Thai Beef Salad



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Thai Beef Salad
Prep time
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I cook American style barbecue almost every weekend in class or in competition so I like to turn to other countries for new flavors and ideas when I host backyard pool parties. A popular dish that I like to make for summer parties is Thai Beef salad with juicy slices of ribeye steak. You can make a big batch and watch it quickly disappear. Keep some extra beef, greens, and dressing and you can keep refilling the salad platter. I leave the meat on top so that way the carnivore guests can help themselves and the salad eaters can have the meat and greens. Mix the dressing just before serving so it’s fresh and crisp. Reserve some of the yummy dipping sauce on the side for your guests.

This dish was inspired by my prior career where I used to fly to Bangkok about twice a month. My Thai friends would take me to quaint little hole-in-the-wall eating places where the food was delicious and simple. Thai people traditionally don’t eat salads as a main course and their salads are typically created to accompany a meal where steamed rice or sticky rice is the main course.

I created this dish from elements of two of my favorite Thai beef salads called Laab Neua and Yam Neua. Be sure to include the mint and crushed peanut as these two key ingredients really give the salad an exotic “The King and I” vibe and may cause you to hum Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Getting to know You.” The fish sauce marinade punches up the flavor of the rib eye steak and also serves as a tangy garlicky salad dressing. Be careful if you use Thai chilies as they are hot. Note that I added oil to the marinade but I don’t add oil in the salad dressing and dipping sauce.

It’s delicious and I hope you will try this easy dish in your summer repertoire. Make lots as your guests will likely go back for seconds. Put on the “King and I” soundtrack, pair with some Thai beer, and sit back and relax. Enjoy.
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4
  • Marinade/Dressing (Makes 1 ½ cups) :
  • 1 garlic clove; minced
  • ¾ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ cup fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Thai chilies (or substitute with Thai Red Curry paste–Maeploy brand–or diced jalapenos)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • Beef:
  • 1 ½ – 2 pounds beef ribeye steak (about ¾ inch thick) – I recommend Choice grade and above
  • Dressing:
  • ¾ cup of the Marinade/Dressing (above)
  • Marinade:
  • ¾ cup of the Marinade/Dressing (above)
  • ¼ cup vegetable/canola oil
  • Salad Greens:
  • Butter Lettuce (or substitute with iceberg, romaine or green leaf lettuce)
  • Garnish:
  • Cilantro
  • Mint
  • Peanuts (shells & skins removed, raw, unsalted); pan roasted & crushed
  1. Prepare the marinade/dressing. Refrigerate until needed.
  2. Reserve ½ (i.e. ¾ cup) of the Marinade/Dressing to dress the salad.
  3. Make the marinade with the other half of the marinade/dressing & the vegetable/canola oil.
  4. Place the ribeye in a gallon ziplock bag and add the marinade.
  5. Marinate for 2-4 hours, flipping once every hour.
  6. Grill & Rest
  7. Slice & Marinate for 30 mins in reserved dressing.
  8. Lay bed of salad greens
  9. Lay strips of rib eye over the bed of lettuce.
  10. Garnish with cilantro, mint leaves, and crushed pan roasted peanuts. Optionally garnish with a finely chopped red Thai chili to give some complementary color.