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Naam Tok (Spicy Thai Beef Salad) Recipe


Spicy Thai Beef Salad

It's uncommon to see a spicy salad on a menu; they're usually thought of as light, refreshing first courses rather than steak-laden chile fests. This Thai salad is just that: firey hot, tart, and savory with a punch of umami that will satisfy your appetite as well as any entrée.  

Click here to see Recipe SWAT Team: Thai Dishes.


For the steak:

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce (I use gluten-free tamari)
  • 2 tablespoons chile-sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon miso paste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • One 2-inch piece of ginger root, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 1 pound flank steak

For the dressing:

  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chile-sesame oil
  • ½ cup fresh mint, chiffonade
  • 1 serrano chile, thinly sliced
  • Juice of 2 limes

For the salad:

  • ½ cup peanuts
  • 4 cups mixed salad greens
  • 1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 2 tomatoes, cut into wedges


For the steak:

Combine all ingredients except for the steak in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Pour over flank steak and marinate in a covered container or freezer bag overnight in the refrigerator. 

Preheat broiler on high. Broil steak for 3 minutes on each side for rare (5 on each side for medium), then remove and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

For the dressing:

Meanwhile, combine all of the ingredients and set aside. 

For the salad:

Heat a large, dry sauté pan on medium heat, then toast the peanuts for 3-5 minutes, shaking the pan frequently, until golden brown. Allow to cool, then place in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin or wine bottle and set aside.

To serve, plate the salad in this order: greens, cucumber, onion, tomato, peanuts. Slice the steak very thinly and arrange over the salad and then drizzle with 3-4 spoonfuls of dressing and serve.