One of my favourite meals is a fresh and crunchy steak salad with a zesty Asian style dressing. I normally opt for a more Vietnamese style with a Nuoc Cham dressing but when I came across a Nam Jim recipe for a coriander packed Thai style sauce, I thought I would embrace my new found interest in coriander and make a more Thai style dressing this time instead.
As someone who has only just started eating coriander leaves this year, I can understand how so many people out there dislike it. I’ve had an issue with ground coriander seeds or even coriander root though, so if you are a coriander hater, perhaps try something like this with just the root in the dressing and extra mint in the salad instead of the coriander leaves.
Of course for all of the haters out there, I know there are plenty of coriander lovers too (hi mum). In that case, you can go crazy and double the amount of the coriander leaf in the salad :)
You can use any quick cooling steak of your choice. I favour flank steak and as we don’t have a BBQ here in Singapore, I use either use my cast iron griddle or just a regular old frying pan to cook it. This would be excellent to BBQ as well but don’t be concerned if it goes a little dark while cooking, as the sugar in the dressing / marinade will have that affect on it.
I’ve given you a base of salad ingredients but feel free to make changes and use up what you have in the fridge. I personally think radishes are a must, but while the raw beans add a great crunch, don’t feel obliged to go out and buy a big bag just for this small amount. Some cherry tomatoes would also be a great addition.
I always feel a bit ridiculous writing portions like ‘1/3 cup of finely sliced radishes’. While portions are more important in the balance of the dressing, please don’t think that you need to measure out your salad ingredients to the millimetre. I know that when I am following a recipe I certainly don’t :)
The dressing ingredients just need a quick process until they are mostly broken down and a thick, dressing-like consistency.
The dressing does double duty by also acting as a quick marinade for the steak. As the dressing has citrus in it, don’t marinade the steak for any longer than 10 minutes though or the acid in it could start to cook the steak.
Fresh and crunchy! I like the addition of the small amount of mixed lettuce leaves just to bulk it out a little. Just use one of those pre-mixed mesclun bags that you can buy at any supermarket.
I like my steak medium and well rested. Feel free to cook your steak however you like it though :)
Chuck a bit more coriander (or mint) on top. You know you want to!
Steak Salad with Thai Style Dressing
Ingredients – Serves 2 as a light meal
- 1 cleaned coriander root, roughly chopped
- 1 green chilli, roughly chopped
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 spring onion, white and some of the green part, roughly chopped
- 1 tbs lime juice
- 2 tbs vegetable oil
- ½ tbs fish sauce
- ½ tbs brown sugar
- ¼ tsp ground white pepper
- 200g piece of quick cooking steak like flank
- 1/3 cup of thinly sliced radish
- 1/3 cup of thinly sliced carrot
- 1/3 cup of thinly sliced cucumber
- ¼ cup of loosely packed coriander leaves
- ¼ cup of loosely packed mint leaves
- 1/3 cup of beansprouts
- ½ cup of green beans that have topped and tailed and then halved
- 1/3 cup of mixed lettuce leaves like a mesclun mix
- To make the dressing place the coriander root, chilli, garlic, spring onion, lime juice, oil, fish sauce, sugar and white pepper into a mini processer and process until mostly broken down and a thick, dressing-like consistency.
- Rub 2 tbs of the dressing over both sides of the steak and marinate in the dressing for 10 minutes out of the fridge.
- Once the steak has quickly marinated, heat a griddle, fry pan or BBQ and cook the steak to your liking.
- To assemble the salad, toss together the rest of the ingredients and dress with some of the remaining dressing but retain some to drizzle over at the end.
- Once the steak has cooked and has been rested, slice it thinly and toss through the salad and dressing.
- Serve immediately with the final bit of the dressing drizzled over the top.
- Best eaten as soon as made.