Marinated Thai Beef Salad gets a burst of flavor from authentic Thai flavors, sweet fruit and crunchy veggies. A summer dinner everyone will love.

Thai Beef Salad

By | Beef, Easy Dinners, Grilling + BBQ, Healthy + Diet, Kid Friendly Dinners, Main Dish, Meat + Poultry, Salads, Spring, Summertime Favorites, Uncategorized, Vegetables | No Comments

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Marinated flank steak gets a burst of flavor from authentic Thai flavors, sweet fruit and crunchy veggies. Arrange on a platter for an impressive, family-style situation that everyone will love.


Summer dinners are tricky. You want them to be filling, but light at the same time. This composed Thai beef salad hits both spot on. Plus I love composed salad (salads arranged on a platter) because they’re inviting and served family-style. No fussiness with individually portioned plates.

Thai Beef SaladI marinated flank steak in garlic, ginger and lime juice to really give it some juicy appeal. I’ve called for cooking it in the broiler (it only cooks a few minutes, so the oven isn’t on long), but you can throw it on the grill as well. You do you.

The tender butter lettuce, sweet pineapple, tangy tomatoes and crunchy beans and cucumbers are the perfect salad combo to go with steak. Light and flavorful so nothing is overpowered.

The authentic dressing for the Thai beef salad is a blend of flavors including fish sauce (or nuoc nam). Thai and Vietnamese cooking use it abundantly, and I find a little goes a long way; but it’s imperative to authentic flavor. There’s nothing like it. It has depth

Thai Beef SaladA cool trick I learned the other day about blanching beans: You can actually freeze fresh beans and when you’re ready to use them, pull them out, let them thaw and voila, blanched beans! Here’s the deal––freezing vegetables expands the liquid they naturally hold inside. The cell walls break down from the liquid expanding and freezing (very similar to what happens when veggies are cooked…the cell walls break down and the veggies soften), and the frozen veggies, when thawed are slightly more tender than when they were fresh.

This is the perfect trick to try on this salad! So if you’ve bought more beans than you can eat at Costco (often my issue), then just freeze them! Next time a recipe calls for blanching them, ignore it! Thaw those babies and you’re done. Tender, cold, crunchy beans at the ready.

Thai Steak Salad platedSummer is the perfect time for fresh veggies and tender grilled meats. Other ideas for tasty summer foods that your family and guests might enjoy are my Mini Greek Pita patties with Greek Yogurt Sauce and my mom’s all-time favorite sandwich Sweet and Spicy Bacon Chicken Sandwich.

This colorful salad has cherry tomatoes, pineapple, cucumber, green onions, lettuce, beens and sliced streak to make Thai Beef Salad by Tara Teaspoon.

Thai Beef Salad

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: Serves 8 to 10

Calories per serving: 275

Fat per serving: 13.5

Thai Beef Salad

Arrange everything on a pretty platter for a stunning presentation.


  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 4 tsp light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 2-lb flank steak
  • ½ lb green beans, trimmed
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1½ tsp fish sauce (nuoc nam)
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 head (4 cups) Bibb or Boston lettuce
  • ¼ of a pineapple sliced into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup (5 oz) cherry tomatoes halved
  • ⅓ of a seedless cucumber, sliced
  • ¼ cup sliced scallions


  1. Stir together garlic, ginger, 3 tbsp lime juice, pepper flakes, 2 tsp sugar and salt. Pour over steak in an ovenproof dish, coating both sides. Marinate in refrigerator 20 min.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add green beans and cook until just tender, 2 to 3 min; immediately submerge in a bowl of ice water to cool. Drain and set aside.
  3. For the dressing, whisk together 5 tbsp lime juice, soy sauce, 2 tsp sugar, fish sauce and oil. Transfer to a serving bowl.
  4. Heat broiler to high. Broil steak 6 inches from heat, turning once, 5 min per side. Remove from oven and let rest 5 min.
  5. Arrange lettuce leaves on a large platter with green beans, pineapple, tomatoes, cucumber and scallions. Slice steak across the grain and place on platter. Serve with dressing on the side.
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Recipe by Tara Bench & Vanessa Seder
Originally published in LHJ April 2009
Photography Miki Duisterhof
Food Styling Jee Levin
Prop Stylist Pamela Duncan Silver

Crunchy Chicken Noodle Salad

By | 4th of July, Buffets, Chicken, Easy Dinners, Entertaining, Holidays + Seasons, Kid Friendly Dinners, Kids, Main Dish, Meat + Poultry, Mother's Day, One Dish Meals, Party Foods, Pasta, Picnics, Salads, Spring, Summertime Favorites, Uncategorized | No Comments

Crunchy Chicken Noodle Salad with juicy oranges, radishes and snow peas makes eating salad your new favorite thing!

By adding some crunchy ramen noodles to this Asian-inspired salad, you get a more filling, fun meal. There are a few recipes for ramen noodle salads out there, using different dressings and flavors. I love fresh veggies and cabbage with sesame dressings. That Asian flavor isn’t overpowering like an Italian vinaigrette, and I usually have the ingredients for it in my pantry. I used my Ginger Sesame Dressing on this version.

Crunchy Chicken Noodle Salad

I saved us all about ten steps by calling for coleslaw mix! You’re welcome. This Crunchy Chicken Noodle Salad comes together in a flash with pantry staples like ramen and salad mix. I added chopped cashews for extra yum.

Crunchy Chicken Noodle SaladI call for letting the salad rest in the fridge for a bit. This allows the dressing to soften the noodles a little. They are just a little too crunchy without resting. I used a mandolin to slice my radishes so thin. You can just slice with a knife if you like, or even just cut them into slivers.

