Thai Beef Salad

Lots of people love a Thai beef salad, but throw in some beets as an alternative option and suddenly vegetarians can get in on the action. This recipe is a fun and colourful way to keep both meat eaters and vegans happy, so everybody wins.


  • 1 red Asian shallot or 1⁄2 small red onion, halved and very thinly sliced                      
  • 1⁄2 quantity Tangy Asian dressing (page 195)                                                              
  • 200 g (7 oz) rump steak
  • olive oil, for drizzling
  • 150 g (51⁄2 oz) snow peas (mangetout),trimmed
  • 250 g (9 oz) cherry or grape tomatoes,halved
  • 1 large Lebanese cucumber, coarsely chopped
  • 4 radishes, very thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, scrubbed or peeled, then very thinly sliced
  • 250 g (9 oz) cooked baby beetroot (see tips), drained and patted dry,thinly sliced
  • 1 large handful of herbs, such as Thai basil, coriander (cilantro) and/or mint leaves
  • 1⁄4 cup (40 g) roasted unsalted peanuts,         


Combine the shallot and dressing in a large bowl; set aside until needed. Drizzle the steak on both sides with oil and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat an unoiled frying pan over high heat. Once the pan is smoking, cook the beef for 1–2 minutes on each side for rare (depending on the thickness of the steak). Remove from the pan and set aside for 5 minutes to rest.    

Meanwhile, bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the snow peas and cook for 2 minutes, or until tender. Drain and refresh under cold running water

Very thinly slice the beef. Arrange all the ingredients on a large platter, drizzling with the shallot dressing and scattering with the herbs and peanuts. Serve immediately.                                                     

ToP TiPs

Bring the steak out of the fridge and allow to come to room temperature before cooking.               

For a more substantial meal, cook 1 cup (200 g) long-grain brown rice to serve with it.                   

You can buy great-quality precooked beetroot nowadays without anything added other than water. Always check the ingredients panel before buying any packaged goods.                                  

Divide and Conquer

To make half the dish vegan, simply serve the beef to one side, and use soy sauce rather than fish sauce in the Tangy Asian dressing — or divide the palm sugar and lime juice between two small bowls, and add only half the soy sauce to one bowl, and only half the fish sauce to the other and serve the dressings on the side.