Easy Thai Beef Salad

The ULTIMATE salad! My easy Thai Beef Salad recipe is packed with flavour. With juicy beef steak, fresh vegetables & fragrant herbs, the sweet & spicy Thai dressing is the secret ingredient in this mouthwatering dish.

The cuisine of Thailand is world-renowned and rightly so. Balanced on the finest edge of salty, sweet, sour and spicy, Thai food is a flavour sensation, enough to awaken the most tired of tastebuds.

While there are all sorts of wild and wonderful meals to be found there, today I’m sharing my recipe for one of the most delicious, an Easy Thai Beef Salad.

Thai Beef Salad on a platter.

What is Thai Beef Salad?

Thai Beef Salad or Yum Nuea is a combination of crispy, fresh vegetables, fragrant herbs, tender beef steak, all smothered with a punchy, spicy dressing. It’s incredibly tasty as well as being nutrient packed, so it’s a big win-win.

The secret to a great Thai Beef Salad

For an AMAZING Thai beef salad, make sure you have loads of fresh herbs and a good quality cut of steak. You’ll be rewarded in every way. The real secret lies in the balance of the dressing. Made from lime juice, fish sauce, sugar and chilli, the dressing is the flavour powerhouse that will make or break your salad.

I’ve travelled to Thailand many times over the years and taken some amazing cooking classes in the capital city, Bangkok.

What I learnt there, is that Thai food needs super fresh ingredients for best results. The wonderful Thai people take food very seriously and incredible meals are available on every street corner. Cheap, fresh, and so, so good.

Balance the flavours

Thai food is all about that balance I talked about above, and only you know what you really like, so taste, taste, taste and adjust as you go. I like mine extra spicy with loads of lime, but you might like to tone it down depending on who is going to be eating

Ingredient Preparation for Thai Beef Salad.
Make sure the steak has been out of the fridge for at least half an hour before cooking. That way it will cook evenly.

Ingredients

To make my Thai Beef Salad recipe you’ll need the following main ingredients:

  • BEEF STEAK: The star ingrtedient! Good quality rump or sirloin is best. Make sure the steak is out of the fridge for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
  • CUCUMBERS, CHERRY TOMATOES LETTUCE AND RED ONIONS: The building blocks of your salad. A classic Thai Beef Salad is not so heavy on these salad greens, but I like to add plenty. Healthy and tasty. What’s to lose?
  • MINT AND CORIANDER: Fresh herbs give this salad a distinctive and fragrant flavour.
  • LIME JUICE, FISH SAUCE, SUGAR AND GARLIC: Combine with FRESH CHILLI to make the tastiest salad dressing.
  • BASMATI OR JASMINE RICE: To cool down that chilli heat!

The recipe card at the bottom of the page contains the complete ingredient list and detailed instructions.

Cucumber Ribbons.

What to serve with Thai Beef Salad

This recipe makes enough for two people to greedily devour (and we do!) but could easily be stretched to feed four with a few sides or starters.

Quick Thai Fish Cakes , San Choy Bow or some Vietnamese Spring Rolls would be great and it’s worth having plenty of rice (instructions here for perfect rice. This salad base is even fantastic for other meats, so if beef isn’t in the budget, try it with chicken, pork or even tofu!

About Fresh Herbs

A recipe like this relies on the beautiful fragrant herbs, so make sure to use plenty. If at all possible, skip the sad plastic packets from your local supermarket and hit up an Asian grocer.

Not only are the herbs guaranteed fresher, they’re likely cheaper and much more flavoursome.

Easy Thai Beef Salad

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

I don’t eat beef, can I make this salad with anything else?

Even though it is called Easy Thai BEEF Salad, this salad is great with chicken, pork, fish or even tofu!

I don’t like food to be too spicy, should I change the recipe?

Taste the chilli before you add it to the dressing to see how hot it is and adjust accordingly. If you discard the seeds of the chilli it won’t be as hot. Make sure you have plenty of cucumber and rice as well as water to drink to cool you down if you find it too spicy!

I can’t eat peanuts, is there an alternative?

There is! You can toast 2 tablespoons of uncooked rice in a dry pan until nutty and light brown. Grind finely in a mortar and pestle and use to replace the peanuts in this recipe.

