredients for Thai Beef Salad (serves 4)
500g sirloin steak
2 spring onions, sliced thinly, diagonally
half a cucumber, halved lengthwise, then sliced
2 tomatoes, seeds removed and sliced in thin wedges
2 handfuls of any salad leaves (cos, gem, lamb’s lettuce, etc)
a handful of fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
8 Thai Basil leaves, finely chopped (optional)
1 tbsp toasted peanuts, or toasted rice powder, chopped semi fine – medium (optional)
Thai Beef Salad Dressing
2 Thai red chillies, finely sliced (more or less, to taste)
1 small garlic, crushed
3 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp lime juice or rice wine vinegar (ordinary clear vinegar will do too)
1 tsp caster sugar
2 tsp palm sugar
1. Let’s cook the steak. Heat a griddle or frying pan on high heat with a little oil if needed, I don’t bother. When it is smoking hot, cook the steak for about 2 minutes on each side, turning it every 30 seconds or so. This is a very quick step. When done, take it out onto a plate and set aside to cool.
2. Let’s make the dressing. Mix all the dressing ingredients together in a small saucepan, bring to a simmer & cook gently for 5 minutes.
3. You are now ready to serve the salad. Warm or room temperature, your choice.
4. When the steak is cool enough to handle, slice it thinly and place in a bowl.
5. Add all the other salad ingredients, apart from the peanuts, and place in the bowl with the beef.
6. Add the dressing and toss everything thoroughly.
7. Dish out onto a serving platter, top with the peanuts and serve immediately.