This recipe is inspired by the two weeks SA and I recently spent in Cambodia and Thailand. It was one of the best trips we have been on to date (which has included over 20 countries). Everything was perfect. Beautiful beaches, amazing hotels, kind people, incredible sites and the food….oh the food.
I had heard a lot about how amazing the food is in Thailand, but was still skeptical. I anticipated falling in love with the spicy chicken, prawn, vegetable and soup dishes for the first few nights, but 2 meals a day and 10 days of 35 degree heat later, I was sure I would be over it and yearning for something with less spice. I couldn’t have been more wrong. By the time we left, I was addicted and searching out Thai restaurants back in London we could visit.
Some of my favourite dishes include green curry, papaya salad (I’m working on creating a recipe using apple!) and lok lak, a spicy peppered beef dish. The salads were also incredible and the combination of lime, mint, lemongrass, ginger and chili transformed even the most boring cucumber and lettuce salad into a feast for the senses.
This Thai Beef Salad is a take on a dish I ate almost every day at our hotel in Koh Lanta. The beef is marinated in ginger, lemongrass, garlic and fish sauce for a minimum of an hour but preferably overnight to give it time to tenderize and absorb all of the flavours. The beef is then grilled and added (either hot or cold) to a salad of lettuce, spring onions, shallots, finely chopped peanuts, cucumber, red peppers, chilies and lots and lots of mint. This salad is great for lunch or dinner and can be made a few hours in advance and simply tossed with the dressing before being served. If you don’t eat beef I think this salad would also taste good with chicken (marinated in the same sauce) or prawns. I hope you enjoy!
- 2 tbsp fresh ginger
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ tsp lemon grass paste
- 1 tsp honey
- ¼ cup lime juice
- ½ shallots, finely diced
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 350 grams sirloin steak
- 4 cups romaine lettuce
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup spring onions, chopped
- ½ cup fresh mint, chopped
- 2 bell peppers
- ½ cucumber
- 3 tbsp finely chopped peanuts (or cashews if paleo)
- 1 jalapeno, cut into small slices
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tsp honey
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- In a food processor or hand held mixer combine the ingredients for the marinade and process until well blended. Place the beef in a container, top with the marinade and allow to rest for a minimum of one hour and up to overnight
- To prepare the salad, tear the romaine lettuce into pieces and place in a bowl. Cut the cucumber into 4 thin slices and then cut each into small strips. Cut the peppers in half, remove the stem and seeds and cut into thin slices. Place the vegetables in the bowl along with the spring onions, shallots, chopped mint, jalapeno slices and finely diced nuts.
- Heat a barbeque or grilled pan until hot, add the steak and grill for 4-5 minutes per side or until the steak is cooked to your liking. Remove from the heat and allow to rest for at least 5 minutes before thinly cutting into pieces.
- For the dressing, place the ginger, fish sauce, lime juice and honey in a bowl and whisk. Before serving the salad toss with the dressing and serve.