Thai Beef Salad

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May 13, 2010 by Flora Dawn

It’s five o’clock and someone asks me, “What’s for dinner?” I have no idea. Sound familiar?

Chaotic, rushed, and often unplanned….oh, the weeknight dinner.

Even though I do enjoy cooking, I am a horrible planner when it comes to dinner. I have tried to create menu plans, but seriously, I can never follow them.

Just like everyone else, I need relatively quick and easy dinners.

I have always tried to keep certain cuts of meat in the freezer for impromptu meals. My new favorite is flank steak. It is quick to defrost and cooks in literally minutes.

My family enjoys the combination of a tossed green salad, some quickly marinated flank steak, and homemade ginger-lime dressing. You  have a simple and healthy weeknight dinner with very little effort or time.

Your family might even think you planned it 🙂

This is my adaptation of the Thai Beef Salad from the latest Everyday Food issue. I thought the herbs in the original recipe were a bit overpowering, well, my kids thought the herbs in the original version were WAY too overpowering, so I simply omit them now.

If you haven’t picked up a copy of Everyday Food you might want to take a look. These little magazines are crammed full of practical recipes for things your family will actually want to eat. And most of the recipes call for items found in a well-stocked pantry or fridge.

Just as the title suggests, the theme is really Everyday Food, nothing overly fancy or gourmet here. So if your family is getting tired of eating the same meals over and over you might want to grab the current issue at the checkout stand. Overall, I find that I can adapt most of it to be gluten free with little effort.

Thai Beef Salad

Thai Beef Salad

Although I find this dressing super easy to prepare, you could just use a bottled Asian-style one if you prefer.

Steak:

  • 2 Tb soy sauce (San-J makes a gluten free one)
  • 2 Tsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 12 oz flank steak
  • 1-2 tsp vegetable oil
  1. Combine soy sauce, fish sauce, and sugar in a glass 9×13 baking dish. Add steak, turning to coat. Marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes or refrigerate several hours.
  2. While the steak is marinating I prepare the salad and dressing.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet, I use cast-iron, over medium high heat. Add steak, reserving marinade, and cook until dark brown on both sides, about 3-5 minutes per side for medium-rare; make sure to wait until the meat has had time to brown well before trying to flip it or it will tear.
  4. Add reserved marinade to skillet and turn steak once to coat. The marinade will get very thick and much of it will evaporate.
  5. Transfer steak to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes before slicing against the grain.
  6. Add steak and dressing to prepared salad and serve immediately.

Salad:

  • 1 head lettuce, washed and torn into pieces
  • 1 cucumber, seeded, peeled and deiced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 carrots, peeled and shaved with a vegetable peeler
  1. In a large bowl, combine salad ingredients.

Ginger-Lime Dressing:

  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 Tb peeled, minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 a jalapeno, minced, optional
  • 2 Tb fresh lime juice
  1. In a small bowl stir together all dressing ingredients.
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