for a Gaggle / Main / Salad / to impress the Gander

Thai Beef Salad

If you haven’t noticed by now, I am a huge fan of Thai-style food. This is a recipe I tried for the very first time this weekend and it was so easy to make and so yummy! Don’t think I’ve ever had guests lick their plates before (they’re either very comfortable with me or it was just that good).

This recipe is from the fabulous “Good Food for Friends” recipe book by BBC GoodFood Magazine. If you don’t have it yet, I heartily recommend it, as the recipes are all simple to prepare, freeing up the entertainer so they don’t spend the whole night in the kitchen. I added one or two touches myself – my changes are marked below – two of which I think make it absolutely sublime (the mango and the toasted sesame seeds). But you be the judge.

Thai Beef Salad

Serves: 6 as a main course

[one_half][h6]For the dressing[/h6] [checklist]

  • 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 4 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons light muscovado sugar
  • 1 small red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint


[one_half last][h6]For the salad[/h6] [checklist]

  • 650g piece of fillet steak
  • half a cucumber
  • 12 radishes
  • 150g fresh beansprouts
  • a cos lettuce


[h4 underline]My changes (use ’em, don’t use ’em … up to you)[/h4]

  • Added ripe rosa tomatoes, cause they’re yum – diced
  • Added mango, goes great with Thai flavours – thin slices – highly recommended, know it might sound weird, but OMG
  • Added spring onions – first cut into thirds, then cut into thin strips lengthwise
  • Added sesame seeds – lightly toasted
  • Used palm sugar instead of muscovado, cause palm sugar is a common ingredient in Thai recipes
  • Didn’t measure anything (except the first 3 dressing ingredients), based it all on how it looked and personal preference
  • I only used 3 tablespoons, instead of 4, of Thai fish sauce (it’s such a pungent sauce and they differ from brand to brand, so wanted to play it safe)
  • Didn’t use mint in the dressing (not a fan) and added a small amount of grated ginger (cause I just love the smell)



  • Preheat a griddle pan. Season the beef with pepper (I spritzed it with olive oil first – helps the seasonings to stick to the meet and gives the meet good colour – and used salt too). Cook for 5-7 minutes, turning once, until it is cooked on the outside but still pink in the middle. Leave to rest for 15 minutes, then slice thinly.
  • Make the dressing – mix together the lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, chilli and garlic (and ginger if you like), then stir in the herbs.
  • Using a vegetable peeler, shave the cucumber into long thin strips and then the radishes into thin circles. Mix with the beef slices and beansprouts (and tomatoes and spring onions if you elect to use them). Stir in the dressing.
  • Arrange the smaller lettuce leaves onto 6 plates. Tear the large ones into pieces and add to the salad ingredients, mixing well to coat the lettuce in the dressing. Spoon the salad onto the plates (then add the mango slices if you’ve decided to try this). Garnish with coriander (or toasted sesame seeds and a few reserved radish circles).


  • Christine
    February 3, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    This was amazingly tasty! I don’t usually like fruit in savoury dishes but think the mango totally makes this dish “pop”! I Loved it!

    • Still Learning
      February 3, 2011 at 1:43 pm

      Glad you liked it! Wish I could say it was my genius idea, but the truth is, I remembered reading in a recipe book (one of Nigella’s I think) that mango goes well with Thai flavours or with beef (??? can’t remember which book and can’t find that handy little tip now). Anyway, think it was providence that I’d read that and then saw sun-kissed mango at Woolworths – ready peeled and chopped.

  • Barbie
    February 11, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    This was deeelicious! Didn’t we have this on your birthday? A total winner!! I love combining fruit in a dish, especially a salad.


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