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Thai Grilled Beef Salad: Recipe #25
Plus, the simple ingredient that makes Thai food symphonic.
It’s hard to write about food on a day like this. Such unfathomable violence is becoming commonplace. It’s oppressive and soul crushing. If we can’t resolve ourselves to pursue the same solutions other countries have, real ones that have worked, then what have we become?
If you’re as sad and angry as I am, please donate to Everytown For Gun Safety.
Grilling season is here.
And this Thai grilled beef salad is one of my summer go-tos. Made with aged beef and fresh veggies and herbs, you can put together a healthy, satisfying meal that wows. Waygu beef from Snake River Farms elevates this dish (their stuff is so great— true story: I buy their their tri-tip regularly and is one of the best you will find for the $!).
If you’re interested in checking out their stuff, use code CHEFAZ for 10% off your order.
The secret ingredient here is toasted rice powder.
You know how when you try to recreate a dish from a restaurant at home and it’s just… missing something? That’s toasted rice powder to Thai food.
It’s exactly what it sounds like: You toast rice (short grain, uncooked sticky or glutinous rice will work) in a 350-degree oven for about 35-40 minutes. Place it in an oven-safe skillet in a single layer. You don’t have to check it compulsively like toasting nuts, maybe just stir once or twice. It should have taken on a honey, nut-brown color. Let it cool for 10 minutes, then add it to a mortar and pestle and work it for about 3 minutes until the rice becomes a fine powder. You could use a mechanical grinder, but I think the old fashioned way is better (and more fun). This will make enough for 7-8 dishes. Just store the rest in a jar in your spice cabinet and you’re good to go.
I’ve posted this recipe (and video of me making it) below.
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Thai Grilled Beef Salad Recipe
1 pound aged beef. Flat iron, skirt steak or a NY strip work great
1 small red onion, halved and sliced
3 Roma tomatoes or similar, seeded and trimmed, cut in julienne
1/3 cup mint leaves
1/3 cup cilantro leaves
Handful of Thai basil leaves, torn
1 minced serrano chile or 2 Thai bird chiles
1 minced garlic clove
1 teaspoon minced ginger
4 scallions, chopped
2 tablespoons brown sugar or more to taste, some like it sweeter
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 tablespoon toasted rice powder or more to taste.
Large butter lettuce leaves to serve in, use the interior of the heads, chopped in the salad
Sliced cucumbers, mint sprigs and cilantro sprigs for garnish
Grill/char your steak over a natural hardwood charcoal fire to just past rare. It needs to rest for 25 minutes.
While meat is resting on a plate, assemble the rest of the salad.
Combine the chiles, ginger, pepper, sugar, fish sauce, lime juice and garlic. Set aside.
Combine the onion, tomato, mint, basil, cilantro, and rice powder. Set aside.
Lay a lettuce leaf or two on each of 4 plates/bowls.
Slice the meat paper thin and toss with the dressing. Toss the dressed meat with the vegetable-herb mixture.
Immediately divide the salad onto the lettuce leaves, garnish with herb sprigs, cucumber slices and serve.
Watch me cook this recipe:
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