I have had a lifelong all out hatred for anything salad related. The idea of raw crunchy vegetables mixed in with other healthy diet friendly ingredients just doesn't get my mouth watering. Living most of my life with my no salad mantra, I was shocked to find that I was able to stomach a Thai Beef Salad. Not only was I able to stomach it, I fell in love with it, and couldn't get enough. The colours alone are enough to bring you to a food induced day dream, and it actually looks as good as it tastes. I went on to try and recreate this at home, bursting with pride that I finally liked and enjoyed eating a salad.
Ingredients to serve 4 as a starter or 2 for a main:
2 rump or sirloin steaks (approx 400g)
1 red onion
10 (or more/less depending on taste) cherry tomatoes
1 bag baby spinach salad leaves
1 tablespoon of olive oil (not extra virgin!)
10 small cloves of garlic
3 red chillies
3 tablespoons of Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
2 tablespoons of sriracha sauce
3 tablespoons of lime juice (fresh limes for the best zing, but bottled is also fine)
1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
To make the dressing, crush the garlic and chillies together with a pestle and mortar or a food processor. Empty the garlic and chillies into a bowl and mix the fish sauce, sriracha, sugar, and lime juice together. Keep mixing until the sugar dissolves. Give it a little taste and add more of any ingredient to suit your own tastes if you would like. Otherwise, the dressing is now finished.
Slice your red onion into thin strips and cut your tomatoes in half.
You can use a griddle pan, cast iron skillet, or any frying pan you may usually use to cook the steak. I like to use a non stick griddle pan to get those insta-friendly griddle marks (dork alert!). Optional step - but I like to season my steak with a little sea salt and cracked black pepper before cooking. Ensure you have wiped any moisture from your steak before hand with a kitchen towel. Heat your chosen pan over the stove. If you have chosen a cast iron skillet or frying pan, heat the olive oil (splash a little more in if your cast iron skillet is a bit larger and the oil isn't covering the whole surface). When the oil is simmering, or your griddle pan is hot, place both steaks on the pan. Cook over a medium high heat and cook for 2-3 mins each side depending on how well cooked you like your steak. When done, remove steaks from heat onto a chopping board and let it rest for a few mins. The steak is now ready to slice into thin strips.
Place your salad with onions and cherry tomatoes on a serving dish (something a little deep so the dressing doesn't spill), mix them around a little. Place your steak strips on the top and pour the dressing all over. Mix the steak, dressing and salad together and you're done!
You can serve this with a scoop of jasmine steamed rice and have it as a main meal. Or if you are going carb free, just load up on the beef salad!
In the photo below I substituted the baby spinach leaves with a regular supermarket mixed salad bag. This dish is super versatile, feel free to add any veggies like cucumber, peppers, rocket, shredded carrots etc...