Fast & Easy Thai Beef Salad (Yum Nua)

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What’s the next best thing compared to dining out at your favorite Thai restaurant? Ordering takeout, right? Ordering food to go has become a staple in our dining habits the past few years. Thai food is great on the go, but it can get pretty expensive to do time after time.

What if you could learn to make great Thai food at home? Don’t let it intimidate you. It can actually be quite easy. You can start simple with this delicious 30 minute Thai beef salad recipe.

Thai beef salad is so well loved because of the fresh flavor that comes from the greens and herbs tossed in a tangy, slightly spicy dressing. Then, it’s topped off with grilled-to-perfection beef that not only provides a hearty flavor to the salad, but is a great source of iron and protein.

Thai Beef Salad (Yum Nua) is one of the most popular Thai dishes that is served and loved in restaurants all over the world. Fresh ingredients are the key here. You don’t really need a lot of fancy ingredients to cook Thai food. The important thing is that they are fresh.

Additionally, another reason Thai food is so well loved, is the perfect combination of sweet, salty, and sour flavors. Plus, Thai food usually has a fair amount of heat (that can be easily adjusted at home to your liking). This 30 minute Thai beef salad is going to pack in a lot of flavor in a short amount of cooking time.

Thai Beef Salad

Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2
Calories: 287kcal


  • 8 ounces sirloin beef steak
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper


  • 1-2 thai chili pepper minced fine (depending on how spicy you want the dressing)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger grated
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil


  • 1 small bunch fresh cilantro stems removed, rough chopped
  • ½ cup fresh mint leaves rough chopped
  • 4 cups loosely packed fresh mixed greens
  • 1 cucumber sliced thin
  • 1 small red onion sliced thin
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 tablespoon green onions sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon peanuts crushed


  • Assemble ingredients together before you begin.
  • First, you will cook the beef so that it has plenty of time to rest before serving. Start by heating a grill or skillet on high heat.
  • Season both sides of the beef with the salt, pepper, and olive oil.
  • Place the beef on the grill and grill each side for about 6 minutes. Flip the beef over and grill on the other side for another 6 minutes. The beef should be slightly charred and medium rare.
  • Remove the beef from the grill or pan and allow it to rest on a cutting board while you prep the other ingredients.
  • Now it’s time to make the salad dressing. Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and use a whisk to combine. Alternatively, you can shake them all together in a mason jar. It’s important here to taste your dressing and adjust based on your personal preference.
  • Toss the fresh herbs, salad greens, cucumber slices, onion slices, and halved tomatoes in a large bowl. Pour a small amount of the dressing on the greens and toss again to coat all of the ingredients. (Do not use all of the dressing, just a small amount to coat everything.)
  • Place the salad greens on two large plates.
  • It’s time to slice the beef. Using a sharp slicing knife, cut the beef against the grain into thin, bite-sized slices. Divide the beef into two servings and gently place on top of the greens.
  • Pour about a tablespoon of the dressing over each serving of the beef on the salad. Garnish with the sliced onions and peanuts.
  • Serve immediately.



Calories: 287kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 67mg | Sodium: 1048mg | Potassium: 848mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 635IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 99mg | Iron: 3mg

Notes & Tips

  • Don’t skip the step where you let the meat rest. This is incredibly important, especially with beef that is going on top of the salad. If you slice it too soon, the juices will run and drench your salad with meat juice instead of the delicious dressing.
  • If you don’t eat red meat, this salad would also be delicious with grilled chicken or grilled shrimp.
  • There are many different varieties of fish sauce. Three Crabs is a great fish sauce to use for Thai dishes.

Is Thai Beef Salad healthy?

Thai Beef Salad is a very healthy meal option. It’s a great option if you are following a low carb diet. It’s also dairy-free.

You can choose an alternative cut of beef, too, if you’re watching your fat intake. Beef tenderloin, tri-tip, and top sirloin are all great lean cuts of beef to consider. Don’t forget that beef is a great source of iron, too.

What can you use instead of Thai chili peppers?

It’s true that finding Thai chili peppers might be a little difficult. They aren’t usually found in regular grocery stores. However, you can find them in some smaller, Asian markets. Oftentimes you can’t buy just one either, as they are sold by weight.

The good thing is you can freeze Thai chili peppers to use in the future. They are pretty cheap, so it’s ok to buy the bigger package and freeze the rest for another time.

But if you are still having trouble tracking them down, there are a few options for adding spiciness to the dressing. You can use easy-to-find jalapeno peppers. You could also buy a chili paste and use that instead. Simply start with a small amount and add more to your taste preference.


Don’t worry if you’re having trouble finding some other ingredients for this 30 minute Thai beef salad recipe. There are some other options that you can use. Some examples include:

  • Soy sauce – If you are avoiding gluten (which is typically found in soy sauce) you can use tamari instead. Coconut aminos are also a great soy sauce alternative.
  • Fish sauce – Fish sauce provides a very specific salty flavor that very few other ingredients can replicate. If you don’t have any fish sauce, you can easily omit it. You could try oyster sauce though, if you still want a bit of that unique flavor.
  • Honey – It’s ok if you don’t have honey. Honey is used to sweeten the recipe and there are a lot of other ingredients you can use instead. For example, you could substitute maple syrup, sugar, brown sugar, or agave syrup.

Other Thai Recipes

Thai food is delicious! It’s a great cuisine to add to your cooking repertoire. This 30 minute Thai beef salad recipe is a great way to start cooking Thai food at home, if you don’t already. Do you need some other tasty Thai dishes to try at home? Check out these recipes, too – Thai Eggplant Salad, Thai Chili Meatballs, and Thai Curry Puffs.

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