Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Thai Beef Salad

Following a visit to the scrumptious Kin Khao Thai Resturant in Athlone over the weekend, I’ve challenged myself to recreate my favourite parts of the meal. I’d heard great things about the restaurant, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Being the big greedy guts that we are, we ordered a tasting plate of loads of things I wouldn’t really have ordered in a Thai before for starters. Fresh (uncooked) spring rolls certainly stood out for me. I remember ordering spring rolls in Vietnam years ago and I was utterly disgusted with these ‘raw’ spring rolls arrived (we were obsessed with fried Vietnamese spring rolls at the time, still are if we could get them). Not really having the palate for them, I sent them back and asked them to be cooked. I’d say they must have thought I was a right ejit!!
Anyways once I can figure out how to make the wrapper/or source them I’ll be back with an attempted recipe of them. Oh watch out for my homemade coconut ice-cream later too.
For main I ordered the Thai Beef Salad. I know its common enough, but its not really something everyone would order necessarily when going for a Thai. The waiter, who was Thai, told me that it was a spicy dish. Now, coming from a Thai man, I should have heeded his warning, but instead I simply said with a wave of the hand, ‘yeah, that’s perfect’. To say that steam came out my ears wouldn’t even cover it!!!! It was loaded with chilli and hot chilli dressing to boot, which were a wee bit too powerful for me. But pride getting the better of me, I cleaned my plate and polished off 2 jugs of water. It was so tasty, the beef was perfectly cooked and all the vegetables did act as cooling agents for the intense heat that the dish had.

So now, I’ve attempted to recreate the dish, with definitely a little less intense heat. It’s a real flavourful dish, building lots of flavours and textures into the dish. I’ve kept the salad really light and everything shredded finely so the steak is the star of the show. The dressing is a really light zingy dressing also with the perfect balance of sweet, salty and sour. It took so little time to make I certainly will be making it again for a dinner party, maybe as a starter to one of my Thai curries i’ve previously blogged about!

Serves 1 for dinner, or 2 for a light lunch


·         sirloin beef, trimmed of fat
·         Soy Sauce
·         Juice of 1 lime
·         Salt and freshly ground black pepper

·         1 ½ tbsp fish sauce
·         1 tbsp olive oil
·         1 tsp brown sugar
·         1 cloves garlic, grated
·         Juice of two limes
·         1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

·         1 carrot, peeled and sliced into ribbons using the peeler
·         1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced into strips
·         4  cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
·         red chilli, deseeded and sliced lengthways
·         4 bunch spring onions, sliced thinly on the diagonal
·         ¼ of white cabbage, shredded finely
·         lime wedges
·         tbsp fresh coriander
·         1 bag mixed leaves


1.       Marinate the beef in the soy sauce and lime juice for 30 minutes at least. (This tenderises the beef)
2.       Season well before cooking  on a really hot griddle pan for a few minutes on each side for medium rare.
3.       Remove from the heat and wrap in tin foil, allowing the beef to rest.
4.       Meanwhile, mix all the salad ingredients in a bowl.
5.       Whisk all the dressing ingredients together, if you have left over chilli or spring onions from you salad chopping, it’s nice to add them for a bit of colour to the dressing.
6.       To plate up, place the salad in the centre of a plate, slice the steak on the diagonal, as thinly as you can.
7.       Arrange the thin slices of beef in a circle around the salad
8.       Pour over half the dressing and place the remaining in a dipping bowl on the side.

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