Cilantro and Orange Thai Beef Salad

We honeymooned in Thailand and I did indeed eat a lot of salads – this, however, is a more Americanized version. Most salads in Southern Thailand (I can’t really speak to other parts) come with seafood and more often than lettuce you will find a plate filled with tomatoes, herbs, onion, cabbage, and possibly fruit. Every dish came with fruit for dessert which is why I include fruit in the salad. The dressing uses a lot of classic Thai flavors: fish sauce, cilantro, and chile. I prepared this for a dinner party and let everyone make their own salad – just arrange everything in separate bowls and they can pick what they like best. It is a fresh and tasty summer dish and you can always sub the beef for chicken, tofu, or fish using the same marinade and preparing on the grill.

Flank Steak Marinade

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup less-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp. steak seasoning (I love the Badia brand; or you can just use fresh cracked pepper & salt)

Thai Dressing

  • 1 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice, about 2 limes
  • 2 tbsp. less-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. fish sauce
  • 2 tsp. grated orange rind
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 small Serrano chile, seeds removed (*this will produce a very slight heat, if you want more add the entire chile, seeds included)

Salad Ingredients

  • 3 lbs. flank steak
  • 1 head Napa cabbage, sliced thinly or shredded
  • 1 head green leaf lettuce, chopped (or another leafy green lettuce)
  • 1 cucumber, sliced into half moons
  • 1 bunch scallions (green onions), chopped
  • 1 can mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 can diced pineapple, drained


Begin by preparing your marinade – simply combine all ingredients and let sit.

Score the surface of the steak with a sharp knife, about 1/4 inch deep, across the grain of the steak. Place in a large baking dish or a large zip-lock. Add the marinade and chill for at least 2 hours.

Meanwhile, prepare your Thai dressing. In a food processor, combine all dressing ingredients and process until smooth. Set aside.

Prepare your salad by rinsing and prepping your cabbage and lettuce, place in a large bowl. Remove the leaves from the cilantro stems – (I like to add whole leaves rather than chopped leaves) – add to the salad bowl. Prep the other salad ingredients and either add to the large bowl or place in individual bowls for people to serve themselves.

Heat a grill or large skillet to high heat, cook steak, turning once. Flank steak is best cooked medium rare, so you only need to cook about 3 minutes per side depending on the thickness.

Let rest for a few minutes and slice into thin strips. Toss the lettuce with the Thai dressing and serve the salad with steak on the side.

Serves: 6

Recipe Source: Original

Time: 40 minutes (plus 2 hours marinade time)


One thought on “Cilantro and Orange Thai Beef Salad

  1. Jerry July 21, 2011 / 4:59 PM

    Cant really go wrong with Thai beef salad in the summer especially 🙂

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