The perfect light meal that packs loads of fresh, zingy, spicy flavours

I forgot how much I love Thai beef salad until I made it again.

  • SERVES: 4
  • PREP TIME: 5 mins
  • COOK TIME: 5 mins
  • DIFFICULTY: easy
  • IDEAL FOR: midweek meal, healthy meal

Thai beef salad

I love this dish for many reasons.

  1. It takes me back to my backpacking days when we were broke but still enjoyed incredible Thai dishes.
  2. Thai beef salad is a taste sensation; zingy, fresh, and firey.
  3. It’s healthy! A low-calorie salad with a Thai chilli dressing and tender rump steak, what could be better?!

Authentic Thai beef salad 

When I made this dish, I didn’t have all the exact ingredients for the salad.

And I don’t think this is a deal-breaker but I would always add cucumber.

You need it to balance the heat.

But Thai beef salad is basically beautifully cooked rare beef (go for quality produce), tossed with a fresh zingy dressing of lime juice, garlic, and fish sauce.

Then placed it on a crisp and crunchy salad with some coriander leaves.

So, what makes it authentic?

I think it’s got to be the dressing.

This is key to the fresh, vibrant, flavour explosion you get.

The punchy fresh lime juice, salty fish sauce, a bit of sweetness from brown sugar and the hit of fresh red chill…

But be careful with the red chilli… if you don’t like heat, maybe taste along the way.

A basic dressing consists of:

  • Garlic
  • fish sauce
  • brown sugar, or palm sugar
  • red chilli
  • lime juice

Balancing Thai flavours

There is a definite skill to Asian cooking.

I made an udon noodle dish once and was far too cavalier when adding fish sauce etc.

 It came out very salty, and fishy and was not pleasant at all.

So, I would definitely follow recipes closely until you understand the way food is balanced.

And taste, taste, taste as you go.

So, for the Thai beef salad dressing you can adjust it along the way.

The classic Thai combination is sweet, sour and salty.

So, adjust the sugar, or lime juice to suit.

If it’s too sour, add a little more sugar.

Too sweet add a little more lime juice.

Looking for another great beef salad dish, visit here.

Recipe inspired by: BBC GoodFood

Thai beef salad..Zingy and fresh.

Thai beef salad

Course Main Course, Salad
Keyword Asian, beef, salad, Thai, Thai beef salad
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2 people
Cost £


  • 250 g rump steak, high welfare beef
  • 1 cucumber halved lengthways, then chopped into nice chunks
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 100 g beansprouts
  • 150 – 200 g selection of salad leaves/red cabbage
  • coriander leaves


  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 1/2 – 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped (deseeded if you don't like too much heat)


  • Make sure your rump steak is brought to room temperature before you start.
  • Mix all the dressing ingredients, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
    In a large bowl, toss the cucumber and bean sprouts with half the dressing.
  • Rub the steak with the oil and season on both sides. Heat a frying pan until it is searing hot. It depends on the thickness of your steak but fry each side for approx. 3 – 4 mins each for medium rare.
    Transfer to a plate to rest. *It will still cook while resting.
  • On a large serving dish, add the salad leaves, and mix of the cucumber beansprouts. Sprinkle coriander leaves, then drizzle the remaining dressing.