Thai Beef Salad

2 people
40 min

Discover the flavours of Thailand with this Thai beef salad recipe. Classic balanced Thai flavours of sweet, sour, spice and salt, along with a delicious mix of textures.

Two Thai beef salads plated in black bowls.

We think you will love the flavours in this dish. Thai food is such a great cuisine to get confident cooking. And it's one of our personal favourites! Our Thai Chicken laksa is a popular dish or our lamb shank red Thai curry is not to be missed!


For the salad:

  • Beef - we recommend either sirloin or fillet for this dish.
  • Mung beans (bean sprouts) - these bring a great crunch to the dish.
  • Vermicelli noodles - (or thin rice noodles) these noodles are readily available. They are quick to cook and delicious coated in this Thai sauce.
  • Cucumber- The English or telegraph variety.
  • Cherry tomatoes - depending on availability you could also use a standard tomato, cut into chunks.
  • Red chilli
  • Red onion
  • Fresh coriander/ cilantro (leaves only) and mint - Save the stalks from the coriander for the dressing.

For the Thai salad dressing: garlic, red chilli, coriander stalks (cilantro), lemons, palm sugar and fish sauce. All these ingredients should be found in your nearest supermarket but if not head to your local Asian store.

Optional garnishes: for additional flavour and texture add a handful of chopped peanuts and a sprinkle of fried shallots.

Thai beef salad ingredients.

Ingredients for thai dressing in mortar and pestle.

How to make a Thai salad dressing?

This recipe uses a classic Nam Jim dressing, which also works well as a Thai dip so a great versatile recipe to learn.

The dressing is full of classic Thai ingredients. Simply pound these together using a pestle and mortar to build delicious flavour. But if you don't have a pestle and mortar, a mini chopper will work too.

Pestle and mortar with Thai dressing

The important thing to remember is taste, taste, taste. Creating delicious Thai food is about balancing the flavour. You need to create and build this from the start so taste and adjust as you go. Follow our full recipe below and we'll walk you through making this dressing.

Thai beef salad in a black bowl.

We hope we have inspired you to give this delicious Thai salad a try. There are some great techniques and flavours you can apply to other dishes too. So if fresh, vibrant flavours are your thing this dish is for you. Enjoy!

Recipe details
  • 2  people
  • Prep time: 30 Minutes Cook time: 10 Minutes Total time: 40 min
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Nam Jim dressing
  • 3 cloves Garlic Peeled
  • 1 1/2 Red chilli De seeded, rough chopped
  • 1/2 bunch Coriander stalks / cilantro Rough chopped (use the leaves in the salad)
  • 2 Lemons Juice only (or replace with 3 limes)
  • 1 tablespoon Palm sugar
  • 2 teaspoon Fish sauce
Salad ingredients
  • 250 g Beef sirloin (or beef fillet)
  • 1 cup Mung beans (Bean sprouts)
  • 1 stick Vermicelli noodles (thin rice noodles) Soaked in boiling water
  • 1/2 cup Cucumber (English/ telegraph) Sliced
  • 10 Cherry tomatoes Halved
  • 1/4 Red chilli Sliced
  • 1/4 Red onion Sliced
  • small bunch Picked coriander (cilantro) and mint
Garnishes (optional)
  • Handful Roasted peanuts Chopped
  • Sprinkle Fried shallots
Nam Jim Dressing
To make the dressing grab your pestle and mortar (or mini blender) and add the garlic, chilli, coriander stalks and pound to a paste.
Add the sugar and pound into the mix. Then add the lemon juice and mix well.
Use the fish sauce to season to taste. ( See note 1)
Cooking Your Beef
Take your beef out of the fridge half an hour before you are wanting to cook it. (This allows the meat to cook evenly)
Heat your fry pan and add a little canola oil. Season both sides of your beef generously with salt and pepper. Once the oil in the pan its lightly smoking add your seasoned piece of beef. Allow to sear on each side for 3 minutes. This will give you the ideal cook on your beef for this dish which is rare-medium rare. (See note 2)
Remove from the pan and allow to rest for 10 minutes, this allows the meat to relax making it more tender and juicy.
Salad Time
While your beef is resting. Grab a large bowl and add all the prepped salad ingredients. Add about 5 tablespoons of dressing to your salad and give it a good mix.
Slice your rested piece of beef across the grain and add to your salad, mix well.
Assemble your salad into nice piles in your bowls, making sure you evenly distribute the ingredients. Drizzle over a couple more spoons of dressing and then sprinkle over your chopped peanuts and fried shallots.
Enjoy the fresh flavours and be transpoted to Thailand with this amazing salad.
  • Note 1 - You want to find a balance of sweet, sour, spice and salt. Fish sauce can be quite overpowering so add slowly and taste as you go.
  • Note 2 - If your prefer your beef medium, allow to cook for a few extra minutes each side.
A Tasty Kitchen
Want more details about this and other recipes? Check out more here!