Not just another Thai Beef Salad….This is made with one little change to create a dressing from an award winning Thai restaurant, arguably one of the best in the world outside of Thailand!
Thai Beef Salad
I’m probably completely biased, but I think that Asian salads are the best in the world. I love them because they are interesting and the dressings are so good.
The chances of me ordering a salad at any restaurant other than an Asian one is almost zero. However, at Asian restaurants, there is a prospect of it happening!!
My favourite part is the zingy, fresh, strong flavoured dressings used in Asian salads. No mayo, no cream, no cheese. Just pure fresh flavours – often with plenty of chili in it. Fresh heat. I love it!
I think Thai Beef Salad is probably one of the better known Asian salads. I eat it year round, rain, hail or shine, and it’s one of my favourite ways to use a good piece of steak because a little bit goes a long way. I don’t know about where you live, but even though Australia is cattle country, beef is the most expensive protein and a really great cut of beef costs $40+ per kg (that’s $20+ per pound).
For a Thai Beef salad for 2, you really only need around 7 to 8 oz / 200 – 250g of good quality steak. Cook it to your liking…..I won’t say it’s a sacrilege to cook quality beef more than medium rare but… OK, I can’t resist, I have to say it. I think it’s a crime to cook quality beef beyond medium rare!!!!!
The dressing for this salad is based on a recipe by Suet Saenkham, the genius Thai native behind the critically acclaimed Spice I Am restaurants in Sydney. I rattled on about how obsessed I am with both his restaurants and his new cookbook when I shared a Pad Thai recipe. Suffice to say that Spice I Am is said to be THE best Thai restaurant outside of Thailand. Everything I have tried from the cookbook is just so incredible, a step up from the run-of-the-mill Thai takeouts. (Try his Pad Thai that I shared and you’ll be a convert!).
I adapted the dressing recipe a wee bit because I must admit I found the original recipe a little too strong flavored, which is saying something for me because I really like strong flavours! But the base recipe is the same.
Key tip I learnt: Grinding coriander stems before mixing into the dressing. This is GOLD. It makes all the difference. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, just finely chop it, as fine as you can and mix it through the dressing.
Hope you enjoy! – Nagi x
Thai Beef Salad
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp sliced birds eye chili (or any other spicy chili - adjust amount to taste)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp cilantro/coriander stems , chopped
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 3 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp grape seed oil (or canola or vegetable oil)
- 7 - 8 oz / 200 - 250 g good quality beef steak - sirloin , porterhouse, scotch fillet or rump steak (the best quality you can afford), at room temperature
- 1/2 tbsp oil (vegetable, peanut or canola oil)
- Salt and pepper
- 2 cups mixed lettuce leaves
- 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes , halved
- 1/4 small red onion (spanish onion), very finely sliced
- 1/2 cucumber , cut horizontally then cut into slices (about 1/3 cup)
- 1/4 cup cilantro/coriander leaves , lightly packed
- 1/4 cup mint leaves , lightly packed
- 1 tbsp peanuts , roughly chopped
- Extra cilantro/coriander and mint leaves
- Place the birds eye chili, garlic, cilantro stems and a small pinch of salt into a mortar and pestle.
- Grind until a smooth paste forms.
- Add the remaining Dressing ingredients. Adjust sugar, lime juice and fish sauce to taste. Set aside.
- Drizzle the beef with 1/2 tbsp of oil on both sides, then sprinkle with a good pinch of salt and pepper.
- Preheat a skillet over high heat until screaming hot and smoking.
- Cook the beef to your liking. (Note 1) I like mine rare for this salad.
- Remove the beef from the skillet onto a plate. Loosely tent with foil and set aside for 10 minutes to rest.
- Slice the beef thinly against the grain (Note 2) and place in a bowl with the remaining Salad ingredients.
- Pour over Dressing and toss gently.
- Pile the salad onto a plate. Sprinkle with peanuts and garnish with extra cilantro/coriander and mint leaves if using.