One of Drew’s favourite main meal salads is a Thai Beef Salad (closely followed by Duck & Watermelon Salad). This zingy, fresh mint and coriander salad with moorish strips of beef is a fantastic summer dish and after years of testing recipes, we think we’ve found the perfect one.
Adapted from RecipeTinEats website, which was adapted from a cookbook by Suet Saenhjam – a Thai native behind critically acclaim Sydney restaurant ‘Spice I Am’ – we’ve adapted further due to the strong flavour of the fish sauce for our western palette, but this truly is the perfect base recipe so go ahead and make it your own.
The dressing –
- 1/2 to 1 tsp bird’s eye or Thai Chilli, very finely sliced (medium heat)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp coriander/cilantro stems, finely chopped
- 3 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 4 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
The beef –
- 200-250g quality beef steak – sirloin, at room temperature
- 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
- Salt and pepper
For the salad –
- 2 cups mixed lettuce leaves
- 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 small red onion, very finely sliced
- 1/2 cucumber, cut horizontally then cut into slices (about 1/3 cup)
- 1/4 cup coriander/cilantro leaves, lightly packed
- 1/4 cup mint leaves, lightly packed
- 1 tbsp peanuts, roughly chopped
- Extra coriander/cilantro and mint leaves
To make the dressing:
- Place the chilli, garlic, coriander stems and a small pinch of salt into a pestle and mortar. Grind until a smooth paste forms. Alternatively: Mince the garlic and use the side of a knife or back of a spoon to smear the ingredients on a cutting board, creating a paste.
- Transfer the ingredients to a small jar or bowl, add the remaining dressing ingredients, adjusting the sugar, lime juice and fish sauce to taste. Shake or stir, set aside.
To cook the beef:
- Preheat a skillet over high heat until smoking hot.
- Drizzle the beef with 1/2 tbsp of oil on both sides, then sprinkle with a good pinch of salt and pepper.
- Cook the beef to your liking (around 2 mins on each side for medium rare for a 2cm thick steak).
- Remove the beef from the skillet onto a plate. Loosely tent with foil and set aside for 10 minutes to rest.
Prepare the salad:
- Place the lettuce in a bowl, drizzle with 1 tbsp of the dressing and toss. Pile lettuce onto serving plates.
- In the bowl now add the other salad ingredients.
- Slice the beef thinly, against the grain, and place in the bowl with the salad ingredients. Dress with most of the remaining dressing and toss gently.
- Pile over the beef and other salad ingredients onto your serving plates. Sprinkle with peanuts and garnish with extra coriander and mint leaves, drizzle with remaining dressing. Serve immediately.
For more cooking ideas check out our other recipes here.