Authentic Thai Beef Salad is one of the best salads going. Rare cooked beef combined with aromatic herbs and crisp salad ingredients dressed with a punchy, lime dressing topped with crispy fried shallots.
We were fortunate to be introduced to this Authentic Thai Beef Salad whilst holidaying in Thailand, which is unbelievably tasty, super easy, and quick to make.
We took a Thai cooking class at a tranquil estate on the outskirts of Bangkok. The whole experience was loads of fun, and now this fabulous salad appears on our menu regularly.
At a Glance This Is What You Need To Make Authentic Thai Beef Salad
brown sugar, or palm sugar
beef porterhouse, flank, rump or fillet
coriander with roots attached
Lebanese (Persian) cucumbers
fresh mint leaves
What Is A Thai Beef Salad
Think rare beef, tossed with a fresh zingy dressing of lime juice, garlic, coriander and fish sauce, loaded with super crisp and crunchy salad ingredients that combine to make salad heaven.
You don’t have to travel outside of your very own kitchen, or deck to make this refreshing mint and cool cucumber salad, with thin slices of rare, chargrilled beef. Tossed with a lime and chilli dressing that dances with the ingredients, the sum of the parts comes together to create one of the best salads you’ll ever enjoy.
Authentic Thai Salad Dressing
If you’re a fan of fresh, vibrant flavours you will love this dressing which creates a flavour explosion in your mouth. Punchy with fresh lime juice, salty fish sauce, mild shallots, a bit of sweet and the spike of fresh red chilli.
Coriander (Cilantro) Roots
The key ingredient to make this authentic Thai Beef Salad is the use of coriander (cilantro) roots. They are very aromatic, with a slightly pungent and peppery flavour. The flavour is a mix of citrus, spicy with distinct earthy undertones. The dressing is worth seeking out coriander (cilantro) that still have their roots attached.
If you can’t buy coriander (cilantro) with their roots, substitute coriander stems very finely sliced.
P.S. if you come across coriander with their roots and you don’t need them, remove and wrap the roots in cling film and freeze for later. 😃
Thai Salad Dressing
Hot Tip To Make Your Authentic Thai Beef Salad Sing
The key to keeping this dressing alive and vibrant is to not add the lime juice too far in advance. You can have all of the ingredients ready, bar the freshly squeezed lime juice. Squeeze and add the lime juice just before serving.
The reason is, the lime juice will lose its vibrancy and freshness if added too soon before dressing the salad. So squeeze, and add the lime juice to the dressing just prior to eating this glorious salad and your flavours will be spot on! 😃
How Does Lime Juice Cook Food
If you add the dressing too far in advance of serving, the meat will turn ‘opaque and firm up’ due to the lime juice reacting with the beef and changing its molecular structure.
Nothing to be afraid of, just simply add the freshly squeezed lime juice to the remaining dressing ingredients at the last minute before serving.
How To Make Thai Beef Salad
- Combine all of the dressing ingredients, mix and set aside
- On a hot BBQ or frying pan cook the steak until medium rare
- Slice steak into thin strips
- Add the slice steak while still hot to the dressing and mix
- Combine the salad ingredients with the beef
- Finish with the reserved dressing and fried shallots
How Do You Balance Thai Flavours
If the dressing is not sitting with your palate just adjust the sugar, or lime juice to suit. Too sour, add a little more sugar. Too sweet add a little more lime juice. You get the picture! What you’re looking for is the Thai classic combination of sweet, sour and salty!
How do You Make Salad Crisp?
Authentic Thai Beef Salad is simple in its ingredients. However, each of the vegetable ingredients needs to be chilled and crispy. We soak the bean sprouts, and coriander stems in cold water to make them perky and crisp. Same with the mint. Have every salad ingredient cold and your salad will deliver crisp, cold and crunchy which is just what we want.
You can have your cucumber peeled into ribbons, or cut into slices, chilled and ready ahead of assembling the salad.
Watch How To Make Our Authentic Thai Beef Salad
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What Steak For Thai Beef Salad
We chose to use a rib eye steak on the bone that was a good 2 1/2cm (1 inch) thick. Choose any cut of beef that is suitable for grilling such as rump, scotch fillet or porterhouse.
If you can get a hold of flank, or flatiron steak this will be a winner. Otherwise known as skirt steak, or London Broil depending on where you live. The beef is super tender, but generally not widely available.
We sprinkled table salt on our steak and left it on a cake rack in the fridge uncovered for 24 hours ( the rack allows air to move around all of the steak).
Salting and air drying creates a lovely crust on the outside when cooked. Cooking the meat only requires a HOT bbq or frying pan with a thin covering of oil. To promote an even cook have your steak at room temperature before cooking.
What To Serve With Thai Beef Salad?
This is a wonderfully fresh and light meal on its own or it could be served as a first course palate teaser of things to come, we like to finish with something equally fresh like our Pineapple, Mint and Chilli Sorbet.
Don’t forget to rate this recipe and let us know what you thought when you make this fabulous Authentic Thai Beef Salad in the reviews below.
Authentic Thai beef salad is delicious. Refreshing with mint, coriander, cool cucumber and slices of rare beef. Tossed with a lime and chilli dressing that dances with the ingredients, the sum of the parts comes together to create one of the best salads you’ll ever enjoy.
Originally published December 2019
- 2 fat cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup finely chopped coriander roots and stems – washed and ‘hairy’ bits removed - see note 1. below
- 2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 3 level tablespoons soft brown sugar
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 red chillies, finely sliced - use as much or as little as you like, what you want is a prickle from the chilli on your palate
- 2 small red shallots, finely sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon fine white pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 500 g beef porterhouse, rump or fillet cut about 2.5 cm / 1 inch thick - this thickness creates a nice slice when cut ( 1 pound)
- 4 Lebanese (Persian) cucumbers, sliced into ribbons
- handful of beansprouts
- 1 cup fresh mint leaves
- 1 small red onion, cut into thin slivers
- handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup coriander leaves on stems
- 1/4 cup fried shallots
1. Place garlic, coriander roots, sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, pepper and salt into a bowl and stir until the sugar has dissolved - note: if preparing the dressing ahead of time hold back on squeezing and adding the lime juice till just before serving - see note 2. below
2. Add the chilli and eschallots and mix well
1. Cook beef until medium-rare, slice thinly and pour over half the dressing while the beef is still hot, toss and set aside to rest while you prepare the salad - see note 3. below
2. In a bowl toss together the cucumber, sprouts, tomatoes, onions, mint and coriander
3. Place salad ingredients on a plate, top with beef slices
4. Pour remaining dressing over salad
5. Sprinkle over fried shallots
Serve and enjoy!
- Scrape the hairy bits of the coriander root off with a teaspoon then wash well to remove any remaining grains of dirt
- If preparing this recipe ahead, all of the dressing ingredients except for the lime juice can be mixed and covered in the fridge. Leave combining your freshly squeezed lime juice with the dressing ingredients until you are about to serve so it doesn’t lose its vibrancy
- When preparing this salad try to cook the beef and mix with the dressing as close to serving as possible as the lime juice will continue to cook you beef
Amount Per Serving
Nutritional information provided here is only intended as a guide.
Cooper And The Frog!
These beautiful green tree frogs need to keep hydrated and Jen and Steve have a water feature pot plant that attracts them. They come in for a dip and then return to their home in the drainpipe. This chap was on his way back to his two storied ‘drain pipe home’ (freshly painted, I might add) when Coops encountered him. Coops has to be commended for simply being inquisitive, and not using his size “22” paws to prod this little beauty. Frog 1 v Cooper 1…game, set and match! We love it!