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it isn’t very often Mr MWCED or myself eat red meat.  Indeed it’s a rare occasion – and quite honestly I don’t think I have bought a piece of beef for many years (apart from the odd steak when lovely son comes home – just for him).  So interestingly it happened that we were both hankering for some red meat but not a lot of it,  and this salad seemed the perfect solution.

You could use a less expensive piece of steak, in which case I would marinate it overnight.  I wasn’t that organised and the meat was marinating for only a couple of hours.  I cooked the steak in the frying pan and once it was reasonably browned I then spooned some of the marinade over it until it was done.  The marinade caramelises and makes the outer part of the steak very tasty.



  • 1 ½-inch piece ginger, peeled, finely chopped, or 1 tablespoon pre-minced ginger
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder, garlic granules, or freshly chopped garlic
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 500g fillet steak (expensive, but absolutely the best for this dish – and you don’t really need a lot, if there are just 2 of you, you could use a bit less steak)
  • salt


  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup hot chilli paste (you could also use freshly chopped chilli)
  • ¼ cup peanut oil
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • Salt (optional)


  • Salad greens, enough for 2 (I used a mix of cos and curly lettuce from the garden)
  • 1 x carrot, grated
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • ½ cucumber, diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup sprouts (we had some fresh mung bean sprouts on the windowsill, so in they went)
  • ½ cup chopped coriander
  • ½ cup torn basil leaves
  • ¼ cup torn mint leaves
  • ¼ cup finely chopped salted, roasted peanuts, plus more for serving
  • Lime wedges (for serving)


  • Whisk ginger, soy sauce, sugar, lime juice, fish sauce, pepper, and garlic in a small bowl until sugar is dissolved. Whisking constantly, gradually add olive oil, then sesame oil. Transfer to glass bowl and add steaks. If you can, chill at least 6 hours and up to 12 hours, but you can still do this with an hour or two of marinating.  (As noted above, tougher cuts of meat will do better with longer marinating).
  • Prepare a grill for medium-high heat. Remove steaks from marinade and pat dry. Season very lightly with salt. Grill, turning every 2 minutes, until lightly charred all over, and finished to your preference (i.e. medium rare, medium). Instead of grilling you could also cook quickly in a frying pan.  Transfer to a cutting board and let rest at least 10 minutes before cutting into 1″ pieces.


  • Whisk lime juice, chilli paste, peanut oil, fish sauce, sugar, honey, and garlic in a small bowl to combine. Taste and season with salt if desired.

Combine salad ingredients.   Pour 2/3 dressing over them, then add steak and peanuts and pour over rest of dressing.  Alternatively, you can keep some dressing to have on the side.   Garnish with extra coriander and mint.


This could also be served with noodles or rice.  Though it was excellent without and plenty for 2 of us.