Considered one of the five great cuisines of the world, Thai food is perky, fresh, and delightfully satisfying hot weather food. The tropical climate has influenced the use of bright, light, and fresh ingredients that are perfectly balanced and not too filling. Intoxicating aromatics and a balance of sweet, spicy, and salty set this vividly colorful summer, served at room temperature, carnivore's dream salad apart. When summer days are long and hot, this is an easy recipe in which the protein may be grilled outdoors (but is equally good made indoors stove top in a heavy Staub skillet). The fresh herbs and cool noodles combine into a refreshing lunch or dinner family-style plate tasty any time of year, but especially when it is warm outside. Suited particularly well for leftovers (if there are any), and picnic food, this recipe is an easy way to begin exploring the delight of eating Thai food.

cuisine Thai
difficulty Moderate
season Summer
serves 4 to 6

Ingredients for the Salad

  • 2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons cracked black peppercorns
  • 2 pounds ribeye or sirloin strip steak
  • Olive oil, for cooking
  • 8 ounces 'sen yai' rice flat noodles
  • 3 green scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 1/2 cup fresh Thai basil leaves, tough stems removed
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, tough stems removed
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, tough stems removed
  • 2 tablespoons roasted peanuts, chopped

Ingredients for the Dressing

  • 4 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
  • 4 tablespoons cilantro stems, minced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 to 10 bird's eye chilis, or 2 large fresno chilis, thinly sliced (remove seeds for less heat)
  • 2 tablespoons palm sugar (or light brown sugar)
  • 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lemongrass stalk (white part only), minced
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon hot sesame oil
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Prepare the grill for searing the beef.
  2. Mix the salt and pepper together in a shallow plate. Roll the beef in the mixture to evenly coat it, including the beef's sides.
  3. Cook the beef on a prepared grate or directly on the OFYR grill ring for 4 minutes per side for medium rare (flipping every 2 minutes), or until desired doneness. Transfer the meat to a cutting board, cover, and set aside to rest and cool, about 15 minutes. 
  4. In a glass bowl, pour boiling water to cover the rice noodles, and soak for 5 minutes, or until the noodles are tender. Rinse under cold water to prevent the noodles from sticking together, and drain.
  5. In another bowl, vigorously whisk together the ginger, cilantro stems, garlic, chilis, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, lemongrass, sesame oils, and olive oil. 
  6. Thinly slice the beef across the grain into 3" L x 1/4" W pieces.
  7. Evenly coat the cooled noodles with half of the dressing. Transfer the noodles to a serving platter.
  8. Arrange the beef over the noodles, and disperse the mint, cilantro, and basil leaves over the beef and noodles. 
  9. Drizzle the remaining dressing over the entire salad. Finish with a sprinkling of peanuts.