Ridiculously Easy Thai Steak Salad

Thai Steak Salad

THIS SALAD. I’m still thinking about it.

Last night was warm enough, so I decided to whip up a steak salad. But, not just any old steak salad — one infused with explosive Thai flavors: a little lime, a splash of fish sauce, a spoonful (or two) of chili garlic paste. Heaven.

If you’ve ever tried the Tiger Cries (aka Crying Tiger, Tiger’s Tear, etc.) salad at a Thai restaurant, only to return home and want it again and again for the rest of your life, this steak salad recipe will sate your craving. It’s not too spicy, either, so if you’re sensitive to heat, this won’t kill you. That being said, it’s super easy to pump up the fire with additional chili garlic paste or a fresh pepper. Traditionally, this salad calls for hanger steak, but my grocer was out of it (crazy, right?), so I went with a flat-iron steak, and it worked perfectly. Just make sure to slice across the grain. I also substituted thinly sliced squash in lieu of cucumber, since I am drowning in squash from my CSA box. I really enjoyed the squash, but feel free to use cucumber to make it more authentic.

In other news, I’ve finally begun the very early stages of planning my wedding. Researching venues is quite a bit more work than I thought it would be, and I’m already afraid of getting my heart broken by one of these venue coordinators. I’m looking into my dream spot, but the price. THE HORRIBLE PRICE. Sigh. The worst part is instead of me crossing it off my list, I’m fantasizing ways to increase my income. That’s insane, right? Like somewhere in the DSM-5 is a wedding planning disorder. Expect baked-good recipes in the next few weeks; I’ll be needing an outlet for this anxiety.

Ridiculously Easy Thai Steak Salad  

(adapted from Cooking Light’s Spicy Basil-Beef Salad)

Ingredients: Steak:

  • Juice from 1/2 lime
  • Splash of fish sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 T canola oil
  • 8 oz flat-iron (or hanger) steak


  • 3 T soy sauce
  • 2 T rice vinegar
  • 2 T minced lemongrass
  • 1 T sesame oil
  • 2 t fish sauce
  • 2 t garlic chili paste
  • 1/2 jalapeno, minced
  • Juice from 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 t sugar (to taste)


  • Spring mix lettuce
  • 3 sunburst squash, thinly sliced (or cucumbers)
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tomato, cut into wedges
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

Directions: Steak:

  1. Marinate the steak with the lime juice, fish sauce, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. It doesn’t have to be exact. Just a little something to intensify the flavors. I let mine sit for about an hour.
  2. Heat up a grill pan coated with a little canola oil. When the pan is hot, place the steak on it and cook each side for 3 – 4 minutes. Don’t over cook the meat. You want a little pink in the  middle.
  3. Remove from pan and let rest 10 minutes.
  4. Slice thinly across the grain.


  1. Mix all the dressing ingredients together. I threw everything into my Magic Bullet — which I highly recommend (sauces and dressings are so easy to make in these bad boys) — but it’s definitely not necessary. Just make sure the lemongrass and jalapeno are very finely minced.


  1. Mix all the salad ingredients together.
  2. Plate the salads, topping each with some sliced steak and a generous serving of dressing.

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