Test Kitchen recipe: Thai Grilled Beef Salad will impress

Steven Raichlen, author of “Barbecue Sauces Rubs and Marinades — Bastes, Butters, and Glazes, Too!,” writes that “Yam nua — grilled beef salad — is one of the high holies of Thai cuisine. And one of the healthiest dishes on Planet Barbecue, thanks to the high proportion of plant foods to meat.”

Thai Grilled Beef Salad

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes


1 small skirt or flat iron steak, about 1 pound

Coarse sea or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons vegetable oil


1 head Boston or Bibb lettuce, broken into leaves, rinsed and patted dry

1 hothouse cucumber, thinly sliced crosswise

1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut into half

1 small sweet onion, thinly sliced

Thai Flavor After-Marinade (see recipe)

Generously season the steak with salt and pepper on both sides. Drizzle oil on the meat and rub into the meat.

Set up a grill for direct grilling and preheat to high. Brush grate clean and oil the grate.

Grill the steak until you reach your desired degree of doneness, about 3 to 4 minutes per side for a medium-rare, turning once. Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let rest for 2-3 minutes.

Meanwhile, arrange the lettuce leaves on a platter. Top with the cucumber, tomatoes and onion.

Thinly slice the steak on the diagonal and add the hot slices to the bowl with the garlic and fresh after-marinade. Toss to mix. Using tongs, arrange the steak slices with two-thirds of the after-marinade over the salad. Sprinkle the finishing layer (the mint, basil, cilantro and jalapeños) over the steak. Sprinkle on some of the peanuts. Serve with a bowl of the remaining after-marinade mixed with the remaining peanuts.

From “Barbecue Sauces Rubs and Marinades — Bastes, Butters, and Glazes, Too!” by Steven Raichlen (Workman, $17.95).

Tested by Susan Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen.

Thai Flavor After-Marinade

Makes: 2 cups

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes

First layer

2 cloves garlic, peeled, minced

1 piece ginger (about 2 inches), peeled, minced

1 piece lemongrass (the pale stalk only), peeled and minced

1 tablespoons cilantro roots, washed and minced, optional

5 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup fish sauce

1/2cup fresh lime juices

Finishing layer

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, torn

1/2 cup fresh Thai or Italian basil leaves

1/2 fresh cilantro leaves

1 to 2 jalapeño peppers or red serrano chiles, stemmed and thinly sliced; remove seeds if desired

1/2 cup coarsely chopped dry-roasted peanuts

Hot grilled meat or seafood (see Thai Grilled Beef Salad)

First layer: In a large bowl stir together, place the garlic, ginger, lemongrass and, if using, the cilantro roots. Sprinkle the sugar and pepper on top and mash well with the back of a spoon. Add the fish sauce and lime juice and whisk to mix. Set aside.

Finishing layer: Place the mint, basil, cilantro leaves and jalapeño in another bowl and toss to mix. Place the peanuts in a separate bowl.

To served, slice the hot grilled meat or seafood. Add to the first bowl with the garlic and fish sauce and toss to mix. Stir in the second bowl with the herbs and toss to mix. Sprinkle with peanuts and serve at once.

From “Barbecue Sauces Rubs and Marinades — Bastes, Butters, and Glazes, Too!” by Steven Raichlen (Workman, $17.95).

Tested by Susan Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen.

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