Beef Satays over Thai Salad

The salad that lies beneath the succulent chunks of sirloin here jump-starts the taste buds—romaine, cucumber, carrots, mint, and cilantro with a Thai dressing of fish sauce, lemon juice, and rice vinegar. It's refreshing, light, and perfect fro a warm summer evening.


Slideshow: More Terrific Salads


  • Servings: 4


  • 1 1/2 pounds sirloin steak, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 stalks lemongrass, bottom third only, peeled and minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 3/4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce (nam pla or nuoc mam)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 3/4 teaspoon rice-wine vinegar
  • Pinch dried red-pepper flakes
  • 1 small head romaine lettuce, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips (about 1 quart)
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded, and diced
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

How to make this recipe

  1. In a medium shallow glass or stainless-steel bowl, combine the steak, lemongrass, half the garlic, the oil,1 1/2 tablespoons of the lemon juice, 3/4 teaspoon of the sugar, the salt, and black pepper. Set aside.

  2. In a small glass or stainless-steel bowl, combine the fish sauce, the remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice, garlic, and 2 teaspoons sugar, the water, vinegar, and red-pepper flakes.

  3. In a large glass or stainless-steel bowl, combine the romaine, carrots, cucumber, cilantro, and mint.

  4. Light the grill or heat the broiler. Thread the steak onto eight skewers. Grill or broil the meat, turning, until done to your taste, about 5 minutes for medium rare. Toss the dressing with the salad and serve topped with the satays.


Asian fish sauce is available at Asian markets and many supermarkets.

Suggested Pairing

Although beef traditionally calls for a red, these seasonings suggest a white wine. A rich Californian, such as a full-bodied Chardonnay, can play to both the beef and the salad here. If you prefer red wine, try a light, fruity Beaujolais.

Photo © Melanie Acevedo Published January 2013

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