Spicy Thai Beef Salad

Spicy Thai Beef Salad
Spicy Thai Beef Salad

Thai food has a history of being extremely flavorful, colorful, and loaded with delicious ingredients. At a Thai restaurant you may find this dish under the name of Nam Tok, which means “waterfall.” This name fits because of how the salad is arranged to look almost like a pile of earth and then greenery and other vegetables around it. Perhaps this is meant to represent the view at the top of a waterfall, and not necessarily the aquatic aspect of it all.

This recipe takes a while to make because you must marinate the meat first, but the time is worth it. For the best flavor, marinate your beef for at least two hours. The longer you let the meat absorb the flavor, the better; 24 hours is best, but after that there is little difference in the flavor of the meat after it has been cooked. We used a flat iron steak, but a flank steak would be a fine alternative.

This is a very spicy recipe, so play with the amount of chiles you want to include depending on your personal preference. A good range is 1 to 6 chiles, and you can either deseed them or leave the seeds in. Deseeding them will eliminate some of the heat and the flavor of the chile will be able to shine through.

This salad can be served either warm or at room temperature. Our taste testers enjoyed the taste and were especially glad that we had used our Spicy Thai Seasoning in the recipe, as it is so flavorful and smells so good. You can either make one huge salad to share, or four individual salads with this recipe. It is perfect for summertime.

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Prep Time: 150 min.
Cooking Time: 10 min.
Category: Beef, Grilling, Salads
  • For the beef and marinade:
  • 1-1/2 lb flank steak or flatiron steak
  • 3 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger
  • 1 Tbsp lemongrass paste
  • 4 Tbsp beef broth
  • 1 Tbsp Spicy Thai Seasoning
  • For the dressing:
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1-2 Thai Bird Chiles (or more if you like it spicy)
  • 4-1/2 tsp sugar
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Zest
  • 3 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp fresh or dried mint
  • For the salad:
  • 1 head Boston bibb lettuce, separated into leaves, rinsed, and spun dry
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 small red onion, sliced thin
  1. Prepare marinade. In a baking dish, combine soy sauce, lemongrass paste, sugar, minced garlic, ginger, beef broth, Spicy Thai Seasoning, and mix until sugar dissolves. Place meat in marinade and cover. Marinate for 2 hours.
  2. Prepare dressing. Combine garlic, chiles, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, soy sauce, cilantro and mint in a food processor and blend well.
  3. Prepare the salad. Arrange the salad ingredients as desired.
  4. Heat grill to medium-high. Place marinated steak on grill. Cook 3-5 minutes per side for medium rare.
  5. Transfer steak to a cutting board. Let rest for 5 minutes before cutting. Slice thinly against the grain. Place steak on salad. Top with dressing and serve.