Cambodian Beef Salad

4 Servings

35 minutes

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This substantial Khmer-style beef salad combines lots of contrasting tastes and textures. We preferred the meatiness and rich flavor of boneless short ribs, but if they’re not available, use flat iron steak instead. Rather than sear the beef and slice it after cooking, we slice it first, then cook it in a flavorful liquid that later becomes the salad dressing. So that the beef is easier to cut into evenly thin slices, freeze it uncovered for about 20 minutes, until partially frozen.




Don't be alarmed if the amount of liquid for cooking the beef seems very scant. The meat quickly releases its own juices as it cooks. Keep the heat high and stir constantly so the slices cook evenly.

35 minutes


  • ​1½

    pounds boneless beef short ribs, trimmed and sliced about ⅛ inch thick (see note)

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper


Caitlin S.

We made this the other day and it will enter our regular weeknight rotation. Not the most amazingly delicious, but a solid dish given how quick it is to prepare, the short list of ingredients, and tons of veggies. We served it with white rice. It had a lot of flavor, but nothing my tots (6 & 3) wouldn't eat (though we did serve the jalapeno on the side).

Katie L.

I was skeptical about how flavorful this would be and if the jalapeno would dominate. I was not disappointed. I used skirt steak which is my go to for sliced meat dishes. This is super flavorful and satisfying. Another awesome Milk Street recipe!

Jessica S.

This is delicious-- will be a summer favorite. great cold!

Julia K.

Is this salad supposed to be served warm?

Lynn C.

Hi Julia -

Warm or room temperature since the cooking liquid that gets tossed it would probably solidify if refrigerated.

The Milk Street Team

Siri N.

I'd like to make this ahead for workday lunches, but I worry that the beef will deteriorate in the lime dressing. Any advice on making this ahead?

Lynn C.

Hi Siri -

You are correct that the meat will start to break down in the lime juice and become mushy making this recipe not a great candidate for make ahead. Additionally, the oil in the cooking liquid and the beef fat that is released during cooking will solidify when refrigerated and the cabbage will continue to wilt as it sits since it's tossed with salt, which will break it down.

The Milk Street Team