Thai Beef Salad, aka Yum Neua

Summer BBQ series, Post 3 of 4

If BBQs make you feel guilty because of all the overindulgence, you can try to trick yourself into feeling better with this Thai-style beef salad. Heavy on the beef, light on the lettuce, sure… but hey, there *is* lettuce. It’s green, it’s red, it’s light and refreshing. You might be halfway through the platter before you’ve realized that you’ve ingested a 1 lb. steak somewhere in the process. But will you feel bad about it? Nope, because it’s a “salad.”

Jesting aside, this recipe is very flexible in how healthy or unhealthy you want to make it since you can substitute in almost any meat or protein. (Yes, including firm tofu!) Using ribeye steaks will give it more flavor, but cuts like London broil are inexpensive and will do well in this recipe too. Grilled chicken breast or shrimp can be swapped in just as easily.

All you need to do is grill up a protein and toss it into the Thai sauce that you’ve prepared and brought from home. Spoon over some salad mix, and you’re ready to eat. Looks elegant, simple to make, tastes delicious. ‘Nuff said.

Thai Beef Salad, “Yum Neua” | Mama BlasphAmy

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs. fish sauce
  • Juice and zest from 2 limes
  • 2 tbs. sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Fresh chilies, minced, to taste (Thai chilies recommended, but Jalapenos are ok too. I usually use only one chili.)
  • 1 small red onion, quartered and sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lb. steak, grilled and sliced very thin
  • 1 large tomato, roughly chopped
  • Salad mix (Iceberg or Romaine recommended)

Directions

Combine fish sauce, lime juice and zest, sugar, garlic, chilies, and red onion together in a bowl. Mix well. Can be made one day ahead. Keep refrigerated.

Once meat is grilled, toss with the sauce and add in the tomatoes and cilantro. Adjust seasoning to taste and preference. Typically it should be salty, sweet, and tangy all at once, as well as a little spicy.

Serve over a bed of salad.

Thai Papaya Salad, a.k.a. Som Tum

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Ah yes, I am in fact back from my unannounced hiatus. Sorry about that! Real Life caught up to me for a couple weeks there and not a lot of cooking and baking were done. Good news is that I have a couple of Thai food posts for you, and then a whole wheat bread recipe coming up.

So Thai green papaya salad. If you’ve never had the pleasure of trying this dish, I urge you to do so. Now. In America, Pad Thai may be the most popular Thai dish, but I feel that papaya salad is *the* quintessential dish that defines Thai food.

Let me explain. Thai food is about balance. Sweet and salty; tangy and tart; spicy and coolness. Papaya salad has all these things. Palm sugar evened out with fish sauce, tamarind juice mellowing out lime juice, and hot Thai chilies competing with the chilled salad. It’s absoultely divine. And while the dish is easy to make, the ingredients may be hard to find. So how it was that I had almost everything I needed on hand is beside me, but I’m glad I did.

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