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A popular Thai dish prized for its intensely flavored meat
Milk Street Bowtie Thai Beef Salad (Yam Neua)

Thai Beef Salad (Yam Neua)

Appears in May-June 2017

40 minutes

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Thai Beef Salad (Yam Neua)

Free

This popular Thai salad is prized for its intensely flavored meat. Our version gets its punch from a piquant combination of white pepper and fish sauce. And a very hot grill and a brown sugar rub guarantees the steak gets to the table with a crisp, flavorful crust.

4

Servings

Tip

Don’t ignore the grain of the steak. Skirt steak has obvious muscle fibers running from one end to the other. Cutting the steak with the grain will result in tough slices. Cutting across the grain shortens the muscle fibers, producing tender, juicy meat.

40 minutes

1 large shallot, sliced into very thin rings (about 1/3 cup)
3 tablespoons lime juice from 2 limes
4 teaspoons packed brown sugar
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground white pepper
1½ pounds skirt steak, trimmed and cut into 2 to 3 pieces
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1½ cups (about 7 ounces) red or yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, plus cilantro sprigs for garnish (optional)
½ cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
Ingredients
  • 1

    large shallot, sliced into very thin rings (about ⅓ cup)

  • 3

    tablespoons lime juice from 2 limes

  • 4

    teaspoons packed brown sugar

  • teaspoons kosher salt

  • ½

    teaspoon ground white pepper

  • pounds skirt steak, trimmed and cut into 2 to 3 pieces

  • 3

    tablespoons fish sauce

  • 1
  • cups (about 7 ounces) red or yellow cherry tomatoes, halved

  • ½

    cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, plus cilantro sprigs for garnish (optional)

  • ½

    cup coarsely chopped fresh mint

Directions
  1. 01
    In a large bowl, combine the shallots and lime juice and let sit for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. In a small bowl, combine 2 teaspoons of the sugar and ¾ teaspoon each salt and white pepper. Pat the steak dry with paper towels, then rub all over with the sugar-salt mixture.
    See Demo
  2. 02
    Prepare a grill for very high heat. For a charcoal grill, spread a full chimney of hot coals evenly over half of the grill bed. For a gas grill, set all burners to an even, high flame. Heat the grill until hot, about 5 minutes, then clean and oil the cooking grate. Grill the steak (directly over the coals, if using a charcoal grill) until charred all over and cooked to desired doneness, 2 to 4 minutes per side for medium-rare (depending on the thickness of the steak). Transfer the steak to a carving board and let rest for 10 minutes.
    See Demo
  3. 03
    Meanwhile, add the fish sauce, pepper flakes, and remaining 2 teaspoons of sugar to the shallot-lime juice mixture and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Thinly slice the steak against the grain, then transfer to the bowl along with any accumulated juices. Add the tomatoes, cilantro, and mint and fold to combine. Transfer to a platter, garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired, and serve.
    See Demo
Tip: Don’t ignore the grain of the steak. Skirt steak has obvious muscle fibers running from one end to the other. Cutting the steak with the grain will result in tough slices. Cutting across the grain shortens the muscle fibers, producing tender, juicy meat.
.
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Reviews
Jennifer B.

delicious. am not a huge tomato fan but the beef was great.

James K.

Delicious but very very acidic ... cut back on the lime juice, increase sugar. Maybe some cucumber would help it along.

stephanie e.

We used flank steak since that's what we had- sliced it thin and it was great! Added cucumbers, very thinly sliced mini peppers, fresh basil with the other herbs and served over watercress. I added a little more sugar as it was a bit too acidic for us. Asked to put on the repeat list!

David C.

The cookbook had a third option - grilling in a cast iron pan. That's not described here. Is it no longer recommended?

Lynn C.

Hi David -

You're right, this can be cooked in a cast iron skillet if preferred. In fact, that's how we did it on the TV show. If using a skillet, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium-high heat until just barely smoking. Then cook as instructed above.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Scott P.

Wonderful combination of flavors. Could not find any skirt steak, so I substituted flank.


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Thai Beef Salad (Yam Neua)

Get Ready to Cook

4

Servings

40 minutes

Tip

Don’t ignore the grain of the steak. Skirt steak has obvious muscle fibers running from one end to the other. Cutting the steak with the grain will result in tough slices. Cutting across the grain shortens the muscle fibers, producing tender, juicy meat.

Ingredients
  • 1

    large shallot, sliced into very thin rings (about ⅓ cup)

  • 3

    tablespoons lime juice from 2 limes

  • 4

    teaspoons packed brown sugar

  • teaspoons kosher salt

  • ½

    teaspoon ground white pepper

  • pounds skirt steak, trimmed and cut into 2 to 3 pieces

  • 3

    tablespoons fish sauce

  • 1
  • cups (about 7 ounces) red or yellow cherry tomatoes, halved

  • ½

    cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, plus cilantro sprigs for garnish (optional)

  • ½

    cup coarsely chopped fresh mint

Step 1 of 3

Make Sugar-Salt Mixture and Prepare the Steak

1
large shallot, sliced into very thin rings (about ⅓ cup)
3
tablespoons lime juice from 2 limes
2
teaspoons packed brown sugar
¾
teaspoons kosher salt
¾
teaspoon ground white pepper

In a large bowl, combine the shallots and lime juice and let sit for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.


In a small bowl, combine 2 teaspoons of the sugar and ¾ teaspoon each salt and white pepper.


Pat the steak dry with paper towels, then rub all over with the sugar-salt mixture.

Step 2 of 3

Prepare the Grill and Cook

pounds skirt steak, trimmed and cut into 2 to 3 pieces

Prepare a grill for very high heat. For a charcoal grill, spread a full chimney of hot coals evenly over half of the grill bed. For a gas grill, set all burners to an even, high flame. Heat the grill until hot, about 5 minutes, then clean and oil the cooking grate.


Grill the steak (directly over the coals, if using a charcoal grill) until charred all over and cooked to desired doneness, 2 to 4 minutes per side for medium-rare (depending on the thickness of the steak). Transfer the steak to a carving board and let rest for 10 minutes.

Step 3 of 3

Combine Remaning Ingredients and Plate

3
tablespoons fish sauce
1
teaspoon red pepper flakes
2
teaspoons packed brown sugar
cups (about 7 ounces) red or yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
½
cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
½
cup coarsely chopped fresh mint

Meanwhile, add the fish sauce, pepper flakes, and remaining 2 teaspoons of sugar to the shallot-lime juice mixture and stir until the sugar has dissolved.


Thinly slice the steak against the grain, then transfer to the bowl along with any accumulated juices.


Add the tomatoes, cilantro, and mint and fold to combine.


Transfer to a platter, garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired, and serve.

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