At the moment, I’m not very good at cooking meat. I hope that practice will make perfect, so I’m cooking a lot of steak. (There are worse things.) So I’m not going to say anything about how to cook the beef for this salad; it’s possible that mine was, um, a tad overdone.


The rest of the salad is awesome. It’s light and zingy and totally satisfying as a quick (low-heat!) summer meal. In the future I might try adding additional vegetal matter to beef (heh) it up a bit—maybe julienned mangoes or jicama. Any ideas?

There's the beef!

Thai beef salad
Adapted from the New York Times

8 ounces skirt or flank steak
6 cups torn salad greens
1 cup torn fresh herb leaves (mint, cilantro, Thai basil or a combination)
1/4 cup minced red onion or shallot
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 medium cucumber, peeled if skin is tough, cut in half lengthwise, seeded and diced
Sriracha, to taste
Juice of 2 limes
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar

To cook meat, start a gas or charcoal grill or heat a broiler; rack should be about 4 inches from heat source. Grill or broil beef until medium rare, turning once or twice, 5 to 10 minutes, depending on thickness; set it aside to cool.

Place onions or shallots in a small bowl and pour rice vinegar over them—this will help mute the intensity of their bite when raw.¬† [This is a great trick, courtesy of Smitten Kitchen.]

Toss greens with herbs, onion and cucumber. In a bowl, combine all remaining ingredients with 1 tablespoon water; dressing will be thin. [If desired, make extra dressing and use to marinate the meat before cooking.] Use half of this mixture to toss with greens. Remove greens to a platter.

Slice beef thinly, reserving its juice; combine juice with remaining dressing. Lay slices of beef over salad, drizzle remaining dressing over all, and serve.

Yield: 3 servings