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Thai beef salad (Yum nua salad)

This dish, along with the Thai papaya salad, is one of the most famous Thai salads. This salad fits perfectly in a low-carb or gluten-free diet and is so tasty!

This salad is so quick and easy, this dish brings Thailand to your table! Originally, beef with some fat on, is used in this dish for the best taste, but this variant is made with lean beef. Even no oil is used in the vinaigrette, which makes this salad extra skinny!

This is a lukewarm salad so it is completely normal for the meat not to be hot as this can take the crunchiness of the dish away.


Per portion/per person

  • 1 piece of (lean) steak of choice. (You can determine the weight of the steak yourself according to your needs)

  • 1 handful of crispy lettuce. (Eg lettuce hearts, iceberg lettuce,..)

  • 10 cherry tomatoes.

  • 1/4 cucumber

  • 1 small handful of bean sprouts.

  • 1 half large red chili pepper or 1 small chili pepper.

  • 1 half red onion or shallot.

  • 1 stalk spring onion (young onion/salad onion)

  • A few sprigs of cilantro.

  • A few sprigs of mint.

  • 1.5 tbsp fish sauce

  • 1 tbsp lime juice

  • 1 tsp palm or cane sugar.

  • 1 tsp toasted uncooked rice. (See directions for more info)


Roasted uncooked rice:

  1. Roast uncooked rice in a pan until lightly golden brown (shake regularly so it doesn't burn).

  2. Grind finely to almost powder in a mortar or use a food processor. (I always have this in my pantry because I also like to make this salad with other meats or fish).


(Taste the vinaigrette first and adjust to your own taste if necessary to your own desire.)

  1. Finely chop the chili pepper. (You’re not into spicy? Remove the seeds with a knife, be extra careful not to touch it with your hands!)

  2. Add together with the fish sauce, lime juice, palm or cane sugar and stir well, taste and adjust if necessary.


  1. Wash and clean all vegetables well in advance.

  2. Cut the cucumber lengthwise and slice crosswise. (Peel and cut out the inside if you have trouble digesting this).

  3. Chop the cherry tomatoes in half.

  4. Remove the skin from the red onion or shallot, chop in halve and cut into thin slices. (halve rings)

  5. Pull the leaves from the sprigs of cilantro, don't throw the sprigs away!

  6. Chop the sprigs finely, cilantro sprigs are very tasty and edible, so never throw these away!

  7. Remove the mint leaves from the sprigs. (We can't use these twigs so you don’t need to keep these).

  8. Remove the bottom half and top tips of the spring onion and chop into slices.


  1. Grill the steak on a hot grill to the desired done-ness (I prefer medium rare myself) and let rest in closed tinfoil.

  2. Thinly slice the steak across the grain.


Place the meat upside down (last baking side up when you place it on the tinfoil).

Seal the package and let it rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing. (not on the heat source)

Dress the plate:

  1. Arrange the crunchy salad lengthwise on a plate, place the tomatoes and cucumber slices on top, put the bean spouts on top and sprinkle the shredded coriander sprigs over it.

  2. Arrange the beef on top and garnish with the red onion or shallot, cilantro and mint leaves and sliced spring onion.

  3. Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of the roasted rice powder all over and finish with the vinaigrette to taste.



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