Thai flavors are bright, fresh, and perfect for a light, healthy lunch that doesn’t sacrifice taste or complexity. Yesterday we had my best friend (henceforth known as Hot Pot) in the house as a guest chef, and she helped me put together a spectacular salad that even Salty ate with gusto.
Shake says: Ms. Hot Pot brought over a delicious bottle of hard cider that went beautifully with this dish. That being said, it would also be delicious with a light beer or some unfiltered sake.
Special Equipment: Mandolin slicer, or a very sharp knife and patience
1-2 lbs flank steak, sliced thin
½ head Napa cabbage, sliced
½ head red cabbage, sliced
Saucy Note: You can use just one kind of cabbage if you’re not likely to use the extra, but there are lots of things to do with leftover cabbage. Braise it with bacon. Put it in stir-fry. Make Okonomiyaki! Vegetables are good for you.
½ red bell pepper, sliced thin
½ white onion, sliced thin
¼ cup whole mint leaves
¼ cup whole cilantro, plus more for garnish
1 mango, sliced, for garnish
½ orange, peeled and sliced, for garnish
½ lime, sliced into thin circles
½ orange, juiced
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. Frank’s Hot Honey Garlic
½ tsp. fish sauce
1 stalk lemongrass, pounded and chopped on the bias
2 inches fresh ginger, sliced thin
3 green onions
1 tsp. Franks Hot Honey Garlic
1 tbsp. sesame oil
½ tsp. soy sauce
½ tbsp. lime juice
small pinch of salt
Optional: Thai Chili Peppers. We sliced one into the dressing and it was flavorful but not super spicy. 2 peppers would probably be quite spicy, and 3 is only for the brave-you can always serve extra on the side if there are different levels of spice tolerance.
Before unwrapping the flank steak, freeze it for 10-15 minutes. The meat will firm up and be easier to slice. While the meat is chilling, mix the marinade ingredients in a medium bowl. When the steak is well chilled, slice it very thin and place in marinade. Marinate at room temperature for at least 15 minutes. Turn broiler on to high and adjust rack to highest position.
While meat is marinating, prepare your vegetables and herbs. For our vegetables, we used a mandolin slicer-I highly recommend investing in one if you don’t have one. A sharp knife will work, but a mandolin allows you to make paper-thin slices quickly and evenly-we had the cabbage, onion, and bell pepper sliced in about three minutes.
Wash and halve the bell pepper and remove the seeds. Cut the bottom off of one half, and then slice as thinly as possible. Peel and halve the onion, and slice in the same manner as the bell pepper.
Slice the cabbage last, since it is easier to wash after slicing and you don’t want to contaminate the other vegetables. Slice into a colander and rinse well under running water, then dry using a salad spinner or paper towels. Combine sliced vegetables in a large bowl with washed mint and cilantro.
Peel and slice mango and orange half. Since these are the garnish, slice them into thick sticks or squares, at least ½”. Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl and toss with vegetable mixture until just coated.
Lay the sliced, marinated meat on a broiler pan, removing any stray pieces of marinade ingredients. Broil for 90 seconds.
Divide dressed salad mixture between 4 bowls. Arrange beef on top of the salad, and garnish with mango, orange, and cilantro. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with extra lime wedges.