Just this morning, I noticed a pattern. I write about a travel adventure filled with food and drink excitement and hedonistic consuming and then the posts with dinner salad recipes come forth. Yes, I am of that age where just a few cupcakes and bites of rice pudding along with a sip of kumquat mojito and cucumber martini can put on 2-3 pounds in a few short days.

Growing up, I hated salads. I still do not like raw tomatoes or iceberg lettuce and I seem to remember that was what a salad was back in the day. Spring mixes and frisse weren’t exactly in the forefront of produce sections in the 1980′s in the Midwest. As a food-loving adult who wants to enjoy everything but not gain too much weight, I have forced myself onto salads. And the truth is… I am starting to like them.

Asian salads are my favorite filled with the fresh flavors of napa cabbage, watercress, cilantro and often colored with carrots and red cabbage. This Thai Steak Salad is so freshing, packed with fresh herbs and still with enough protein to fill you up. The salad ingredients are quite flexible. I use the recipe as a guide and mix and match whatever I have on hand.

(That lime photo makes me smile every time I look at it. I keep imagining a conversation between them about how they all ran out of hair gel and just can’t manage their unruly strands.)

Thai Beef Salad
from Cooking Light

1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1 1/2 T brown sugar
1 T grated peeled fresh ginger
1 T Thai fish sauce
1-2 teaspoons chile paste wtih garlic

1 1/2 lb. flank steak, trimmed
1 T cracked black pepper

3 cups trimmed watercress
1 cup thinkly sliced red cabbage
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil (I used thai basil)
1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro
1/2 cup julienne-cut carrot
2 T finely chopped, unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts

Combine all dressing ingredients and whisk in a bowl. To prepare steak, heat a large skillet or grill pan and cost with cooking spray over medium high heat. Rub with pepper and add to pan, cooking 6 minutes on each side or until done. Remove and place on cutting board. Cover wtih foil and let stand 5 mnutes before slicing. Place slices in a bowl, cover with half the dressing and toss well.

To prepare salad, combine watercress and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle with remaining dressing and toss well. Divide salad evenly on 4-6 plates and arrange steak over top. Sprinkle each with 1 teaspoon of chopped peanuts.

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5 Responses to “Thai Beef Salad & Limes with Bad Hair Days”

  1. Mary Says:

    Lovely salad, even if it is good for the waist line. Those limes are adorable.

  2. Aoife Says:

    I’m so impressed that you grilled a steak and then had the patience to put it in a salad. It looks delicious!

  3. Monica Says:

    Which is why you need to come here! If you think the “nom tuk” is good, make some “som tum” and you’ll be here in a flash! You can replace the papaya with cucumbers or even apple. Here the 3 juices are tamarind, lime juice, and fish sauce. Regardless of what the recipe you find and choose to use says, I say go for all three. Dried shrimp might be hard to find, but don’t pass up the garlic (just the cloves whole in and beat it up), peanuts (better if roasted), green beans, and tomatoes (if you can take it). As for the chilies I always order mine without. I used to say not spicey, but to Thais that means just 1 or 2 chilies. Josh always gets his with minimum of 4. I think he has a hole in his intestines! Try it out. I have it nearly every day and haven’t tired of it yet!

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