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Spicy Thai Beef Salad

Thai beef salad, a gloriously spicy and hearty featuring perfectly cooked slices of steak and a spicy, sweet, sour, and salty dressing!

Fresh mint and coriander join fresh crisp vegetables in a dressing that combines fish sauce, lime juice, and sugar with garlic, chilli, and lemongrass. A real winner!

Overhead Thai beef salad with rare beef, tomatoes, mint, chilli and cucumber.

Thai Rare Steak Salad

I love this Thai-inspired beef salad, it’s one of my favourite main course salad recipes, rare beef, a bit of chilli and garlic.

All of that is served with vibrant crunchy vegetables, mint, and coriander. Oh and that dressing, hot, sweet, sour, and salty, and all sorts of delicious.

It joins main course salads as diverse as, warm duck salad, sausage salad, gammon salad, cod fish salad and smoked mackerel salad with apple and bacon.

Most of my Thai-inspired recipes are curries like Thai duck curry, Beef massaman curry and of course Thai green chicken curry.

But this recipe is very much lighter and brighter and it makes for a perfect light dinner or larger lunch.

The dressing is spicy and unusual in that it contains no oil, which makes it an even lighter salad, and boy does this taste good!

Thai beef salad with rare beef, tomatoes, mint, chilli, shallot, celery and cucumber.

Frequently Asked Questions.

Can I cook the beef more?

Oh gosh yes! I am not a cook that tells you how you should enjoy your food, you should cook it as you like.

As you can see I’m full-on pink! I cook the beef until it reaches 47°C (116°F) then rest for 7-10 minutes by that time it will reach 52-53°C (126°F). Other temperatures to aim for are as follows:

  • Medium: Remove at 55-56°C or 132°F, rest through to 60-61°C or 140°F
  • Medium Well: Remove at 60-61°C or 140°F, rest through to 65-66°C or 149°F
  • Well Done: Remove at 65-66°C or 149°F, rest through to 70-71°C or 158°F

What is lemongrass paste?

I’ve been using lemongrass paste for years. Fresh lemongrass is hard for me to find and I do not use it often enough to keep it in the freezer.

The paste tastes wonderful and lasts forever in the fridge and tastes wonderful.

You can use fresh lemongrass! You should remove and tough outer leaves and the bruise with the side of the knife before slicing finely.

What chillies should I use?

I use a couple of Thai birds eye chillies. But you should use chillies that you can tolerate the heat from.

Tolerance to capsaicin is incredibly personal and one person’s mild tickle is another person’s raging inferno. Eating is not a competition, choose a chilli you like and ignore EVERYONE else!

Close up Thai beef salad with rare beef, tomatoes, mint, chilli and cucumber.

Serving Suggestions

I have a tendency to throw this in a bowl and eat it on its own as a light meal.

However, you can bulk it out and make it more substantial by adding noodles. Or you could toss through some of these Thai flavoured roasted potatoes.

But don’t get tunnel vision because this salad makes simply the best sub. It almost takes on a Thai-Vietnamese highbred banh mi sandwich.

The same goes for piling it into pita bread or even serving it on top of jacket potatoes.

Spicy Thai beef salad with rare beef, tomatoes, mint, chilli, shallot, celery and cucumber.

Equipment Used

I only name-check brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Stovetop.
  • 28cm or 11″ skillet or frying pan.
  • Kitchen tongs.
  • Bag or bowl to marinate the beef.
  • Large salad bowl.
  • Chopping board.
  • Kitchen knife.
  • Weighing scales and or measuring cups and spoons.
Overhead Thai beef salad with rare beef, tomatoes, mint, chilli, shallot, celery and cucumber.
Yield: 2 Servings

Thai Beef Salad Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Marinade & Resting Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

This Spicy Thai Beef Salad is a gloriously light but filling main course salad packed with the flavours of food from Thailand.


