Easy Thai Beef Salad

What is Thai Beef Salad:

Thai beef salad, also known as “Yum Nua” in Thai, is a vibrant and refreshing dish that combines tender slices of beef with crisp vegetables and aromatic herbs, all tossed in a zesty dressing. This version is quick and easy – all it takes is a quick cook on the steak on a grill or cast iron pan and then the salad is assembled with fresh ingredients. To make this a meal prep friendly dish, I skip lettuce and use hearty veggies like cabbage, cucumber, tomatoes, and red onions, along with the fragrant herbs like cilantro and mint. The dressing typically consists of lime juice, fish sauce, and chili, creating a harmonious balance of tangy, salty, and spicy flavors. Thai beef salad is not only delicious but also light and nutritious, making it the perfect choice for a satisfying meal any day of the week. 

Why You’ll Love Easy Thai Beef Salad

  • A great takeout dupe! Get the delicious taste of Thai takeout for a fraction of the price and without the added sugar! 
  • Nutrient-dense meal prep. Salads can be tough for meal prep options because they get soggy, so this is a great option for meal prepping lunches for the week. 

The Ingredients for Easy Thai Beef Salad

  • Beef steak. Since the steak will be thinly sliced, you can use a more affordable cut like sirloin, chuck steak, or skirt steak. 
  • Sea salt.
  • Napa cabbage, scallions, cherry tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers. Feel free to swap these out for your favorite veggies or veggies that you have on hand! 
  • Fresh mint, cilantro, Thai basil. Fresh herbs add amazing flavor to this dish and contribute amazing micronutrients. 
  • Garlic, maple syrup, fish sauce, lime juice, extra virgin olive oil. Whisk these together to make the delicious tangy dressing. 

How to Make Easy Thai Beef Salad

  • Step One. Remove the steak from the fridge and salt it generously on both sides with sea salt. Let it sit on the counter to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes. 
  • Step Two. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat until it is very hot. Pat the steak dry and add it to the hot pan. Let it cook for or until it reaches your desired internal temperature. Remove the steak from the pan and let is sit. 
  • Step Three. While the steak sits, chop up all of the veggies and add them to a large bowl.
  • Step Four. Blend the dressing ingredients. 
  • Step Five. Once the steak is cool, slice it thinly against the grain. Add the steak to the bowl and coat with the dressing. 

Important Tips

  • Grill or cast iron. You can grill the steak or cook it in a hot cast iron pan to your preferred temperature. I like to remove my steak from the heat once it has reached 140F for a medium rare steak. 
  • Be sure to slice the steak thinly and against the grain. Cutting against the grain means slicing the meat perpendicular to the direction of the muscle fibers. When you look at a piece of steak, you’ll notice lines running across it; those are the muscle fibers. Cutting against the grain breaks up these fibers, resulting in more tender and easier-to-chew pieces of meat. It helps to make the steak more tender rather than chewy. 

Storing Easy Thai Beef Salad

Store the salad in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can also store the dressing on the side if you prefer to dress it fresh each time you serve it. 

How to Serve Easy Thai Beef Salad 

The salad is a delicious dish as is, but if you want to add some carbs thin rice noodles pair great with this dish. 

Easy Thai Beef Salad

This steak salad is packed with quality protein and micronutrients from the steak, herbs, and a wide variety of veggies. It uses hearty veggies so it makes a great meal prep option. Total time:
40 mins Yield: 4-6 servings Diet: Gluten Free
Prep Time 40 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs beef steak sirloin, skirt steak, chuck steak
  • Sea salt
  • ½ head napa cabbage thinly sliced
  • 3 scallions chopped
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 2 medium carrots grated
  • 3 small cucumbers thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed fresh mint chopped
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed cilantro chopped
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed Thai basil chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic grated
  • 1 ½ tsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  • Remove the steak from the fridge, generously season with sea salt on both sides and let it come to room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • Add the cabbage, scallions, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers and herbs to a large bowl.
  • Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Reduce to medium, add the steak to the pan and let cook for 4-5 minutes then flip and cook for another 4-5 minutes, or until the steak has reached your desired internal temperature.
  • Remove the steak from the heat and let sit for 10-15 minutes. While the steak rests, make the salad dressing by combining the garlic, maple syrup, fish sauce, lime juice, and extra virgin olive oil. Cut the steak into very thin slices and add to the salad. Add the dressing and toss to combine.

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