Thai Beef Salad

For a cool and refreshing summer dinner, Thai beef salad gives you robust flavors and a mixture of tender beef and fresh produce for an all-in-one meal. {Gluten-Free}

Thai beef salad served in platter

We’ve officially reached the ultra-hot days of summer, when it’s hard to get any relief. When it’s hot like this, I love recipes that require less heat in the kitchen and that have a cool and refreshing taste. Thai beef salad is truly one of those meals that will turn you into a fan of salad. Plus, it’s so filling that it will leave you satisfied.

I’ll admit, I’ve made some tweaks to make this Thai beef salad more practical than traditional, but you’re going to love it. It still has the essence of what you love from those bold Thai flavors, enhanced by fresh mint and cilantro. 

Thai beef salad close-up

Cooking process

For something healthy that comes together fast, you can’t beat this Thai beef salad either. It only requires 6 minutes of cook time. The rest is quick prep and inactive time so you can even make it on a crazy summer evening. 

  • Marinate the steak
  • Sear the steak in a hot pan to your liking
  • Carve the beef and place it on the salad
Marinating beef
Sear a steak
Carve cooked steak

Beef cut to use

I made a strong marinade, so you’ll only need a short marinating time (20 mins to 1 hour) to impart lots of flavor. I used a cut of well-marbled butterflied tri-tip steak. It was just under 1” (2.5) thick and perfect for this dish because it’s flavorful and quite affordable. You can choose any cut you prefer. If you use a thick-cut steak, I would marinate it for a full hour. On the other hand, if you are using a very thin-cut steak, 20 minutes should be plenty.

Oil-free dressing

The dressing on this Thai beef salad will surprise you, too. It doesn’t contain any oil. A simple mixture of fresh lime juice, fish sauce, and brown sugar is all you need to take your taste buds on an exotic yet healthy journey. 

I’ve simplified the traditional Thai beef salad because it can be difficult to find all the things you need to make it. I’ve added more greens and tweaked it to have a little less spice, though if you like it hotter, by all means, go for it!

This recipe is flexible in other ways, as well. If you don’t eat red meat, you can use chicken or shrimp instead. And if you’re completely meatless, you can choose tof. Vegan eaters will need to substitute a vegan version of fish sauce.

How to serve Thai beef salad

Enjoy Thai beef salad by itself for a satisfying and healthy meal. Or you can pair it with these recipes below for a full-on Thai dinner spread!

Homemade salad with carved beef on top

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For a cool and refreshing summer dinner, Thai beef salad gives you robust flavors and a mixture of tender beef and fresh produce for an all-in-one meal. {Gluten-Free}

Easy Thai Beef Salad

For a cool and refreshing summer dinner, Thai beef salad gives you robust flavors and a mixture of tender beef and fresh produce for an all-in-one meal. {Gluten-Free}
5 from 9 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: home style
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Marinating time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 36 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 205kcal
Author: Maggie Zhu

Ingredients

Marinade

  • 12 oz (340 g) steak (flank, skirt, sirloin or other well marbled steak)
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar (or white sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar

Salad

  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 1 cup cilantro , roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves
  • 2 Persian cucumbers , sliced (or half English cucumber, cut to half moon shape)
  • 2 shallots , thinly sliced (or 1/2 red onion)
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes , halved
  • 1 Thai chili pepper , thinly sliced (Optional)

Instructions

  • If using a wider cut of steak such as flank, slice it into two pieces along the grain. Combine the marinade ingredients in a small bowl and stir to dissolve the sugar. Transfer the steak to a ziplock bag and pour the marinade over the steak (*Footnote 1). Seal and massage the bag a few times. Marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes to an hour.
  • While the steak rests, combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Prepare the other salad ingredients and place in a large salad bowl.
  • When the steak is ready, remove it from the marinade and pat it dry with paper towels. Heat a cast iron skillet (or heavy-duty skillet) with a small amount of oil to coat the bottom of the pan over high heat until smoking. Add the steak and let it sear undisturbed for 1 to 2 minutes. Once the steak is fully seared, flip it and let it sear for another 1 to 2 minutes. Then lift the steak with a pair of tongs and sear each edge for about 30 seconds at a time. Turn the heat down to medium-high and let the steak continue to cook, flipping regularly, until the desired doneness is reached (about another 2 minutes for medium-rare, 3 to 4 minutes for medium). Remove the steak from the pan and let it rest for 10 minutes before cutting.
  • Combine the salad ingredients in a bowl and toss to distribute. Add 2 tablespoons of the dressing and toss to lightly coat.
  • Thinly slice the steak against the grain. Add it to the dressed salad and lightly toss it to distribute evenly, or serve the steak over the salad. Garnish with sliced chili pepper to add spiciness if needed.
  • Serve immediately with the rest of the dressing on the side. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.

Notes

  1. You can place the steak on a plate too. In this case, flip a few times during the marinating so both sides will be seasoned evenly.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 205kcal | Carbohydrates: 10.6g | Protein: 27.9g | Fat: 5.6g | Saturated Fat: 2.1g | Cholesterol: 76mg | Sodium: 435mg | Potassium: 736mg | Fiber: 2.9g | Sugar: 3.3g | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 18mg

If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and take a picture and tag it @omnivorescookbook on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with.

More delicious salad recipes

Lilja Walter is a part of the Omnivore’s Cookbook team and worked closely with Maggie to develop and test this recipe.

Disclosure

Omnivore's Cookbook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
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Hi I'm Maggie Zhu! Welcome to my site about modern Chinese cooking - including street food, family recipes, and restaurant dishes. I take a less labor-intensive approach while maintaining the taste and look of the dish. I am originally from Beijing, and now cook from my New York kitchen.

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Recipe Rating




23 thoughts on “Thai Beef Salad

  1. [email protected] Eats

    5 stars
    Maggie! I love the addition of grapes, I never in a million years would have thought of that but I totally get that it enhances it!!! Your dressing is perfect, literally exactly what I use (the one I use is from a Thai restaurant!). Pinning!

    Reply
  2. Meggan | Culinary Hill

    Wow, the photography (and food styling) for this post is amazing! Well done, Maggie! It’s funny, not 2 hours ago I was washing grapes for my son Calvin to snack on, and I was thinking to myself that grapes do not appear very often in salads. And now here are grapes! The universe is proving me wrong. 🙂 Not to mention, this salad looks delicious! Pinned!

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      I never had grapes in a salad dish until I tasted the authentic Thai beef salad in Bangkok. It opened my eyes. It’s quite amazing that even you don’t add any dressing, just eat a piece of beef with half grape, it’s still tasted wonderful. Now I want to add grapes to all my salad (I believe it goes great with chicken too)!

      Reply
  3. Jan

    This salad looks wonderful! I love thai food but have never had any of their salads. I will definitely be making this one.
    Great website!

    Reply
  4. Regina

    It looks so yummy Maggie, and it’s healthy and easy to cook, that’s how I like my food to be.

    Thank you honey, and have a very nice Sunday!

    Reply
  5. Hans Blanken

    Ive done this recipe more than once it is beautiful and fresh.I will keep making it I do change some of the ingredients and use what i have got.Five star

    Reply
  6. Anton

    Thanks for the recipe, it is very easy and quick to prepare. And it is also very tasty. Greetings from Romania.

    Reply