There are three reasons I chose to make this recipe for Grilled Thai Steak Salad. The first reason is that it involved steak; enough said. The second reason I chose to make this recipe was the fact that it was way outside of my taste comfort zone; I didn’t know anything about fish sauce or had never eaten a slaw mix made with broccoli. The third reason I chose this recipe is that it comes together fast and it is so easy to make. Three very good reasons why I needed to try this dish.
You probably know by now that I am bluntly honest with you in my posts, so I’m not going to lie to you, the smell of fish sauce isn’t pretty. The smell is very pungent… ok, it stinks! BUT DO NOT LET THAT SCARE YOU OFF FROM TRYING THIS RECIPE!
When I opened the bottle of fish sauce I gave it a whiff for the first time, a part of me wanted to abort this recipe. I mean how the heck do you eat something that smells so strange? But I stuck with the plan and I am so glad I did!
Fish sauce can be purchased at most grocery stores. Look for it in the Asian section where you would find soy sauce. The fish sauce is the key ingredient to this grilled Thai steak salad and it is very hard to replicate, so swapping it out for soy sauce you won’t get the pleasure of what fish sauce has to offer. In all honesty, fish sauce DOES NOT taste as fishy as it smells. In Asia, fish sauce is a staple and is used more for seasoning than salt. It has a rich, salty meat flavor and is used in many Asian dishes. Surprisingly, fish sauce is lighter and more subtle than soy sauce. The depth of flavor is wonderful, but it is important to remember moderation is the key when adding it to dishes.
The Thai vinaigrette in this grilled Thai steak salad combines a nice contrast between salty and sweet with hints our sour. The crisp slaw paired nicely with the deliciously tender grilled flank steak. This is a quick and easy meal that is infused with such amazing Asian flavor and if you like spice, it can be taken over the top with fresh cilantro, and as many drops of sriracha as you dare to add!
I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone and give this grilled Thai steak salad a try.
Trust me, you will be so glad you did!
Grilled Thai Steak Salad
- 1 flank steak about 1 ¼ pounds
- kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 2 cups red cabbage shredded
- 12 ounce package broccoli slaw mix
- 1 cup cilantro leaves
- Sriracha for serving optional
- Extra lime wedges and cilantro for serving optional
Prepare the Salad:
- Add the shredded cabbage, broccoli slaw mix, and cilantro to a large bowl; set aside. In a small jar with a lid (or small bowl with a whisk), add the fish sauce, lime juice, garlic, and brown sugar. Place the lid on and shake (or whisk), until well combined. Pour the vinaigrette over the slaw mixture and toss until well combined.
Grill the Steak:
- Season the flank steak with salt and pepper, to taste. Prepare the grill with a hot fire for direct grilling. When the grill is ready, place the steak over the hottest area of the grill. Allow a few flames to lick the meat undisturbed and then cover the grill with the lid. Grill the steak until the underside is browned (the moisture from the marinade prevents a dark brown surface crust from forming), about 5 minutes. Use tongs to turn the steak over, then grill until the other side is browned, about 5 more minutes for medium-rare. Insert an instant-read thermometer horizontally into the center of the steak. At medium-rare, the thermometer should register 130 to 135 degrees F or the color should be deep pink. If the steak is not ready, cover the grill, let it cook for 1 to 2 minutes more and test again. If you like your steak medium you're looking for a temp of 145 medium well to 155 degrees F for well done.
- When the steak is done, transfer it to a carving board, tent with foil and let it rest for 3 to 5 minutes. If cut too soon, the steak will not have its optimal juiciness and the color inside will be uneven. This little rest before serving allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat. The temperature of the steak will also rise about 5 degrees while resting.
- Position the steak on the carving board so that the long end is facing you and the direction of the muscle fibers runs horizontally. The fibers of the meat are referred to as the meat's grain because they resemble a plank of wood. Using a thin-bladed carving knife, place the knife perpendicular to the steak at a 45-degree angle and cut the steak across the grain into thin slices about 1⁄8 inch thick. Cutting the meat this way shortens the long, tough muscle fibers and makes the meat easier to chew.
- Give the Thai salad one last toss, before placing it on a platter or plate with the steak slices over it. Serve with extra lime wedges, cilantro, and sriracha.
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