Thai Beef Salad


Here’s a healthy and easy salad that you can get done after work (without a pile of dishes, to boot). The steak is extra flavorful thanks to a quick brown-sugar rub, which not only adds a touch of sweetness, it encourages a gorgeous caramelized crust. While the steak rests, you’ll toss together crunchy fresh ingredients like romaine, tomatoes, and cucumber, plus a shower of fragrant mint. This salad encourages customization—add chopped avocado for a creamy element, or grated carrots for extra crunch. If you’re not a meat eater, try tofu or shrimp in place of the steak.

Thai Beef Salad Recipe
Photo: Caitlin Bensel
Hands On Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
4 serves


  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 teaspoons light brown sugar, divided

  • 1 pound skirt steak, cut crosswise into 3 pieces

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 2 limes)

  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce

  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

  • 2 romaine lettuce hearts, chopped (about 4 cups)

  • 1 cup halved multicolored cherry tomatoes

  • ½ cup packed fresh cilantro or basil leaves, divided

  • ¼ cup packed fresh mint leaves


  1. Stir together salt, black pepper, and 2 teaspoons sugar in a small bowl; rub mixture on steak. Let stand for 10 minutes. Whisk lime juice, fish sauce, crushed red pepper, shallot, and remaining 2 teaspoons sugar in a large bowl.

  2. Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Cook steak, in batches if necessary, flipping once, until charred and medium-rare, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board; let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

  3. Add romaine, tomatoes, and ¼ cup cilantro to bowl with lime dressing and toss to coat. Serve steak over salad, topped with mint and remaining cilantro.

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