Thai Beef Salad



  • 1/2 tsp birds eye or Thai Chilli , deseeded and finely minced (Note 1)
  • 1/4 tsp finely minced garlic (1/2 small clove)
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped cilantro/coriander stems
  • 2 1/4 tsp white sugar
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp grapeseed oil (or canola or vegetable oil)
  • 1 small pinch cooking / kosher salt


  • 7 – 8 oz / 200 – 250 g good quality beef steak – sirloin , at room temperature (Note 2)
  • 1 tbsp oil (vegetable, peanut or canola oil)
  • 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 2 heaped cups mixed lettuce leaves
  • 10 cherry tomatoes , halved
  • 1/4 small red onion , very finely sliced
  • 1/2 cucumber (optional deseed) , cut horizontally then cut into slices (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro/coriander leaves , lightly packed
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves , lightly packed


  • 1/4 cup finely chopped peanuts , roasted, unsalted
  • Extra cilantro/coriander and mint leaves



  • Place the birds eye chili, garlic, cilantro stems and a small pinch of salt into a mortar and pestle. Grind until a smooth paste forms.
  • Add the remaining Dressing ingredients. Adjust sugar, lime juice and fish sauce to taste. Set aside.
  • Alternative: Finely mince garlic, coriander and chilli. Use side of knife to smear into paste on cutting board, then shake in jar with remaining ingredients.


  • Preheat a skillet over high heat until screaming hot and smoking.
  • Drizzle the beef with 1/2 tbsp of oil on both sides, then sprinkle with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Cook the beef to your liking (Note 2).
  • Cook times: for steak 2cm / 4/5” thick, 2 min on each side for medium rare (until internal temp is 52°C/125°F) OR 2 1/2 min each side for medium (internal temp 57°C/135°F).
  • Remove the beef from the skillet onto a plate. Loosely tent with foil and set aside for 10 minutes to rest.


  • Place lettuce in a bowl, drizzle with 1 tbsp Dressing and toss.
  • Slice the beef thinly against the grain (Note 2) and place in a bowl with the remaining Salad ingredients. Dress with most remaining Dressing and toss gently.
  • Pile dressed lettuce onto plate(s), pile over beef and other salad ingredients.
  • Sprinkle with peanuts and garnish with extra cilantro/coriander and mint leaves if using, drizzle with remaining Dressing. Serve immediately!