To cut the orange I supremed it. That means I cut the fruit away from the membrane. Simply cut the rind off of the entire orange and cut on either side of each slice of orange, slipping it right out. I then just cut the slices into bite-sized pieces.

Crunchy Chicken Noodle Salad

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: Serves 4

Calories per serving: 410

Fat per serving: 17.5 g

Crunchy Chicken Noodle Salad

You can substitute a can of mandarin oranges for the orange and try any kind of nut in place of cashews.


  • 1 pkg ramen noodles (discard flavor packet)
  • 1½ cups diced cooked chicken
  • 6 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 orange, peeled and diced
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 5 oz (1 cup) snow peas, chopped
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped unsalted cashews
  • 1 16-oz pkg coleslaw mix
  • ¾ cup sesame ginger dressing Ginger Sesame Dressing


  1. Break uncooked ramen into small pieces in a large bowl. Combine with chicken, radishes, orange, scallion, snow peas, cashews and coleslaw.
  2. Toss salad with dressing, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 25 min or up to 1 hr. Noodles will get softer the longer they sit.
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Right now I’m on a salad diet! I went on a trip and ate too too much! So…salad for me. But I have lots of great recipes, so if you’re in the same boat, or just love fresh dinners for summer, try The New Wedge Salad, with iceberg lettuce, beets, pancetta, hazelnuts and of course blue cheese. Chicken and Rice Lettuce Wraps are kind of a salad you can eat in your hand! I made a flavorful rice salad and you wrap your own portion in soft butter lettuce leaves. Enjoy!

Recipe by Tara Bench
Photography by Antonis Achilleos
Food Styling by Paul Grimes
Prom Styling by Paige Hicks
Originally published in Ladies’ Home Journal May 2011

Asian Slaw with Sesame Ginger Dressing

By | 4th of July, Buffets, Chicken, Easy Dinners, Entertaining, Healthy + Diet, Holidays + Seasons, Main Dish, Meat + Poultry, Mother's Day, One Dish Meals, Salads, Side Dishes, Spring, Summertime Favorites, Vegetables | No Comments

It’s so easy to slice veggies for an Asian slaw and whisk up Sesame Ginger Dressing, that dinner will be ready before you know it.

Sesame ginger vinaigrette tossed with colorful Asian slaw veggies like cabbage, snow peas and peppers, has got to be one of my favorite salads. This vinaigrette is easy, and so good, you’ll want to drizzle it on everything in sight, if not drink it! But please don’t ACTUALLY drink it, because drinking salad dressing is weird and probably off-putting to your loved ones. Save some for the rest of us!

Asian Slaw with Sesame Ginger Dressing

I like to add chicken to my salad to make it a meal, but I regularly make this slaw without the chicken as a side; it’s also one of the best salads to make for potlucks. No one will be complaining it’s on the table!

This video I made for my post on shows how I made this salad in three minutes. Okay, okay it may have taken me a bit longer than three minutes in real life, but not much more. For more fun cooking videos subscribe to my YouTube channel Tara Teaspoon Official, here.

I used rice wine vinegar as the base for this dressing because it’s light and adds a tangy zing without overpowering the other flavors. As with all vinaigrettes, the trick is to get all of your flavorful ingredients together before adding the oil to them. The oil breaks into little teeny tiny parts when you whisk it. This separates the other ingredients and makes them float happily amidst the little oil parts. (Some people call that emulsification, but I prefer my more technical description.) The point being that your flavorful ingredients need to be nicely mixed and combined so they disperse evenly. Whisk together the honey, soy sauce, ginger and vinegar, and then taste the mixture. If you like it stronger, add a bit more soy sauce; sweeter, add more honey. When the flavor is just right, slowly whisk in the canola oil and let it break it into teeny tiny parts.

Savoy cabbage and Napa cabbage

Savoy cabbage and Napa cabbage tend to have leaves that are a bit curly, even dark green. They can both be used in Asian slaw because of their tender bite and mild flavor. In a pinch, you can substitute standard cabbage, but it has a stronger taste and takes a bit more effort to chew.

It only takes a few simple chops and slices to work through your cabbage, peppers, snow peas and scallions. You can thinly slice your cucumber as well, but I love these little paddle slicers. They make quick work of veggies (use the guard for safety, and watch those fingers).

The mandarins add juicy sweetness, but if they aren’t handy at your store, slice some orange segments into the salad instead.

In the cold winter months, I grill my chicken indoors on a grill pan, or electric grill like this one.


Asian Slaw with Sesame Ginger Dressing

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 1 cup dressing

Salad serves 6 as a meal, 10 as a side

Asian Slaw with Sesame Ginger Dressing

Savor this seriously tasty salad with an authentic vinaigrette for a fresh, delicious dinner.


  • ½ cup rice wine vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • Salad:
  • 4 cups Napa and, or Savoy cabbage, sliced
  • ½ red bell pepper, sliced
  • ½ yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 cup snow peas, sliced
  • 1 small cucumber, sliced
  • 1 scallion, sliced
  • 2 mandarins, segmented
  • 1/3 cup cilantro leaves
  • Grilled chicken, optional


  1. For the dressing, stir together all the ingredients except the canola oil until well combined. Slowly add the oil, whisking constantly. Set aside.
  2. For the salad, toss everything in a large serving bowl, top with sliced chicken if desired. Whisk the dressing again just before drizzling on salad.
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Veggies in the winter are so tasty and healthy. For a great dinner try my Roasted Vegetable Pizza, or serve my Vegetable Trio with Orange Thyme Dressing on the side of your main dish.

This post may include affiliate links. For more information please see my disclosure agreement.

Recipe and food styling Tara Bench
Photography Tara Bench
Video production Melanie Donahoo