New Summer Staple: Thai Beef Salad

I think this will be a new summer staple at chez nous.

Three slices charred but still rare flank steak, seasoned with a suggestion of ginger, hot peppers and lemongrass, its beefiness heightened with a touch of fish sauce, its richness balanced by a spritz of lime juice.


For the Marinade
1/2 cup palm sugar or brown sugar
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1/3 cup lime juice
2 cloves garlic, grated on a microplane zester
1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste 
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 whole flank steak, about 2 pounds

For the Salad
Mesclun mix
mint leaves
cilantro leaves
chives, cut into 1 1/2-inch segments
basil leaves

I used a much smaller piece of beef leftover from another recipe and cut back on the marinade accordingly. 

Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until completely dissolved. Transfer to a small bowl, add fish sauce, lime juice, garlic, and chili powder and stir to combine. Transfer half to a small container and reserve until step 3. Add oil to remaining half and whisk to combine. Place flank steak inside a gallon-sized zipper-lock bag with marinade. Press out air, seal bag, and allow meat to marinate, turning occasionally, for at least 1 hour and up to 12.

Remove steak from marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Ignite a large chimney full of coals and wait until they're covered in grey ash. Spread evenly over 1/2 of grate, leaving the other half empty. Put the cooking grate in place, cover, and allow grill to preheat for 5 minutes. Scrape cooking grates clean, then place flank steak over hot side of grill. cook until well charred, about 3 minutes. Flip steak and continue to cook until second side is well charred, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer steak to cooler side of grill, cover, and cook until the center of the steak registers 125°F on an intant-read thermometer for medium-rare, or 135° for medium, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer to a cutting board, tent with foil, and allow steak to rest for at least 5 minutes.

Dress salad with a little vinagraitte and leftover marinade to taste. 

4. Slice the beef-- against the grain-- thinly. Plate the salad. Drap a few slices of beef atop the salad. Add a wedge of lime. Pop open a cold beer.