Beef Noodle Salad

March 12, 2017





For beef


Strip-loin beef, 400g
Salt, pepper and crushed garlic to season the beef
Oyster sauce is optional
Light olive oil or any vegetable oil to smoothen the frying pan


For noodle & salad


Glass noodle, rice noodle, or vermicelli pasta, 200g
A mix of fresh herbs and greens - an equal part of noodles
(Chopped spring onions, coriander and basil, whole mint leafs, diced shallots, halved cherry tomatoes)


For dressing


Fish sauce, 5 tbs
Lime juice, 3 tbs
Caster sugar, 2 tbs (or Thai clear sweet chili sauce)
Green and red chili, diced, 3 pcs (or more if preferred)
Olive oil, 1 tbs (or with a dash of sesame oil)


Method of preparation


1.   Season the beef, set it aside.

2.   Chop all the salad ingredients and set it aside in a mixing bowl. Mix the dressing in a separate bowl.

3.   Bring the water to boil then add the noodle or pasta. Cook the noodle accordingly. This process should take less than 8 minutes, depending on what type of noodle or pasta.

4.   While the noodle is being cooked, heat the frying pan with just a dash of oil – as very little as possible. Cook the beef with a very high heat and fast. What you need is a medium rare to rare, with ‘seared-like’ brown color at the outside and reddish-pink in the inside. The idea is to get the juice from this beef to add the flavour to the dish later.

5.   At this point, the noodle should be one minute before it’s fully cooked. Stop cooking the noodle. And stop the cooking of the beef and let it settle in the pan.

6.   You would need to rinse the noodle with water if it’s an Oriental glass or rice noodle in order to ease the stickiness. Or drain the cooked pasta. Let this sit in the strainer for a minute.

7.   Thinly slice the cooling beef and pour over it’s juice over it in a bowl.

8.   Add the dressing over the beef and then the noodle. Add the green ingredients last. More seasoning and to adjust the taste as desired. The taste must be stronger than it should as the noodle would absorb the flavours as the dish settles.


My note


This recipe is derived from the classic Thai Beef Salad, which allows cooks to apply various imaginations, substitutions and variations of ingredients. The most common styles would be:

  • No noodle but with ground roasted rice and MUST be with mint and red onion (shallots). No sugar at all for this style. Except for coriander, spring onion and mints, NO vegetables or tomatoes mixed into the salad on this recipe, as they would be served on the side instead. This is a classic Northeastern Warm Salad (Larp) or ‘Water Fall Salad’ (‘water fall’ = the juice created from cooking beef quickly in high flames). A great accompany to sticky rice.

  • A Central region style: no noodle but with chili jam, baked aubergine or fresh pea eggplant, mint and lemon grass.

  • With noodle, with either of the above basic style. A crossed-region twist as in this recipe, this is great to serve as a meal on it’s own and easier to complement other non-Thai flavours. The ingredients of the seasoning on this version are less exotic or quite common in contemporary kitchens (i.e no chili jam or ground roasted rice needed etc). But, it has to have enough tastes of spiciness, sourness, sweetness and saltiness as the leading the flavours - all at the same time.

Pay attention to the process of cooking the beef – it must not be well done. And also, if pasta is selected instead of the traditional glass noodle, select the type of the pasta that is lean or would not break easily. Green lettuce is always the best accompaniment to the finished dish.

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