The intense flavors and spices of Thai food are some of my absolute favorite. Big, sloppy bowls of Thai noodles and limey, spicy soups always comes to mind when I think of the ultimate comfort food (Drunken Noodles errryday)! And while I just can't get enough of these belly filling Thai cuisines, there's an equally fresh and delicious side to Thai food that I am truly obsessed with.
The Spicy Beef Salad has all of my favorite elements; spicy heat from chilis, savory (slightly salty) grilled beef and the tart tang of lime juice. It's perfectly light and refreshing and I can always eat way more than any serving at a restaurant! So, this is my humble attempt at recreating the most palate pleasing, addictive salad I've ever eaten.
I'm using romaine lettuce, grape tomatoes and thinly sliced cucumbers & red onions. You can use your favorite greens, but this salad is on the juicier side, so crunchy romaine holds up really well. (Pssst...thinly shredded cabbage works great, too!)
We're gonna be grilling some beef for this one, so let your meat of choice start coming to room temperature while you work on the salad dressing.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the juice from one big, juicy lime, 2 tablespoons of fish sauce, 1 minced clove of garlic, a hefty pinch of fresh mint & cilantro (about 2 chopped tablespoons of each), one green onion stalk, sliced, 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper, a pinch of salt, pepper & palm (or brown) sugar and 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil. Mix it all up and set it aside.
Heat the grill to about 400°F and season both sides of your meat with salt & pepper. This is a 12 oz. New York Strip (about 3/4" thick), which happened to be on sale, so it was the winner by default, but you can use whatever cut you fancy! Grill for about 3 minutes on one side, followed by 2 minutes on the other for the rare side of medium-rare. Let it rest for a few minutes before slicing into small, thin strips.
Throw the salad ingredients right into the bowl, over the dressing. I like to slice the tomatoes in half and use a mandoline to thinly slice a quarter of a red onion, half of a peeled English cucumber and a jalapeño pepper.
*Note: If you can get your hands on some Thai chilis, which are super spicy and delicious, you can use a half to whole, instead of the jalapeño, just know that those little thai chilis pack way more of a punch than the jalapeño, so start small and add more based on how much spice you like.
Toss in the beef and gently mix it all together, until every last bit is glistening with limey, spicy beef-ness! Like a lot of lettuce salads, this one is best right after it's tossed, so dig in right away and eat it all so you don't have any leftovers to worry about!
Thanks for Chewsing!