Discover the flavours of Thailand with this easy Thai beef salad recipe. Classic balanced Thai flavours of sweet, sour, spice and salt, along with a delicious mix of textures. This Thai beef salad with noodles is not only delicious it's sure to become a firm favourite. Let us walk you through how to recreate this beautiful dish!
We think you will love the flavours in this dish. Thai food is such a great cuisine to get confident cooking. And it's one of our personal favourites! Our Thai Chicken laksa is a popular dish or our lamb shank red Thai curry is not to be missed!
For the salad:
- Beef - we recommend either sirloin or fillet for this dish.
- Mung beans (bean sprouts) - these bring a great crunch to the dish.
- Vermicelli noodles - (or thin rice noodles) these noodles are readily available. They are quick to cook and delicious coated in this Thai sauce.
- Cucumber- The English or telegraph variety.
- Cherry tomatoes - depending on availability you could also use a standard tomato, cut into chunks.
- Red chilli
- Red onion
- Fresh coriander/ cilantro (leaves only) and mint - Save the stalks from the coriander for the dressing.
For the Thai salad dressing: garlic, red chilli, coriander stalks (cilantro), lemons, palm sugar and fish sauce. All these ingredients should be found in your nearest supermarket but if not head to your local Asian store.
Optional garnishes: for additional flavour and texture add a handful of chopped peanuts and a sprinkle of fried shallots.
How to make a Thai salad dressing?
This recipe uses a classic Nam Jim dressing, which also works well as a Thai dip so a great versatile recipe to learn.
The dressing is full of classic Thai ingredients. Simply pound these together using a pestle and mortar to build delicious flavour. But if you don't have a pestle and mortar, a mini chopper will work too.
The important thing to remember is taste, taste, taste. Creating delicious Thai food is about balancing the flavour. You need to create and build this from the start so taste and adjust as you go. Follow our full recipe below and we'll walk you through making this dressing.
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How to cook the perfect beef steak
For this salad, we recommend using a sirloin or fillet cut. Take your beef out of the fridge 30 mins before cooking. This will allow the meat to cook evenly.
Season both sides of the meat. Heat your frying pan and add a little oil. Allow the pan to get hot before adding the meat, aim for the oil in the pan to be lightly smoking. Add the meat to the pan allowing each side to sear for 3 minutes. Once you place the meat in the pan do not move it around, allow it to maintain contact with the pan.
This cooking time will give you the ideal cook on your beef for this dish, which is rare to medium rare. But you can also cook it a little longer on each side if you prefer your steak medium.
Once removed from the pan, allow the meat to rest for 10 minutes. This gives the meat time to relax, making it more tender and juicy. It also gives you time to prepare the salad ingredients!
Build the salad
Once the dressing is ready and the beef is resting, prep all the salad ingredients. Add all the ingredients to a large bowl with around five tablespoons of dressing, then mix well to coat all the salad ingredients.
Once rested cut the beef across the grain. Shortening the fiber of the meat will make it more tender to eat.
Add the sliced beef to the salad ingredients and mix again.
To plate, create nice piles in the the center of your dishes, paying attention to evenly distribute the ingredients. Dress with a little more of the salad dressing and garnish with peanuts and fried shallots (optional). Serve and enjoy!
Frequently asked questions
To store a Thai beef salad, we recommend storing the salad ingredients separately to keep them fresh. Store the dressing in a separate air tight container in the fridge, this will stay fresh for ⅔ days. We would recommend cooking the beef prior to serving for best results.
Yam is the common Thai word for salad, this refers to any salad with the typical bold and fresh Thai salad ingredients, topped with a classic balanced Thai dressing with spice, sour, salt and sweet flavours.
We hope we have inspired you to give this delicious Thai beef salad recipe a try. There are some great techniques and flavours you can apply to other dishes too. So if fresh, vibrant flavours are your thing this dish is for you. Enjoy!
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Our goal is to share simple, tasty dishes created by Chef Shane and partner, Sara.
Using Shane's understanding of flavours and knowledge of food, to teach and inspire you to create delicious food every day. Try new cuisines and gain a new level of confidence in the kitchen.
Sara understands what it's like preparing weekly dinners for a busy family of five. She likes to create healthy recipes, that are easy to whip up and full of flavour which the whole family can enjoy.
Thai Beef Salad
Nam Jim dressing
- 3 cloves Garlic Peeled
- 1 ½ Red chilli De seeded, rough chopped
- ½ bunch Coriander stalks / cilantro Rough chopped (use the leaves in the salad)
- 2 Lemons Juice only (or replace with 3 limes)
- 1 tablespoon Palm sugar
- 2 teaspoon Fish sauce
- 250 g Beef sirloin (or beef fillet)
- 1 cup Mung beans (Bean sprouts)
- 1 stick Vermicelli noodles (thin rice noodles) Soaked in boiling water
- ½ cup Cucumber (English/ telegraph) Sliced
- 10 Cherry tomatoes Halved
- ¼ Red chilli Sliced
- ¼ Red onion Sliced
- small bunch Picked coriander (cilantro) and mint
- Handful Roasted peanuts Chopped
- Sprinkle Fried shallots
Nam Jim Dressing
- To make the dressing grab your pestle and mortar (or mini blender) and add the garlic, chilli, coriander stalks and pound to a paste.
- Add the sugar and pound into the mix. Then add the lemon juice and mix well.
- Use the fish sauce to season to taste. ( See note 1)
Cooking Your Beef
- Take your beef out of the fridge half an hour before you are wanting to cook it. (This allows the meat to cook evenly)
- Heat your fry pan and add a little canola oil. Season both sides of your beef generously with salt and pepper. Once the oil in the pan its lightly smoking add your seasoned piece of beef. Allow to sear on each side for 3 minutes. This will give you the ideal cook on your beef for this dish which is rare-medium rare. (See note 2)
- Remove from the pan and allow to rest for 10 minutes, this allows the meat to relax making it more tender and juicy.
- While your beef is resting. Grab a large bowl and add all the prepped salad ingredients. Add about 5 tablespoons of dressing to your salad and give it a good mix.
- Slice your rested piece of beef across the grain and add to your salad, mix well.
- Assemble your salad into nice piles in your bowls, making sure you evenly distribute the ingredients. Drizzle over a couple more spoons of dressing and then sprinkle over your chopped peanuts and fried shallots.
- Enjoy the fresh flavours and be transpoted to Thailand with this amazing salad.