Thai Beef Salad
  • 2 lb. beef (filet, top sirloin, tri-tip, or flank)
  • 2-3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 4 cups lettuce, torn into bite size pieces
  • 2-3 medium tomatoes cut into large chunks
  • 2-3 small cucumbers, sliced (pickling or Persian variety)
  • ½ medium red onion, sliced thinly
  • 3-4 green onions, chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro, torn
  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves
  • 3-4 tablespoons rice powder (Khao Koor)
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes (or to taste)
  • ¼ cup white jasmine rice, uncooked (for rice powder)
  • Dressing
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  1. Start out preparing the rice powder (Khao Koor). Take about a half cup of uncooked white rice and brown it in a pan on the top of the stove stirring constantly to achieve a uniform golden brown. Remove from heat and let it cool. Pour into a blender and pulverize it. It should be like grains of sand. Put it in an airtight container. You will not be using it all; there will be some left over that will make it easier to whip this dish up again next time.
  2. Prepare the dressing by combining all the dressing ingredients and set it aside.
  3. To begin preparing the salad, line a serving dish with some chopped lettuce. Next arrange the tomatoes and cucumbers on top of the lettuce. You can use any fresh vegetables that you like, but I usually stick with tomatoes and cucumbers. I don't like this salad cold, so I prepare the dressing and vegetable plate and leave it out (keep it covered).
  4. A few hours before grilling, generously pepper the steak on both sides with fresh ground black pepper, place in a non-reactive dish and add 2-3 tablespoons of fish sauce. If it is going to be a while before you cook it keep it in the refrigerator: take it out before grilling so that it can come to room temperature. Grill the beef on the BBQ until it is rare to medium rare. DO NOT OVERCOOK! You can also sear it on a grill pan if a BBQ isn't available; it just won’t have as much flavor. Place the cooked beef on a board and allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing into ¼ inch slices that are about 2 inches long.
  5. Put the sliced beef in a bowl and add the red onion, green onions, cilantro, mint and red pepper flakes. Don't overdo the red pepper. You can always add more later on or omit it altogether if you don't like it hot. Next add the dressing and toss.
  6. The final step before plating it to add the rice powder to the beef. The rice will eventually soak up the dressing and lose some of its crunch, so add it just before plating and serving. Taste and adjust the seasoning…you may add more rice powder or red chili flakes as needed. You can also add more lime juice or fish sauce if it isn't salty or sour enough.
  7. When you are pleased with the results, place the meat over the lettuce and you are ready to serve.
Recipe by Have You Eaten, SF? at