This weekend's recipe came from Maria of My Place in the Sun. Maria gave us a recipe for Thai Beef Salad (Yam Neua) that also included a shrimp variation, so that's what I made.
What a great salad! I followed the recipe exactly except that I used three herbs: cilantro, Thai basil, and fresh mint, all three of which are growing profusely in my yard. I also let the red onion soak in some lime juice while I was assembling the rest. I followed Maria's suggestion and used serrano peppers since I can't find Thai bird's-eye chilies anywhere around here. I might have to look into growing those in my garden next year.
The thing that's so amazing about these Thai recipes we've made this summer (besides how great they taste) is how healthy they are. This salad has virtually no fat except for what's in the shrimp. Thanks Maria!
The recipe is below. Links to other Sunday Salad Sampler participants can be found here. Next up is Palma's Tropical Rice Salad.
Happy Sunday and have a great week!
This salad is one of the favorites in restaurants and home kitchens alike in Bangkok and Central Thailand. This version was given to me by my niece Isabel who for many years assisted her Thai mom in Atlanta-area restaurants.
Thai Beef Salad (Yam Neua)
1 lb tender beef steak, such as top sirloin.
For the salad:
1/2 red onion thinly sliced
1 tomato, cut into wedges
1 cucumber, peeled, cut lengthwise in half and thinly sliced
1-2 Thai bird’s-eye chilies or according to taste (I use 1-2 serrano chilies)
For the sauce:
1/4 cup Thai fish sauce
1/4 cup lime juice
2 - 3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
1/4 cup chopped scallions
Grill beef until medium to well-done. Slice thinly on the bias and set aside. Combine all the salad ingredients and add the sliced beef. Make the sauce by mixing together all the ingredients and toss with the salad.
Serve over a bed of green lettuce (e.g. Romaine) whole or chopped, or place individual servings over a large lettuce leaf.
Variations - Mint and sliced shallots can be added to the salad. Grilled shrimp or calamari may be substituted for the beef. Instead of lettuce, the salad may be served with a wedge of fresh cabbage. Palm sugar (or any other sugar) may be added for a slight touch of sweetness.
This salad uses many of the same ingredients in Jerry's Thai Chicken Salad, so the same seasoning guidelines posted for his recipe can be followed for this salad:
Adjust the seasonings – there should be a balance of hot, sour, and salt. To adjust seasonings in Thai food follow these rough guidelines . . . if it is too sweet add more fish sauce . . . too salty add more sugar . . . not tangy enough - add more lime juice . . . not hot enough - add more chili