Authentic Thai Beef Salad Recipe: A Symphony of Flavors and Freshness

Thai cuisine is renowned for its vibrant and harmonious blend of flavors, and one dish that exemplifies this culinary excellence is Thai Beef Salad, also known as “Yam Nua.” This refreshing and savory salad is a perfect balance of spicy, sour, sweet, and salty, creating a symphony of tastes that dance on your palate. In this article, we’ll explore the key ingredients and step-by-step process to recreate the authentic Thai Beef Salad in your kitchen.


  1. Beef:
    • 500g of beef sirloin or flank steak
    • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  2. Salad Base:
    • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
    • 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
    • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
    • 1 cup mixed salad greens (lettuce, spinach, or arugula)
  3. Dressing:
    • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
    • 2 tablespoons lime juice
    • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1-2 Thai bird chilies, finely chopped (adjust according to spice preference)
  4. Garnish:
    • Fresh cilantro leaves
    • Mint leaves
    • Roasted peanuts, crushed


  1. Prepare the Beef:
    • Season the beef with salt and pepper.
    • Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat.
    • Grill the beef for about 3-4 minutes per side, or until it reaches your desired doneness.
    • Allow the beef to rest for a few minutes before slicing it thinly against the grain.
  2. Prepare the Salad Base:
    • In a large bowl, combine the cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, and mixed salad greens.
  3. Make the Dressing:
    • In a small bowl, whisk together fish sauce, lime juice, soy sauce, sugar, minced garlic, and chopped Thai bird chilies. Adjust the quantities to achieve a balance of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy flavors.
  4. Assemble the Salad:
    • Add the sliced beef to the bowl with the salad base.
    • Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently to ensure even coating.
  5. Garnish:
    • Sprinkle fresh cilantro leaves, mint leaves, and crushed roasted peanuts on top of the salad for added flavor and texture.
  6. Serve and Enjoy:
    • Plate the Thai Beef Salad and serve immediately, allowing the flavors to meld together.

Tips for Perfect Thai Beef Salad:

  1. Choosing the Right Beef:
    • Opt for lean cuts like sirloin or flank steak, as they grill well and remain tender.
    • Ensure the beef is sliced thinly against the grain to enhance tenderness.
  2. Balancing Flavors:
    • Taste the dressing before adding it to the salad and adjust the ingredients to achieve the perfect balance of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy.
  3. Chili Heat Level:
    • Thai bird chilies can be extremely spicy. Adjust the quantity based on your spice preference, and consider removing the seeds for a milder flavor.
  4. Freshness is Key:
    • Use the freshest vegetables and herbs for the salad base to enhance the overall freshness of the dish.
  5. Customization:
    • Feel free to add other vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, or radishes to customize the salad to your liking.


Thai Beef Salad is a celebration of Thailand’s culinary prowess, bringing together contrasting flavors and textures in a single, delightful dish. The combination of succulent grilled beef, crisp vegetables, and the invigorating dressing creates a culinary masterpiece that is both refreshing and satisfying. Whether you’re a fan of Thai cuisine or just looking to explore new flavors, this recipe is a must-try. So, gather the ingredients, embrace the art of Thai cooking, and treat yourself to the enchanting taste of authentic Thai Beef Salad.

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