Thai Steak Salad
with mango / pickled onions / peanuts
The balance of sweet, sour, savory, and spice in this Thai-inspired salad can be found in both the ingredients of the salad and the dressing.
Smarts: Like many salad dressings used throughout Southeast Asia, this one is much thinner than dressings used in Western cooking. It's typical for the dressing to pool a bit in the bottom of the serving bowl - just toss everything together gently as you eat to get more of the flavor.
- Bell peppers, red - 1 , thinly sliced
- Onions, medium and red - 1/2 , thinly sliced
- Vinegar, rice - 1/2 cup
- Water - 3/4 cup
- Sugar - 2 tsp
- Steak, sirloin - 1 lb , thinly sliced (sub any cut of steak)
- Lettuce, romaine - 2 hearts , chopped
- Cilantro leaves - 1/4 cup , chopped
- Mangos - 1 , cubed
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Red curry paste - 2 tsp
- Peanuts, roasted and unsalted - 1/2 cup
- Ginger - 1 tsp , grated
- Soy sauce - 1 1/2 Tbsp
- Lime juice - 1 1/2 Tbsp
- Brown sugar - 2 tsp
- Fish sauce - 1 tsp (sub soy sauce)
- Oil, toasted sesame - 1 tsp
Pickle onions - Combine vinegar, water, sugar, and sliced onions. (The onions should be mostly covered with liquid, so add some more water if needed. You’ll drain it off before using onions in the salad.) (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Make dressing - Grate ginger. Combine with soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, fish sauce, and toasted sesame oil. Taste and adjust flavor to your liking. Add more lime juice if you’d like it tarter or sugar if you’d like it sweeter. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Steak - Thinly slice steak against the grain. Tenderize and season with some salt and pepper. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
Drain vinegar off onions. The pickled onions will be sour, so if you’d like them to have a milder flavor, rinse them with cool water.
Heat a wok over medium-high heat. Add cooking oil and then curry paste to heated oil. Cook curry paste for 30 seconds (it will start to release flavor). Add steak and saute just until steak is tender and cooked to your liking, 3 to 5 minutes.
Season steak with some salt and pepper.
Toss lettuce with bell peppers, onions, cilantro, and mangos. Add half the dressing and toss to combine.
Top salads with steak and peanuts. Add more dressing if you’d like. Enjoy!