I’m sure many of you are familiar with the Thai Steak Salad. It is impossible to forget the mouth-watering flavours once you have tried it!
Over the years, I have had some wonderful opportunities to try this salad in different parts of Thailand. The ingredients slightly varied but the flavours always stayed equally as amazing regardless of the region.
My most favourite version of the beef salad I had was in Bang Saray, a small fishing village south of Pattaya. It was a shabby little cafe by the side of the road across from the beach, with only two staff. One of them, a ladyboy, stayed stuck in my mind for a while after I left Bang Saray. He often wore a bright red lipstick to match the colour of the varnish on his pointy fingernails and a daring tiny mini skirt. He was very friendly and had a big smile with colourful braces covering his teeth. He looked out of place there, almost like a Gulliver in Lilliputia.
I ordered my salad religiously every lunch time for the 10 days I spent there. By the end of my trip, staff at the cafe already knew what I was going to order for lunch and just served me my salad. It was so good!
This recipe is my take on that same salad from the shabby cafe on the side of the road.
I love the crunch the peanuts and fresh vegetables add to the texture of this salad. The spicy dressing is incredibly flavoursome and virtually explodes on the taste buds.
I added avocado to my salad simply because I have about 10 ripe avocados in the fridge waiting to be consumed!
The combination of mint and coriander leaves is my favourite and I use them a lot, particularly in the Asian-inspired salads, hence growing them in my veggie patch.
Serves 2 ( large portions )
Preparation and cooking time 30 min
Marinading time up to 2 hours
1 stake ( 300G )
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed or grated
1/2 tbsp grated or minced fresh ginger
1 tsp sesame seed oil
Thai chilli sauce
1-5 bird eye chillies ( thai chillies )
2-3 cm fresh ginger, peeled
1 garlic clove, peeled
1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander leaves , stems and roots included, all roughly chopped
2 fresh kaffir lime leaves, torn into small pieces
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp sesame seed oil
1-2 tbsp coconut sugar
100g egg noodles + splash sesame seed oil
1 cup shredded red cabbage
1 cup shredded savoy cabbage
1 celery stick, julienned
1 carrot, peeled and julienned or grated
1 small punnet cherry or medley tomatoes, halved
1 cucumber, halved lengthways and sliced
1 shallot onion or 1/2 spanish onion, thinly sliced
1 avocado, peeled and sliced
1 cup ( loosely packed ) fresh mint leaves
1 cup ( loosely packed ) fresh coriander ( cilantro ) leaves
1/3 cup salted roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
- In a bowl mix the marinade ingredients together and rub them on both sides of the steak. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 hours.
- Combine all ingredients for the chilli sauce in a blender or a food processor and pulse a few times. Taste, add more sugar, fish sauce, lemon or lime juice if desired.
(To control how hot your sauce will be, add 1-2 chillies at the beginning and increase the amount if desired.)
- Cook noodles as instructed on the packaging. Rinse under running cold water and toss them with a splash of sesame seed oil.
- Mix salad ingredients in a large bowl, saving the noodles, avocado, peanuts and fresh herbs for later.
- Bring steak to room temperature.
Preheat grill to hot and cook the steak as desired – well done, medium or rare.
I prefer medium, on my grill it takes me 3 min on each side for my steak to cook.
Allow the steak to rest for a few minutes before thinly slicing it across the grain.
- Mix steak slices with the salad, add noodles, slices of avocado, herbs and half of the peanuts and toss well.
- Serve salad in shallow rimmed bowls, sprinkled with peanuts and drizzled with plenty of sauce.
The steak I used for the salad was porterhouse. I marinated it in garlic, ginger, soy and fish sauce marinade for at least two hours and brought it to room temperature prior to grilling.
The doneness of the steak is personal preference – rare, medium or well done.
Two centimetres thick piece of steak should be cooked for 2-3 minutes on each side for rare, 4 minutes on each side for medium, and 5-6 minutes on each side for well-done.
It is best to allow the steak to rest fro a few minutes before slicing it.
Like many Thai cuisine dishes, this salad is best to be enjoyed fresh.