Usually, I’m a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy. Serve me a salad for dinner, and I’ll be looking around, wondering where you hid the main course.
This spicy beef salad is an exception to that rule. It’s one of my absolute favorite Thai dishes, combining spicy, sweet and savory flavors, all in each bite.
I’ve had versions with tomatoes, Chinese long beans, bell peppers, and other vegetables added in. But I like to keep it more traditional and simple, both to highlight the great flavors of the ingredients and to keep it quick to make.
Especially in the summer, this salad makes a light and refreshing dinner, but yet it’s hearty enough that you won’t be left asking where’s the beef. When the weather cools down, I might serve this as a first course, maybe with a Thai curry or soup, for an Asian-inspired soup-and-salad dinner.
Thai beef salad
3 limes, juiced
1 ½ tablespoons fish sauce (found in Asian section of grocery)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 small red onion, roughly chopped
1 jalapeno, roughly chopped
1 pound skirt steak
salt and pepper to taste
1 small head butter lettuce, clean and leaves separated
1 medium carrot, julienned
½ cup cucumber, peeled and sliced
¼ cup fresh mint, chopped
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Place dressing ingredients in a food processor and puree until liquid. The dressing should be sweet, sour, salty and spicy. All of these can be adjusted to taste. Set aside.
Season skirt steak with salt and pepper and grill over high heat. Cook to medium rare. When the meat is done, set aside to rest for a few minutes while you make the salad.
Toss the salad ingredients together in a large bowl.
Slice the steaks across the grain into small bite-size pieces and mix with dressing. Save any of the meat juices and mix with the dressing. Combine with the salad while steak is warm.
Arrange salad on plates and serve.