Thai Beef Salad (Yum Nuea)
As with many Thai dishes which share the title “salad”, Thai Beef Salad (yum nuea) is not strictly a salad as most people would recognise it. Instead, it is a meat and vegetable dish which is cooked very quickly, leaving the vegetables almost raw, and it is then served hot. In many ways the Thai Beef Salad is the very definition of a stir fry. Simple ingredients, cooked very quickly at a high temperature in a wok (or frying pan). Where Thai Beef Salad does differ from other stir fry dishes, particularly those influenced by Chinese cuisine, is in the taste. A good Thai Beef Salad is fiery, due to the red chillies used in the preparation of the dish.
The real secret to preparing a Thai Beef Salad is to cook it quickly, no more than 2-3 minutes in the wok at high heat, and then to leave it to sit and cool on a serving plate a little before serving it. This allows the flavours to disperse, and also allows the sauce to drain to the bottom of the serving plate, leaving the vegetables clean and crisp when added. The importance of this becomes apparent when we consider that the juices from the cooked meat will become the sauce that is drizzled across the vegetables before it is served at table. Enjoy your dishes!
- 500g Beef fillet, trimmed
- 1 small cucumber, halved lengthways, deseeded and finely sliced
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 4 Chinese chives, finely sliced
- 3 Thai red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
- 1 handful each of mint, coriander and Thai parsley
- 2 tablespoons Fish Sauce
- 2 tablespoons Palm sugar
- Heat a frying pan over a high heat until very hot, brush the beef with the oil and then season generously. Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side until charred on the outside but nice and rare on the inside. Leave to rest for 10 minutes then cut into thin slices and place in a shallow dish, reserving any juices.
- Add the chillies, cucumber, Chinese chives and herbs.
- Make the dressing by whisking all the ingredients until well combined.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and carefully toss together. Divide between four dishes and serve immediately.
- Serve with the usual Thai condiments such as fish sauce, dark sweet soy, and sriracha sauce if you wish.
- It should also be served with jasmine rice, but it's also delicious with sticky rice (soaking up the sauce). Yam nuea literally means "tossed beef". This is a simple beef salad, and can be eaten hot or cold.