YUM Neua Yang

It’s already March and before you know it, summer will be right around the corner. Soon, you’ll be ditching your Canada Goose and replacing your leather boots for your open-toed sandals. Trying to find healthy and delicious recipes for that red polka-dot bikini? Get bikini bod ready with our version of a Thai Grilled Beef Salad and check out more nutritious quick, easy, and healthy options in Lucky Rice: Stories and Recipes from Night Markets, Feasts, and Family Tables.

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Thai Grilled Beef Salad “Yam Neua Yang”

serves 6

Grilled beef salad is usually a crowd-pleaser, and this Thai version hits all the high notes: smoky, beefy, spicy, herbal, sweet, salty, citrusy. I like to toss in copious amounts of mint, basil, and cilantro to create a robust salad that almost competes with the meat. Flank steak, grilled to medium-rare and then thinly sliced, works well for meatiness and uniformity. Best of all, everything is served at room temperature, so this dish is perfect for a summer potluck.


3 tablespoons fish sauce for the marinade, plus 6 tablespoons fish sauce for the dressing
5 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 garlic cloves, smashed, plus 4 garlic cloves, chopped

2 pounds flank steak

2 medium cucumbers, halved, seeded, and sliced into half-moons

2 medium tomatoes, halved or quartered

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1⁄2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1⁄2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves and stems, plus more for garnish (optional)

1⁄2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves and stems

Sea salt, to taste

1 lemongrass stalk, trimmed and finely sliced

4 dried Thai bird’s-eye chiles, coarsely torn, or 1 teaspoon Thai roasted chili paste

1 tablespoon Sriracha, or to taste (optional)

In a small bowl, combine the 3 tablespoons of fish sauce with 1 tablespoon of lime juice and smashed garlic. Place the flank steak in a shallow dish, and pour the marinade evenly over it. Cover, and marinate at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, until the meat comes to room temperature.

Prepare a hot grill, or preheat a stovetop grill pan. Remove the meat from the marinade, and grill it for 4 to 5 minutes per side, until it’s well seared on the outside and firm to the touch, but still very pink in the center. Let the meat rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes.

While the meat rests, combine the cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, basil, cilantro, and mint in a medium bowl. Toss with a sprinkling of sea salt to draw out the liquid. Discard the liquid.

In a separate bowl, combine the remaining lime juice and the fish sauce, the chopped garlic, lemongrass, chiles, and Sriracha if using.

To serve, slice the meat diagonally across the grain into 1⁄2-inch- thick slices. Just before serving, gently toss the meat and vegetables with the dressing. Garnish with additional cilantro
if desired, and serve at once.