Thai-style grilled flank steak salad
I love Thai and Vietnamese flavors. I love mango, a well-prepared flank steak, and I love salad-for-dinner. So putting them altogether made a lot of sense to me. The list of ingredients is a little long, but this fresh and flavorful salad is not difficult to make.
Tenderize and marinate your steak
Flank steak is very flavorful, but there are a couple tricks to preparing it so it is not tough and chewy. Read my post on Flank, skirt and hanger steak, to get the 911 on how to prepare these steaks like a pro. I recommend you marinate the steak for at least 3 hours.
- For zesting limes I recommend using a microplane. For juicing limes, I recommend a hand-held citrus press. See my post on zesting and juicing citrus.
- I like Three Crabs and Red Boat fish sauce. See my blog post on fish sauce to learn more about this umami-rich ingredient that is essential to Thai and Vietnamese cooking.
- To save time, I use a Cuisinart mini-prep to mince the garlic, ginger and jalapeño. It does the job in about 30 seconds.
- See my blog on mangos to learn the different varieties and how to peel and cut them. For this recipe, I prefer the Ataulfo or Manilla mango for their fragrant perfume and distinct flavor. Or better yet, California Keitt mangos are just coming into season. These are large, delicious, small-seeded mangos that have a short season. They will have come and gone by October.
- You can slice your cucumbers and radishes by hand, but too get uniform very thin slices I recommend the Benriner Japanese mandoline slicer. It is inexpensive, does a great job and takes up very little storage space.
Thai-style grilled flank steak salad
Fresh, vibrant Thai flavors, grilled flank steak, mango and crisp vegetables combine to make this a light, but satisfying one-dish meal.
- Zest from 1 lime
- 1/3 cup lime juice plus one lime
- 1/3 cup fish sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2" finger of ginger, peeled and minced
- 1 jalapeño or Thai red bird's eye chili, seeded and minced
- 2 T brown sugar, packed
- 1 t red pepper flakes
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
- 1/4 cup sunflower oil
- 2 pounds flank steak
- 4 ounces uncooked rice noodles such as pad thai noodles
- 8 ounces fresh spinach
- 4 ounces arugula
- A handful of fresh mint
- A handful of fresh basil (Thai basil if you can get it)
- 1 red pepper, seeded and julienned
- 5 radishes, thinly sliced
- 3 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced
- 2 mangos, peeled and thinly sliced (preferably ataulfo or Manilla)
- To make marinade and dressing mix first 9 ingredients together in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the sunflower oil. Transfer 1/3 cup of the mixture to a separate container, refrigerate and reserve for salad dressing. Add the juice of one more lime to the remaining mixture in the bowl and mix. This will be used to marinate the steak.
- Tenderize the flank steak by pounding with a mallet on both sides. Put steak in a ziplock plastic bag and add marinade. Squeeze the air out of the bag and seal. Squish the meat and dressing around to ensure the meat is fully coated in the dressing. Allow to marinate in the fridge at least 3 hours.
- Cook rice noodles according to package directions. Drain, rinse and reserve.
- Prepare a medium-hot grill. Remove steak from marinade and salt and pepper both sides. Grill to medium rare, about 4-5 minutes on each side. Remove the steak from the grill and let rest 10 minutes before slicing. Slice in thin slices perpendicular to the grain, cutting down at an angle (as opposed to straight up and down.)
- Spread spinach and arugula across a large serving platter. Scatter all but 6 leaves each of the mint and basil on top of the lettuce. Reserve these for final garnish.
- If the noodles are sticking together, rinse again and shake well to remove as much moisture as possible. Scatter the noodles on top of the lettuce. Lay the steak slices on top of the noodles and down the middle of the serving platter. Arrange the vegetables and the mango around the edges of the platter. Roll the remaining mint and basil leaves into a cigar shape and snip thin slices with kitchen sheers or chop with a knife. Scatter sliced herbs across top of salad platter. Drizzle dressing over salad.
- As an alternative to the arranged salad platter, you can toss all the ingredients together. This is easier and insures everything is well dressed, but not as attractive a presentation. Your choice.
THIS SERVES WELL WITH