Happy Memorial Day! Before we dive into civilian celebration of this three-day weekend, I want to take a moment to recognize the fallen troops who can’t be with their families today. Thank you for making the freedom we enjoy in our lives possible. Whether you’re feasting in your own backyard or headed to an Arrested Development viewing party, I hope you take a moment in your day to reflect on the true meaning of this holiday when you fire up the grill.
This Thai Steak Salad recipe might not make it on your Memorial Day menu today, but bookmark it for all your summer grilling. Ditch your traditional heavy, creamy coleslaws and go for this lighter and summery combination of colors, textures, and flavors. Cabbage, carrots, and romaine lettuce are dressed with a Thai vinaigrette and then tossed with ribbons of fragrant basil and salty crushed peanuts. All these ingredients can be prepped ahead so whether served for a weeknight dinner or a weekend backyard BBQ, it’ll be a stress-free experience.
This salad stands on its own and can dress up any meal but to make it a full meal, grilled steak (or grilled tofu for vegetarians) is my protein of choice. In my humble opinion, steak prepared on a hot grill is meat at its best. My 3 quick grilling tips:
- Season and tenderize – even basic salt and pepper makes a difference.
- Take meat out of the fridge about 30 minutes before grilling because putting cold meat on a hot grill will cause uneven cooking.
- Salt again right before placing the steak on the grill.
If you don’t have a grill, invest in a good grill pan that goes from stovetop to the oven. This is also a great kitchen tool to have when you’re craving something summery in the colder months.
- Flank or skirt steak – 1¼ lbs.
- Red cabbage – ½ head, sliced
- Carrots – ½ lb., grated
- Romaine hearts – 2, chopped
- Basil – 2 to 3 sprigs, sliced thinly
- Cilantro – ¼ bunch, chopped
- Fish sauce – 3 tbs.
- Lime juice – 2 tbs.
- Brown sugar – 1 tbs.
- Cooking oil – ¼ cup
- Peanuts (opt) – ¼ cup, crushed
- Steak – Season and tenderize with salt and pepper
- Cabbage / Carrots / Romaine hearts / Basil / Cilantro – Prep as directed
- Heat up grill to 500 degrees. Clean grates with a brush and then pour some cooking oil onto a paper towel. Using tongs, rub oiled paper towel onto grates
- Give steak another sprinkle of salt and pepper and then place onto grill. Grill on both sides for about 4 minutes for medium-rare. I like to rotate the steak midway through so that it gets more grill marks. For more well done steak, cover your grill and cook for an additional 2 to 4 minutes. Remove steak from grill and let it rest before carving
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Heat a grill pan over high heat. Brush with cooking oil.
- Give steak another sprinkle of salt and pepper and then place onto pan. Grill on both sides for about 2 minutes. Transfer to oven and roast for another 4 to 5 minutes for medium-rare, 6 to 8 minutes for medium, and 9 to 10 minutes for well done. Remove steak from oven and let it rest before carving
- Make dressing by whisking together fish sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, and ¼ cup cooking oil
- Toss salad ingredients with dressing. Season to taste with salt. Add chopped peanuts if using
- Slice steak against grain (basically perpendicular to the lines in the steak) and top salad with protein