Sunday, March 27, 2011

Spicy Grilled Beef Salad (Yam Neua Yang) – and the credit goes to...

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In some Asian cultures, the person who selects the ingredients gets half the credit for the meal - and rightly so. A great cook can make a half-decent meal out of miserable ingredients.  Great ingredients can make a half-decent cook out of anyone.
Spicy grilled beef salad
Bord Bia's From Plate to Page competition gives me an opportunity to mention one of my food heros - Terry Kavanagh. My local craft-butcher shop, Kavanagh’s in Roundwood, is frequented by top food critics and Oscar winners (well, I’ve seen one Oscar winner there) as well as us mere mortals. With such quality product nearby, the shopper’s task is no more taxing than to show up and point randomly because everything is good. Particularly good is Terry’s sirloin steak. Tender yet full of flavour, it is one of my favourite lazy meals, char-grilled with rosemary potato wedges, fried onions and mushrooms, and a blob of strong Dijon mustard.
Today, it is a blue-skied sparkling Spring day. Having had a miserable cold for the past week, my tastebuds are crying out for something light, yet nourishing, and zinging with flavour.
Looking down Niki Segnit’s list of flavours that love beef I see:
Chilli Garlic Ginger Lime Mint Nam Pla (Thai fish sauce)  Onion Peanut Tomato
We lve beef !
Niki probably didn’t intend that they all appear together in the same dish however they are flavours that sing together as well as emphasising the flavour of the beef. This is my version of the Thai classic, Yam Neua Yang – spicy grilled beef salad.  To make life easier for yourself, prepare all the salad ingredients before you start to cook the steak.

For 2 substantial salads you will need...
2 x 200g sirloin steaks (about 2.5cm thick)
1 tablespoon olive oil

For the marinade/dressing you will need...
1 fat clove garlic, crushed
2cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 medium/hot red chilli, seeds removed, very finely diced
1 tablespoon nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
4 kaffir lime leaves or a ½ teaspoon grated lime peel
Juice of 2 limes
1 teaspoon runny honey

1.         First make the marinade/dressing by mixing all the marinade ingredients together in a non-metal bowl.
2.         Pour a little of the marinade over the steak and cover, before refrigerating until needed. Reserve the rest of the marinade for your dressing.
3.         Next cook the steak: preheat a grill pan to medium. Using kitchen paper, blot the marinade from the steaks and lightly oil them. Grill for approximately 4 minutes each side. (I like my steak medium for this salad. Use more or less time to grill the steak to your own liking.) Remove from the pan and leave to rest for 5 minutes while you assemble the salad.

For the salad you will need...
1 bag mixed salad leaves (I use a rocket, mizuna, red oakleaf lettuce mix for colour, flavour and texture)
2 tomatoes, deseeded and diced
½ cucumber, cut into ribbons using a vegetable peeler
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
3 whole scallions (spring onions) finely sliced on the diagonal
a generous handful of coriander leaf (cilantro), roughly chopped
50g roasted peanuts, roughly chopped

4.         Assemble the salad by scattering a bed of lettuce leaves on 2 platters or shallow bowls.
5.        Using kitchen paper, blot any excess juice from the tomato and cucumber and arrange on top of the salad leaves. Scatter with chopped mint.
Fresh and bursting with of colour and flavour
6.         When the steaks have rested, slice thinly and arrange on top of the salad. Scatter the scallions, peanuts and coriander leaf on top.
7.         Remove the kaffir lime leaves from the dressing before spooning over the salad. Serve immediately.
And the credit goes to...
This dish also makes a fantastic appetizer.
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  1. This looks SO GOOD, I love salads with grilled meats, even better if the meat is spicy! Light dish, yet nourishing and zingy!
    So, tell us... who was this Oscar winner you've seen???? I am dying to know! :-)

  2. What a great way to serve steak. I love Thai food but had no idea YNY was so simple. Thanks for sharing

  3. If Niki Segnit says all these flavours *heart* beef who am I to argue. They are all things that I stock in my store cupboard/fridge - this salad is firmly on my menu this week.

  4. Wow I know what i'm going to be having later.
    I too have been suffering from a cold and what better than a bit of lean Irish beef as well as the warming ginger and vit C filled limes to get me back on track.
    Thanks Alchemy!

  5. This is really a lovely salad. It is also a great way to serve steak in smaller portions. I always enjoy my visits here. Your blog is a very pleasant place to visit. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  6. You know I love color meals, and this one is right up my alley. I have everything I need except some really great steaks. This dish definitely looks like spring has sprung!


  7. This looks so yummy! A great Spring dish.

  8. I LOVE how you say the ingredients sing! They sure do. Wow. What a gorgeous sounding dish with my fav ingredients. Hope you are feeling better and scared the cold away with that. Your butcher sounds fabulous: I'm with Manu. WHO was it in the queue? :-)
    Good idea if credit goes to the shopper. Now, if you do the shopping AND the cooking, I hope you get extra brownie points for that one!

  9. My mouth is watering .. a lot. OK, I'm drooling

  10. I just love this.

    Not only are your flavor combinations deliberate and fantastic, but the salad is gorgeous!!

    Thanks so much for sharing! (what kind of red chiles did you use?)

  11. Very interesting recipe! Thanks for sharing ;)

  12. @Meagan - I'd love to be able to give you more information but chillies come in 2 varieties here - red or green :( - if you are lucky, there's a heat rating on the packet. If there are any that you think are particularly good, let me know. I'm planning to grow some this year for a bit more variety.

  13. This is the most exciting Asian salad I ever tasted! The fish sauce and the hot chillies make this dish really delicious I think. i sometimes suggest salt instead of fish sauce but there is nothing as flavorful as Nam Pla for Asian dishes. Thanks for making this. I have not eaten this for a long while. Cheers!!!

  14. Ohhh My mom loves loves this salad. She gets it all the time when we go out to eat. I can't wait to try this.

  15. This salad is just WOW! Great way to get veggies and meat into a single meal without losing any flavor!

  16. I am a huge fan of all sorts of salads....haven't tried one with grilled beef...I am thoroughly tempted!

  17. Lovely post as usual! I am so enjoying following your wonderful blog!

    I recieved an award from Deelicious Sweets that I would love to pass on to you. I'm terrible with following all the rules but Dee has them outlined perfectly in her blog. If you want, scroll down to the bottom of my latest post: and click on the links to claim it. And as always, thanks for sharing your wonderful recipes!

  18. Love how much flavor you packed in here! I'm craving fresh spring veggies too...more so after your delicious photos...

  19. Wow!!! The colors of this dish are simply stunning. I'm pretty darn sure this one would make my whole family happy, especially my cilantro loving husband and my beef loving girl. My teenage boy will eat nearly anything like this, so I'm sure he'll be happy as well.
    Love this one, it's going to the top of my to do pile!!

  20. First time to your site. This is my favorite dish when I eat Thai out. I am going to try and make it at home.

  21. Wow! This salad looks so fresh and gorgeous. After all the heavy foods of winter, it's so nice to finally be able to enjoy these springtime yummies! :D

  22. I absolutely adore salads of this kind: perfect light dinner with a bit of kick! Love your recipes! :)

  23. Wow! Looks amazing will definitely have to try! Growing own salad leaves at moment too!

  24. A beautiful and mouthwatering salad. Thanks for teaching us about asian culture. Definitely bookmarking this,thanks:)


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