Thai Steak Salad

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This is one of my favorite make-ahead dishes for the week, a huge Thai noodle salad with some yummy protein and a crunchy vegetable — so easy to make ahead of time, en masse, and the dressing for it just makes the meal even tangier and sweeter the longer you let it marinate.

I rarely actually use steak as I think you traditionally find when you order this at a restaurant, but every once in awhile a nice looking cut of meat goes on sale at New Seasons and I like to snatch it up even if I don’t have immediate plans for it (let’s be honest, I totally don’t know how to cook meat, other than in stew) and freeze it until inspiration strikes.

Which it did last week during an intense craving for this salad.  After letting the meat defrost, I marinated it for about an hour in the following:

  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced

In the meantime, I made the dressing for the salad.  First I chopped two cloves of garlic, and mashed that together with about 1/3 of a chopped fresh jalapeno, with my mortar and pestle.  To this, I added 2 tablespoons each of fish sauce and lime juice (sometimes I have fresh limes on hand, but if not, bottled Nellie & Joe’s always does the trick), and stirred in 1 tablespoon of sugar.

The only crunchy veggie I had on hand was some green cabbage (an extra carrot would have been ideal, to grate in for some color, but no luck), so I shredded that and added it to a big bowl with some cooked thin Chinese egg noodles.

I cooked the steak in a frying pan until it was cooked all the way through, then poured the rest of the marinade in and let that reduce until it had caramelized nicely all over the surface of the meat.  Then I chopped it up in little strips so it looked authentic, and tossed it in!