Can I double, or even triple this recipe?

Go for it! I love this salad so much I could eat it every day. Just be sure to cook the beef in batches so that it browns properly.

Can I Meal Prep Thai Beef Salad?

Yes! Just keep the meat and salad separate and don’t add the extra dressing until you are ready to eat.

Easy Thai Beef Salad

Adjust the amount of chilli to your tastes, I like it extra spicy!

Easy Thai Beef Salad

Spicy Thai Beef Salad Recipe

Easy Thai Beef Salad on a serving platter with beef steak, fresh herbs and vegetables.

Easy Thai Beef Salad

Jay Wadams
The ULTIMATE salad! This Easy Thai Beef Salad is packed with flavour. With juicy beef steak, fresh vegetables & fragrant herbs, the sweet and spicy Thai dressing is the secret ingredient in this mouthwatering dish.
4.96 from 44 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients
 

for the dressing:

  • 1 medium red chilli, sliced
  • small bunch coriander/cilantro, leaves and stems separated
  • 2 fat cloves garlic
  • 45 ml lime juice
  • 30 ml fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp neutral oil, sunflower etc.
  • zest of 1 lime, finely grated

for the salad:

  • 400 g beef steak, eg. rump or sirloin at room temperature
  • 2 tsp sunflower oil for frying
  • 1 thin cucumber, finely sliced or peeled into ribbons
  • 250 g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 small cos or romaine lettuce, leaves torn
  • 3 Tbsp roasted peanuts, finely diced
  • small bunch of mint, leaves only
  • sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

optional:

  • extra red chilli, sliced

to serve:

  • steamed jasmine or basmati rice

Instructions
 

  • HEAT THE OVEN: Heat the oven to 120°C / 250°F / Gas 1.
  • MAKE THE DRESSING: Prepare the dressing by grinding the chilli, coriander stems and garlic together in a mortar and pestle to a chunky paste. If you don’t have a good, solid mortar and pestle, you can use a small food processor, or cut the ingredients very finely.
  • ADJUST SEASONING: Scrape the paste into a small mixing bowl, add the lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, oil and lime zest then whisk well to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Set the dressing aside.
  • COOK THE STEAKS: Pat the steaks dry with a paper towel, rub with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat a large, heavy-based frying pan until a drop of water sizzles when dropped onto the surface. Add the steaks to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side (see note). Remove from the heat, lay the steaks on an ovenproof dish, cover loosely with tinfoil and place in the preheated oven for 5-10 minutes (see notes for guide).
  • PREPARE THE SALAD: While the meat is resting, combine the cucumber, cherry tomatoes, red onion and lettuce in a large mixing bowl. Toss through two tablespoons of the dressing. When the beef has rested at least 5 minutes, slice thinly against the grain, add to the bowl that has the remaining dressing in it, along with any resting juices and stir well to coat.
  • ARRANGE AND SERVE: Pile the salad onto a serving platter or two plates and top with the beef. Sprinkle over the peanuts and scatter over plenty of fresh coriander, mint and extra chilli (if using). Drizzle over all the remaining dressing and serve immediately with steamed rice.

Notes

STEAK COOKING TIMES: How cooked you like your steak is a personal preference. This recipe assumes you are using approx. 2 cm thick steaks resulting in medium-rare. If you are using thinner steaks they will need less time, thicker steaks will need more.
If you like your steaks cooked through, cook at least 3-4 minutes on each side and let rest in the oven for the full 10 minutes.

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Nutrition

Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 287kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 680mg | Potassium: 792mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1243IU | Vitamin C: 39mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Leave a review or a star rating and let me know how it was! Use the hashtag #daysofjay on Instagram so I can see your delicious creations.
Course | Main Event
Cuisine | Thai
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Jay Wadams
Jay Wadams

Jay Wadams is a cookbook author, food photographer and Le Cordon Bleu Gastronomy and Nutrition graduate. Based in Italy 🇮🇹 Germany 🇩🇪 and Australia 🇦🇺.

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One comment

  1. Thanks for sharing this amazing recipe.my family loved it.will be sharing this recipe with my friends.they will like it.

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