some like it hot .. ; hot and sour beef salad.

Even if the summer hasn’t arrived over here .. I know that where you’re is it salad season – and this IS the SALAD, nothing if you’re in a hurry – but worth every minute you put into it and 90% can be done the day before. It became a very popular dish when it ended up on our local menu in 2007 and we gave it Thailand’s flag.

The chilli oil adds a distinctive flavor to this colorful salad – to make your own, pack fresh chilies into a clean glass jar and pour on olive oil to cover – leave to infuse for a at least 2 weeks before using. It improves with age, keeps almost indefinitely and is attractive addition to the kitchen shelf.

Hot and Sour Beef Salad, serves 4-6

45ml (3tbsp) sesame seeds
Salt and pepper
2-3 hot chillies
1-2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 large thick rump steaks about 300 gr (10oz)
3 limes, juice only
30ml (2tbsp) soy sauce
45ml (3tbsp) vegetable oil
8 spring onions, shredded
1 orange pepper, fine julienne
1 red pepper, fine julienne
1 cucumber, srtips
1 carrot, fine julienne
1 large red onion, finely slice lengthways
1 lemon grass stalk, finely sliced
1 cos lettuce, head of Chinese leafs
2 small bag of mixed lettuces
Fresh mint and coriander leaves.
Chilli oil, homemade – to taste

1. Toast the sesame seeds in a dry small heavy-based frying pan over a low heat until golden brown, shaking constantly – allow to cool, then crush with a pinch of salt using a mortar.
2. Finely chop the chillies. Remove the seeds if you prefer a milder flavor. Peel and slice the garlic cloves. Put the steaks in a large shallow dish and sprinkle with chillies, garlic and the lime juice. Mix the soy sauce and the oil and drizzle over the meat. Leave to marinate covered overnight in the fridge.
3. Trim spring onion and shred very finely. Drop into a big bowl of cold water. Peel the carrots and cut in matches’ size julienne –add to the bowl. Quarter, core and deseed the pepper – then trim away paler-colored parts from the inside. Cut into very thin julienne and add to the bowl. Chill in the refrigerator.
4. Halve the cucumber lengthways and scoop out the seeds – use a teaspoon- cut in thin strips, about 5cm (2”) long. Cover and chill. Finely slice the red onion lengthways.
5. Wash all lettuce – even the mixed bags under running cold water – let the heads drain upside down for 1hr – than put in plastic bags or container, seal. The mix lettuces shake of the excess water and store in air tight container overnight too – so it goes really crisp.
6. Remove the meat from the marinade, reserving the marinade and scrape off any chilli and garlic. Heat oil in a large frying pan over very high heat. Add one steak and press down to ensure they browns evenly and quickly. Turn and repeat. Lower the heat slightly and cook for a further 2-5 min, all depending on how thick the steaks are and how you want your meat cooked. Remove and do the steak the same way. Keep warm under folio.
7. Add the remaining marinade to the frying pan together with the lemongrass slices – 30 ml (2tbsp) of water and let simmer for about 1 min – keep warm.
8. Drain all cut vegetables. Put the lettuce mix in a bowl and toss with a little chilli oil and half of the toasted sesame seeds, dived between the serving plates/bowls. Dived the cut vegetables on top of the lettuce. Cut the steaks in wafer-thin slices and arrange on top of the lettuces and vegetables. Drizzle the warm marinade over the plates just before serving – and garnish with the remaining toasted sesame seeds and fresh herbs.

This will take about 45 min to prepare and 10 min cooking/serving time. Everything can be done the day before – so it’s a very quick dish to make on the day. Looks a more complicated than its and all of you know how to cook, so it’s like a walk in the park and you have this summer’s most stunning salad.

“What garlic is to salad, insanity is to art.”
Augustus Saint-Gaudens

Photos provided by and thanks to: Ross/

14 thoughts on “some like it hot .. ; hot and sour beef salad.

  1. What a gorgeous refreshing salad my friend – cant go wrong with greens 😀
    I am sure all the steak lovers in the world would devour the whole lot!

    Choc Chip Uru

    P.S Fantastic photos!!! 🙂

    • Thanks for the kind words … most photos have google supplied. Yes, even me that isn’t any bigger fan of beef like this, but you as a vegetarian … I understand your point.

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