Posted on 184 Comments

Yum Neau – Thai Beef Salad

Yum Neau – Thai Beef Salad

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, 

I love Thai food and if there’s one dish I always order when grabbing pick up or having Thai delivered, it’s Thai Beef Salad.  It’s fresh, healthy and explodes with flavor from what I call the “4 S’s” of Asian food – Spicy, Sweet, Salty, Sour.

Depending on the country of origin, most Asian recipes use these flavor profiles to create balance and depth in taste.  These profiles can be easily adjusted to personal preference, making most recipes customizable and unique based on what you like.  This gives you the freedom to taste and adjust instead of just following recipes based on measurements.

Learning how to use the “4 S’s” has become a huge part of my repertoire when cooking at home and when it comes to making Thai food. I typically use common Thai ingredients to achieve the balance I’m looking for.  For spicy I use Thai chile or serrano peppers. For sweet, I will use honey or palm sugar. The salty component is ALWAYS fish sauce and for sour and acidity, I use lime juice.  

The freshness of this dish always leaves me feeling good and healthy while using steak as the protein leaves me feeling full.  The addition of fresh herbs further accentuates the salad and helps bring it all together.



  • 10-12 oz steak – NY strip, tenderloin, skirt (room temperature)
  • Salt
  • Tbsp vegetable or canola oil


  • 1 head red leaf lettuce – washed, cut into 1” pieces and spun dry
  • 1 shallot – thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomato – halved
  • 1 english cucumber – seeded and cut into half moons
  • 1 bunch cilantro – stems chopped, leaves rough chopped
  • 1 bunch mint – leaves removed, stems discarded
  • 3 green onions – green part only, thinly sliced
  • Lime slices – for garnish


  • 1 clove garlic – minced
  • 1-2 Thai or serrano chile (depending on your heat preference) – stem and seeds removed, minced
  • 1 tsp palm sugar or 1 Tbsp raw honey
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 limes – juiced


Heat a cast iron over high heat.  Add oil. When the oil starts to smoke, season the steak with salt on both sides.  Carefully lay the steak in the pan. You will want to turn on the exhaust over your stove as there will be a lot of smoke.  Cook for 3 minutes and flip the steak. Cook for another 2-3 minutes and remove the steak to rest on your cutting board.

While the steak is resting, make the dressing simply by combining all the ingredients in a jar.  Shake the jar vigorously to blend. If you don’t have a jar, you can also just mix the dressing in a bowl.  Taste the dressing and make adjustments based on your preference. If it’s too spicy, add more palm sugar. If it needs salt, add fish sauce, etc… 

In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, shallot, tomato, cucumber, cilantro stems, half the cilantro leaves and half the mint.  Pour the dressing over the salad mixture and combine well.

Once the steak has cooled (at least 5 minutes), thinly slice the steak against the grain.  The beef should be just a bit warmer than room temperature.  

Place a heaping mound of salad in a salad bowl and spoon more of the dressing from your mixing bowl over the salad.  You want the salad to be swimming in the dressing.  

Arrange the sliced steak on top of the salad and garnish with the green onion, remaining cilantro and mint leaves and the lime wedges.


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