I am a big fan of meal salads especially when it’s hot outside. Done right and they can be full of complex flavors, filling and yet light at the same time.
This is one of my favorites and it is a simplified version of a salad that I ate a lot while visiting Thailand. All of the ingredients can be found in your local market. The exception would be the fish sauce in the dressing. Fish sauce is an umami packed salty seasoning used in Southeast Asian cooking. If you don’t have or can’t find fish sauce, substitute with a light soy sauce.
I used regular red radishes in this recipe although daikon radish would be more authentic. Since the amount used is so small, what would you going to do with the rest of a big ol’ daikon (unless, of course, you regularly eat it)? The red radishes are a little more peppery, but still pack that cool crunch in the salad.
Other great additions to this salad would be bean sprouts, red cabbage, and chopped cashews or peanuts. Experiment with your favorite crunchy vegetables, but most of all enjoy!
Thai Beef Crunch Salad
For the steak:
1 1/4 pounds sirloin steak, 1-1/2 inches thick
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
1/2 red Fresno chile, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste for grilling
Neutral oil (vegetable, canola, etc.), for grilling
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 Fresno chile, minced
For the salad:
2 cups Napa cabbage
1 carrot, cut into ribbons with vegetable peeler
1 cup blanched snap peas, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 scallions, thinly sliced diagonally
5 radishes, thinly sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 cup diced seeded cucumber
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves (preferably Thai basil), torn
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, torn
Method: direct heat grilling
Place steak in a a large resealable plastic bag. Whisk together marinade ingredients (except salt, pepper, and oil) and pour into bag. Massage bag around to make sure steak is coated, squeeze out excess air and seal. Marinate for a couple hours or as long as overnight in the refrigerator.
For the dressing, whisk together all the ingredients. Will keep in the refrigerator for a couple days.
Set up grill for cooking over high direct heat. Brush and oil grates before cooking.
Combine salad ingredients in a large mixing bowl and set aside in the refrigerator. Remove steak from marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper then brush with a little oil. Grill steak on preheated grill for about 5 minutes per side for medium rare.
Transfer steak to a cutting board and let rest tented with foil while you prepare the salad. Remove salad from refrigerator and toss with the dressing; divide among salad plates. Slice the steak across the grain of the meat and arrange over individual plates. Serve immediately.
Cheers and Happy Grilling!