I enjoy main course salads at the end of summertime when fresh produce from the local fields comes to market. One of my favorite Thai-inspired salads includes grilled steak that has been marinated with Southeast Asian spices for a day or two. I like to use skirt steak for this recipe, but you can also use flank steak, which may be easier to source at the local market. Start by marinating the steak for a day or two…the longer the better. You could also marinate and grill the steak in advance and also assemble the salad in advance, and it can be quickly turned into a dinner within minutes. The typical lime and fish sauce base to the dressing has a wonderful umami flavor that I can’t seem to get enough of.
2 fresh limes juiced
2 stalks of lemongrass chopped
3T Thai Fish Sauce (in the Asian section of your grocery store)
¼ Cup Cilantro (stems and leaves) chopped
4 Cloves garlic shopped
6 Thai red chilies chopped (or less if you don’t like it spicy)
Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a bowl with the flak steak. Cover and marinate over night. If the marinade doesn’t cover the steak, be sure to turn it a few times.
1 head iceberg lettuce (if a large head may need less)
2 cups snow peas chopped into quarter-inch pieces
1 red pepper cut into julienne strips
2 slices of red onion cut into slivers
3 scallions chopped
1.5 cups cilantro leaves
1.5 cups Thai basil leaves chopped coarse
1.5 cups mint leaves chopped coarse
1 cucumber seeded and cut into strips
2 fresh jalapeno pepper seeded and chopped
Chopped peanuts to top salad
1 package of Solely chili lime flavored dried mango chopped
2 fresh limes juiced
3T Thai fish sauce
1 stalk lemongrass chopped
Pinch of fresh mint
Pinch of cilantro
6 Thai red chilies chopped (you can use less if you don’t like spicy)
2 T sesame oil
3 cloves garlic chopped
Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a bowl and set aside. If you can make it a little ahead to let the flavors come together the taste will be even better. Taste the dressing and make sure that you have a balance of tart and saltiness from the fish sauce. If the tartness of the limes is too sour you can also add a tough of sugar.
Assemble the Salad
Remove the steak from the marinade and grill it until your desired doneness (I like medium rare). Remove the steak from the grill and slice.
Pour the dressing over your bowl of greens and toss thoroughly. Arrange a serving of the salad on a plate and sprinkle chopped peanuts over the top. Layer the steak in a radial pattern over the top of the salad. I also like to top the salad with the Solely chili lime-dried mangoes.
Wine or Beer Pairing
I like to serve a nice French Rose with this meal. If you are not in a wine mood, I would also suggest a German wheat beer. The wine I chose this time is a special Rose from Cote de Provence DOC produced by Domaine Houchart. This 2021 vintage features a unique blend of grapes grown in Southwest France including Granache, Syrah, Cinsault, Cabernet Savignon, and Mourvedre. The resulting wine has a dryness that is typical of wines from this region, but with a little hint of sweetness to round it off. The flavor is pretty bold and can hold up to the ample citrus and spice in this dish.