For the Steak & Marinade:

  • 300g (10oz) Steak, I use rump steak
  • 1 Tsp Light Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tsp Dark Soy Sauce
  • ½ Tsp Vegetable Oil
  • ½ Tsp Black Pepper

For the Dressing:

  • 2 Tbsp Lime Juice
  • 1 Tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 1 Tsp Sugar
  • ½ Tsp Lemongrass Paste
  • 2 Red Chilli Peppers, I use Thai birds eye chillies
  • 1 Garlic Clove

For the Salad:

  • 150g (1 Cup) Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 1 Shallot
  • 2 Celery Sticks
  • 2 Spring Onions
  • 10g (½ Cup) Mint
  • 2 Large Sprigs Coriander


  1. Mix together the light and dark soy sauce, vegetable oil and black pepper either in a plastic bag or bowl.
  2. Add the steak and allow it to marinade for at least 20 minutes.
  3. Mash the garlic clove for the dressing.
  4. Chop the chilli pepper as finely as you can.
  5. Mix the garlic clove and diced chilli with the remaining ingredients for the dressing.
  6. Heat a 28cm or 11" skillet or frying pan (not nonstick if posible) over a high heat.
  7. When the skillet is smoking hot cook the steak to your liking, my steak was between 1½cm and 2cm (½-¾") thick and was cooked for no more than 2 minutes (closer to 90 seconds to be this rare) per side.
  8. Rest your steak for 10 minutes under foil.
  9. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half.
  10. Cut the ends off the cucumber and then cut it in half lengthways and finally into thin strips 2-3mm (⅛") thick.
  11. Peel the shallot and then cut it in half lengthways and finally into half-moon shapes as finely as you can.
  12. Slice the celery across the rib into thin slithers approximately 2-3mm (⅛") thick.
  13. Slice the spring onions at a 45° angle approximately 2-3mm (⅛") thick.
  14. Roughly chop the mint and coriander and place them in a bowl.
  15. Add the chopped vegetables to the bowl with the herbs and mix well.
  16. Dress the remaining salad ingredients with some of the dressing.
  17. Finely slice the beef and add it to the salad, mix it all well and dress your plate.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 649Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 128mgSodium: 1157mgCarbohydrates: 76gFiber: 4gSugar: 46gProtein: 44g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

Andrea @ The Petite Cook

Tuesday 6th of June 2017

Your thai salad looks spectacular and the pictures are simply amazing! Love the vibrant ingredients you used (and I'm with you on medium-rare beef), this salad is refreshing and full of flavors, just my kind of food!

Brian Jones

Wednesday 7th of June 2017

Glad you like it Andrea.

Marsha | Marsha's Baking Addiction

Tuesday 6th of June 2017

This is my kind of salad! Looks absolutely delicious!

Brian Jones

Wednesday 7th of June 2017

Thanks Marsha

Lucy @ Supergoldenbakes

Tuesday 6th of June 2017

Brian this plateful looks wonderful. Beef is a great match to that zesty, crunchy salad and the spicy dressing you're serving it with. I'll join you on the medium-rare version.

Brian Jones

Wednesday 7th of June 2017

Thanks Lucy, it certainly was really tasty.

Marie | Yay! For Food

Tuesday 6th of June 2017

What a delicious salad! I love Thai flavours! Everything looks so flavourful and really filling too. Thanks for sharing!

Brian Jones

Wednesday 7th of June 2017

Thanks Marie.

Jessica (Swanky Recipes)

Tuesday 6th of June 2017

This recipe sounds like perfection in a bowl! I just love adding steak to dishes for a quick and simple meal. I've never experimented with lemon grass paste but I'm intrigued and need to get my hands on it to try this recipe, yum!

Brian Jones

Wednesday 7th of June 2017

Thanks Jessica, I use lemon grass paste as fresh lemon grass is tough to get here and for the life of my I just can't grow it... However it seems really common in Asian stores and makes for a great store cupboard fall back.

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