Grill or reseason steaks for light Thai-style salad

Holiday weekends, regardless of the season, are guaranteed nonstop occasions for eating while visiting my parents.

The abundance is ingrained in my mom’s sense of hospitality. She can’t help but cater to every guest’s preference, no matter the extra time or expense involved. Joking that she even made a portion of potato salad without onions for my cousin, she’s only gotten more accommodating over the years. (She never used to omit onions for me.)

So when my cousin’s husband, who doesn’t eat seafood, is on the guest list — and fish is on the menu — my mom lays in a supply of meat. For Fourth of July, 5 pounds of rib-eye and boneless New York steaks accompanied our roasted steaks of fresh-caught Oregon halibut.

It only follows that such a spread would yield leftovers for at least one more meal. Steak tacos are obvious, beef stroganoff among this family’s longtime comfort-food classics. But for summer, I want red meat to be as light as possible.

This salad, garnished with a plethora of fresh herbs and enhanced with traditional Thai flavors, would be my pick. With a supply of already cooked steak, whipping up the sauce would be a cinch. And the funk of fish sauce would completely recast the steak from our original preparation.

Tribune News Service photo

Thai Grilled Beef Salad

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 piece fresh ginger (about 2 inches), peeled, minced

1 piece lemongrass (the pale stalk only), peeled and minced

1 tablespoons cilantro roots, washed and minced (optional)

5 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning steak

1/2 cup fish sauce

1/2 cup fresh lime juices

1 small skirt or flat iron steak, about 1 pound

Coarse sea or kosher salt, to taste

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 head Boston or Bibb lettuce, broken into leaves, rinsed and patted dry

1 hothouse cucumber, thinly sliced crosswise

1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut into half

1 small sweet onion, peeled and thinly sliced

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, torn

1/2 cup fresh Thai or Italian basil leaves

Leaves from 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro

1 to 2 jalapeño peppers or red serrano chilies, stemmed and thinly sliced (remove seeds, if desired)

1/2 cup coarsely chopped dry-roasted peanuts

In a large bowl, stir together the garlic, ginger, lemongrass and, if using, the cilantro roots. Sprinkle the sugar and pepper on top and mash well with back of a spoon. Add the fish sauce and lime juice and whisk to mix. Set aside.

Generously season the steak with the salt and pepper on both sides. Drizzle the oil onto meat and rub to coat evenly.

Set up a grill for direct grilling and preheat to high. Brush grate clean and oil grate.

Grill steak to desired degree of doneness, for about 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium-rare, turning once. Transfer steak to a cutting board and let rest for 2 to 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, arrange the lettuce leaves on a platter. Top with the cucumber, tomatoes and onion.

In a small bowl, toss the mint, basil, cilantro leaves and jalapeño. Set aside.

Thinly slice steak on diagonal and add hot slices to bowl with garlic-ginger sauce. Toss to mix. Using tongs, arrange steak slices with two-thirds of sauce over salad. Sprinkle mixed fresh herbs and jalapenos over steak. Sprinkle on some of the peanuts. Serve with a bowl of remaining sauce mixed with remaining peanuts.

Makes 4 servings.

Recipe from “Barbecue Sauces Rubs and Marinades — Bastes, Butters, and Glazes, Too!” by Steven Raichlen (Workman, $17.95).

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

  • Blog Author

    Sarah Lemon

    Sarah Lemon covers the Rogue Valley’s food scene with an enthusiasm that rivals her love of cooking. Her blog mixes culinary musings and milestones with tips and recipes you won’t find in the Mail Tribune’s weekly A la Carte section. When ... Read Full
  • Categories

  • Archives