Anyone lucky enough to have spent time in Thailand will find it hard to pick just one thing they love about the country. In my opinion, it’s street food. Wandering down the backroads, picking a stall and squatting on a sweaty plastic stool while you watch an agile grandma tossing the wok one-handed. Street food is fundamental to Thai culture and makes accessibility to delicious fresh and spicy salads incredibly easy, not to mention affordable. With the average dish costing around $2.50, it was always necessary to have a salad on the side, alternating between my two favourites green papaya and Thai beef salad. Now I’m home, it’s a little bit more challenging to find some of those authentic Thai ingredients, so when I want a little bit of zest, spice and freshness, I can’t go past this Thai beef salad recipe.
How to make a Thai beef salad
As long as you have the dressing, beef and herbs, you can add any vegetables you like to your Thai beef salad; eggplant, tomatoes, carrots, cucumber. Use all the herbs, or just use one; the more, the better, but it’s not going to majorly affect the dish if you only have one out of three.
Thai beef salad dressing
The dressing should be spicy, slightly sweet and have a refreshing kick from the lime juice.
Is Thai beef salad healthy?
Yes, very healthy. The more vegetables you can add in the better
Thai beef salad
- Small fry pan
- Mortar & pestle
- 300g Scotch Fillet Steak
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 Cos Lettuce leaves washed & torn
- 100 g Vermicelli Noodles cooked & drained
- 1 punnet cherry tomatoes halved
- 1/2 bunch Thai basil, Vietnamese mint & Coriander Leaves picked, washed and torn
Toasted Rice powder
- 1/2 cup White rice
- 1 Red onion sliced
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 green chillis sliced
- 1 stalk lemongrass sliced
- 1 clove garlic peeled
- 1 limes juiced
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 2 tbsp white sugar
Quick Pickled Onion
- Place sliced onion into a small bowl, add vinegar, ¼ cup water and 1tbsp sugar, leave for 20 minutes
- Add rice to a small frying pan and gently toast over medium-high heat, stir occasionally for 3-5 minutes until the grains are toasted and golden. Leave to cool for a few minutes and then grind into a coarse powder using a mortar and pestle.
- Heat a dry small frypan over high heat until it is very hot
- Season steak with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil before placing into the searing hot pan
- Cook on each side for 2-3 minutes for a medium steak, remove from pan and allow to rest
- Grind garlic, chillis and lemongrass into a paste with mortar pestle, add lime juice, fish sauce and sugar, stir to combine. Taste and adjust accordingly
- In a large dish assemble lettuce leaves, vermicelli noodles, tomatoes and herbs. Thinly slice steak and place on top of the salad. Generously drizzle with dressing, sprinkle with toasted rice powder and scatter with pickled onions. Serve with a side of extra chilli and lime wedges