There are not a lot of things that my mom makes that I can't also make. Plenty of things that I don't make, but not so many that I can't make. This is one of the ones I can't. True confession of the day: I have never in my entire life cooked a steak. Not once. In my early days of cooking I was a bit broke for steak , and then by the time I could afford steak (thanks to Ryan), I could never make steak (thanks to Ryan's long list of things he does not eat for health reasons). So while I bet I could follow my mother's recipe here and come up with a delicious thai beef salad, it's something that I'll admit, straight up, I've never done. Also, I don't know how to grill. Well, I can grill corn in foil packets, but other than that I don't know how to grill. This will happen to a person after 11 years of living in city apartments. I've never poured lighter fluid over charcoals, never turned the knobs of the gas grill, none of it. My extent of grill knowledge is this: if you're sure there's gas in the tank (I mean really, really sure), make sure a squirrel hasn't eaten the gas line, because that will get you every time. Anyway, you'll just need to trust me, this is absolutely delicious, and refreshing in the summer, and if you can't cook steak or work a grill, feel free to come over to my mom's, because she's got it down.
THAI BEEF SALAD
This is also fabulous as a sandwich, cut up the steak a bit smaller at the end and put on good thick slices of crusty bread.
FOR THE SALAD:
1 lb grilled rare (sirloin- can also use flank, but it's tougher)
1 red onion, sliced thin
1/2 cucumber, sliced thin (I use English cukes- fewer seeds)
1 tomato chopped
the recipe calls for a bunch of watercress, but there are a lot of anti watercress folks out there, so you may want to use Boston lettuce or spring greens, but it is nice to use at least some of a green that's a bit spicy.
1/4 C thinly sliced scallion tops (green only)
1 carrot, shredded
FOR THE DRESSING
1T lime juice
1/2 clove garlic, smashed and minced well
1T soy sauce
3T fish sauce
gluten-free note: You will need to find gluten free soy sauce and fish sauce. Thai Kitchen makes a gluten free fish sauce.
Mix together the dressing ingredients and set aside. Grill the steak and the onion. Rub the steak with olive oil, sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Use thick slices of onion and use a skewer or turkey basting pin to hold rings together. Heat the grill to medium high, closer to high. Oil the grill, by taking a paper towel and pouring some oil on it (you can use a cheap oil for this) and hold the towel with tongs and wipe the grill surface quickly so that it's oiled. Put the steak and onion on. After a minute, lower the grill medium from medium high. For a rare steak it should be about 4 minutes a side. Use a meat thermometer, the temp should be about 115-118 F when you take it off for a rare steak. When you take it off, cover it and let it sit for 5 minutes it should get to 120 F. The onion should take about the same as for a rare steak. Toss the greens with the dressing reserving 1 T for the veggies. Toss the veggies (the grilled onion, cucumber and tomato) with the final tablespoon of dressing. Then create a bed of greens and arrange the beef, onion and vegetables on top.