A Sweet, Sour, Spicy & Savory Salad
This is my version of a Thai-style grilled beef salad, a staple on most Thai restaurant menus in this country. With a ton of fragrant herbs, lime juice, lemongrass and chiles, the grilled beef doesn’t overwhelm the fresh ingredients, making it a perfect salad for the summer. It’s an easy, flavorful and healthy weeknight meal that the whole family will love.
Grilled Beef Salad
- One 1 1/2-pound sirloin steak
- 1 stalk of lemongrass, tender inner bulb only, thinly sliced
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced seeded and skinned
- 1 julienned tomato, seeded and trimmed
- 1/3 cup mint leaves
- 1/3 cup cilantro leaves
- 10 basil leaves, sliced in thin ribbons
- 1 serrano chile, minced
- 1 minced garlic clove
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1 tablespoons toasted rice powder
- 4 romaine lettuce leaves
Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Season the steak with salt and pepper. Grill over high heat until medium-rare, about 4 minutes per side. Let rest for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the fish sauce with the lime juice, sugar, lemongrass, chile, garlic and white pepper. In a large bowl, combine the tomato with the shallot, cucumber, mint, cilantro, basil and roasted rice powder.
Slice the steak against the grain 1/4 inch thick. Add the steak to the vegetables and herbs along with the dressing and toss. Spoon the salad into the lettuce leaves and serve.
NOTES Roasted rice powder, known as khao kua pon in Thailand, is available at Asian markets, but you can also make it at home: In a skillet, toast raw white sticky (glutinous) rice over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a mortar or spice grinder and let cool completely, then grind the rice to a powder. The rice powder can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 months.