Thai Beef Salad

Michael Bonacini's colourful Thai salad is packed with tantalising flavours and textures
Thai Beef Salad
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Prep Time: 50 minutes plus 4 hrs marinating
  • Effort: medium



  • 500 g flank steak
  • ½ tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 star anise
  • grated zest of ½ oranges
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass, finely diced
  • 6 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 5 tbsp vegetable oil

For the dressing:

  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ fresh red chillies, such as Serrano, deseeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp lemongrass, finely chopped
  • 2.5cm piece fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 lime leaves, finely shredded
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp hot water

For the salad:

  • 1 Boston or Butterhead lettuce lettuce
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 1 green mango, ulienned
  • 1 jicama, julienned
  • 30 g shallots, deep-fried
  • 60 g peanuts, oasted and crushed
  • handful of mint leaves
  • handful of Thai basil
  • handful of coriander leaves

Tips and Suggestions

Green mangoes are under-ripe mangoes with hard sourish flesh. You can buy them in Asian food shops. If necessary use an ordinary mango that is slightly under-ripe and toss in lime juice.

Jicama is a large light brown turnip-shaped tuber with crisp sweetish white flesh, found in Chinese food shops. Kohlrabi is a reasonable substitute, although the flavour is different.

Thai basil has a unique aniseed flavour. You can used ordinary basil instead.


1. Clean the steak, removing any visible sinew.

2. Combine the ginger, garlic, star anise, orange zest and lemon grass with the soy sauce and oil. Rub the mixture into the meat. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

3. Remove the meat from the marinade, scraping off any debris.

4. Heat a heavy-based frying pan over high heat. Sear the meat on both sides - this should take no longer than 2-3 minutes - so that it is dark golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside to relax for a few moments. Cut into paper-thin slices.

5. To make the dressing, heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the shallot, garlic, chilli, lemon grass, ginger and lime leaves for 2 minutes. Add the fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and water and simmer for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Push it through a fine sieve.

6. To assemble the salad, arrange the lettuce leaves on individual serving plates. Toss together the carrot, mango and jicama, shallot, peanuts, mint leaves and Thai basil. Mix in about two-thirds of the dressing. Place on top of the lettuce Boston. Arrange the beef neatly on top. Drizzle with the remaining dressing, sprinkle with coriander leaves and serve.

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