Recipe: Yam Neua (Thai-Style Beef Salad)

thai beef salad

We had friends stay with us this past weekend, which was a blast but afforded little time for cooking at home. We had some terrific meals, but they weren’t very healthy. Last night, with the house to ourselves again, Brother O’Mara and I decided we desperately needed something neither cheesy nor fried. Preferably with some vegetables.

This recipe is pretty ubiquitous, I think, but I’d never actually made it myself. It was super-easy and fast, and definitely a hit. Brother O’Mara put it on the list of things for us to make again, and I heartily agree. The flavors combined beautifully, while the beef afforded some needed protein. The recipe I used called for tomato, which I used, but I added red bell pepper as well, which actually tasted better. I will leave the tomato out next time.

We drank a 2006 Codice Tempranillo–or rather, Brother O’Mara had a glass and I, for some reason that still escapes me, apparently had pretty much the rest of the bottle. I didn’t really realize how much I’d consumed until we sat down to watch a movie and I immediately fell asleep. Not that this doesn’t happen infrequently–I’m notorious for falling asleep during movies–but usually I make it at least 20 minutes in before I conk out. Oh well.

(photo by lafille)

Yam Neua (Thai-Style Beef Salad)

Serves 2



8-10 oz. beef (I used rib-eye, which worked just fine)

1 small head of green leaf lettuce

1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced

1 Roma tomato, thinly sliced (optional)

1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced

salt and freshly ground pepper


1 1/2 tbsp fish sauce

2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 small red chili, seeded and finely chopped

2 tbsp water


1. Season your meat with salt and pepper and sear it on the stove (or a grill) for 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove it from heat and let sit for 10 minutes before slicing it thinly (it should still be pretty pink in the middle).

2. While your meat is restin’, make the dressin’. Combine fish sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, chili, and 2 tbsp water in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and keep warm.

3. Toss all the veggies together, top with beef slices and warm dressing. Serve immediately.


4 Responses to “Recipe: Yam Neua (Thai-Style Beef Salad)”

  1. limeandlemon Says:

    looks really delicious … Laila ..

  2. that is my fav. dressing but we use white sugar.

  3. […] yet to find a place that satisfies, so I’ve taken to cooking a lot more of it than I used to (here, for […]

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