Servings: 4 Prep: 15 mins Cook: 10 min Total: 25 mins
On Sundays, as a kid, our family would take the hour long drive to a city called Fresno, somewhere near the center of California. This was “family day” and was spent shopping, eating out, going to the movies, etc. The little mountain town we lived in didn’t have much to offer, in those days.
One of my favorite places to go was “The Thai House”, a restaurant that opened in the early 80’s. It is, apparently, still there, too! It is the singular restaurant that has defined “Thai Food” for me. Everything bit of Thai food I’ve had, since childhood, has been compared to the amazing cuisine served at The Thai House, in the mid-80’s.
One of my ABSOLUTE favorites was their BBQ Beef. It was little more than a well marinated piece of beef, which was then grilled (hard and scorched), but maintaining its juicy innards (juicy innards? YUM! … sometimes I question my choice of words).
I’ve taken what I remember of that flavor profile and somewhat simplified it, turning it into the inspiration for a spellbinding warm salad! Don’t fear the fish sauce. It’s delicious! This is a super simple, partially cooked/partially raw and deeply flavored dish. Give it a shot!
Thai-Inspired Beef SaladPrint Rate
- 1 1/2 lb beef sirloin cut into bite-sized cubes
- 16 each shiitake mushrooms stemmed and sliced into strips
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger minced or grated
- 4 each garlic cloves minced
- 1 tsp crushed red chili flakes
- 4 cups butterhead lettuce (boston bibb)
- 1 small red bell pepper seeded and sliced very thin
- 1/2 medium red onion very thinly sliced
- 1/4 bunch cilantro washed and large stems removed
- 16 leaves thai basil hand torn (substitution = regular basil)
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 2 tbsp lime juice freshly squeezed
- 1 tbsp 'Swerve' or other sugar replacement
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a mixing bowl, combine your beef, mushrooms, garlic , ginger and chili flakes. Season with a bit of salt and pepper, and set aside.
- In a large salad bowl, place your lettuce, very thinly sliced bell peppers and onions, as well as your fresh cilantro and basil. Set aside.
- In a measuring cup, add your fish sauce, lime juice and sweetener of choice. If using a powdered sweetener, use a fork to whisk the ingredients together, until the sweetener dissolves.
- Heat a large sauté pan, over high heat. Add your coconut oil and swirl it around the pan. When it begins to ripple, sprinkle your meat/mushroom mixture over the surface of the pan. The goal is to spread the meat/mushroom in a single layer over the full bottom of the pan. Allow to sear over the high heat for about 1 to 2 minutes. Toss the mixture and try and cook the opposite side of the meats and mushrooms. Cook until the beef is cooked to the desired doneness (about medium rare, is my preference).
- When the beef is cooked, add your fish sauce dressing to the pan, where it should immediately boil. Pour the entire mixture, meat, dressing, oil and all, over the lettuce. This will cause the whole thing to wilt a bit, but this is something I personally like. Alternately, you could sauté the beef/mushrooms, then put on a plate in a single layer, in the fridge, for about 30 minutes. This will chill it. Then, add the chilled meats and dressing to the salad, for a different, cleaner and fresher salad experience. Both are awesome. No losers, here!
- Mix and serve!
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