Thai-style steak salad

A flavourful and satisfying one bowl meal!

Spicing things up with a great Thai-inspired marinade that does double-duty as a vinaigrette, this recipe is easy to make and packed with flavour. I love adding proteins to salads to create hearty and satisfying one-bowl meals and in this case, you could use chicken, pork or even grilled tofu in place of the flank steak (alternative proteins will not require as long to marinate; an hour or two would suffice). Note that you can adjust the heat in this recipe to suit your preferences and you could easily halve or multiply the recipe if desired. If you’re a fan of Thai food you might also enjoy this meatball and rice noodle bowl or this easy and super delicious pad Thai.


Pickled onion:

  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) cider or rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons (8 g) white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) salt
  • 1/2 cup (26 g) very thinly sliced red onion


  • 2 tablespoons (25 g) white sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) Sambal Oelek or Sriracha, or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons (12 g) minced cilantro leaves and stems
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) orange or pineapple juice
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) water
  • 4 teaspoons (20 mL) vegetable oil


  • 3/4 pound (340 g) flank steak
  • 6 cups (255 g) mixed greens
  • 2 cups (265 g) chopped seedless cucumbers
  • 1/2 cup (58 g) sliced radishes
  • 2 cups (140 g) pea shoots
  • 1 cup (110 g) grated carrot
  • 1/2 cup (32 g) fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (32 g) fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • Lime wedges, to garnish


  • Prepare the pickled onions by gently heating the vinegar, sugar and salt in a glass jar or bowl, in the microwave, stirring once or twice to dissolve the sugar and salt. Add the sliced red onion to the mixture and stir. Cover and set aside for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pickled red onion can be prepared up to 7 days ahead of time then refrigerated.
  • Using a blender, food processor or large mortar and pestle, blend the sugar, garlic, Sambal Oelek and cilantro into a smooth paste. Add lime juice, orange juice and fish sauce, water and vegetable oil; blend again.
  • Score both sides of the flank steak with a series of cross-hatched cuts an inch (2.5 cm) apart and no more than 1/4 inch (.6 cm) deep. Spread half of the marinade over the steak then place in a non-reactive dish or plastic bag; cover or seal and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.
  • Cover remaining marinade and refrigerate until serving time.
  • One hour before serving time, remove the steak from the fridge to allow it to warm up before cooking. Pat dry and place on a clean plate.
  • While steak warms, prepare the vegetables and herbs for the salad and place them in a large bowl.
  • Cook the steak; this can be done on an outdoor grill (barbeque) at medium-high heat; the meat will need about 5 minutes per side and should be removed from the grill when it reaches an internal temperature of 130F. Alternatively, preheat the oven to 350F. Drizzle a little vegetable oil in the bottom of a large, oven-safe skillet and warm it over medium-high heat. Sear the steak on both sides for about 2 minutes per side, then transfer to the oven and cook for about 8 – 10 minutes, until the internal temperature is 130F.
  • Transfer cooked steak to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes before slicing thinly against the grain.
  • While steak is resting, drizzle just enough of the reserved marinade/dressing over the mixed greens and vegetables in the bowl to lightly coat them (you may not need it all). Toss gently then divide the mixture among four broad bowls or dinner plates.
  • Top salad with sliced steak and a scattering of pickled onions; serve with lime wedges.

Serves 4.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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