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Thursday, August 20, 2009

CEiMB: Grilled Thai Beef Salad

This week’s CEiMB recipe was Grilled Thai Beef Salad and was hosted by Jen of Jen B’s Cooking Carveout.

My husband and I just ate a steak salad last week with balsamic vinaigrette and bleu cheese, so I considered skipping this week in favor of trying something new. We both enjoyed the first salad, however, and I don’t want to get into the habit of skipping weeks in the cooking club since I’m enjoying it so much. So, I decided to make it anyway, hoping that Scott wouldn’t ask “Didn’t we just eat this a few days ago?” (Which he did, by the way.)

I think the best thing about a steak salad is that they provide a great way to incorporate beef into a dinner that is otherwise light and low in fat. We had our salad served with a baked potato (one that Scott and I split in half) and it made a very filling meal.

I also love Thai food and this was a good way to recreate and enjoy the flavors at home while still having a healthful meal. I have to admit, though, that I usually steer away from Thai dishes that are extremely heavy on basil, so the amount called for in this recipe (1 cup) seemed like too much to me. I cut it down to less than half and still found the flavor a little overwhelming.

This recipe requires you to make a dressing (using lime juice, oil, soy sauce, ginger, brown sugar and garlic) that is divided to both marinate the meat and dress the salad. I thought the marinade was quite good on the beef, but I did not enjoy it uncooked as a salad dressing – I think the flavors needed to be heated on the grill to really come together. I also believe this would be a good marinade for other protein as well and I will probably try it on chicken or shrimp in the future.

I did make two changes to the dressing – first, I used crushed garlic and grated ginger rather than mincing the two ingredients. I personally hate biting down on a piece of either of these items raw, and I found that crushing them helped to emulsify the dressing rather than having these ingredients sink to the bottom. I also used sriracha instead of curry paste just because I enjoy the flavor more.

Finally, I used thinly sliced onions on top of the salad instead of shallots. Unfortunately my grocery budget for the week did not allow me to pay $4.00 for three shallots when I already had an onion at home.

Overall, I enjoyed the flavors of this recipe but not the final product. If I make this again, I will marinate and grill the meat and possibly serve it with a side salad, but I do not plan on combining all of these ingredients into one composed dish again.


Maria Salomon said...

Great salad.....nice bowl!

Rachel said...

Thanks Maria! I got the bowl as a wedding gift - it is bamboo and it came from Target.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you didn't like this one very much; I love basil so adding that to the salad was genius for me - I wondered why I hadn't done that before. I agree though that the marinade was better on the steak than on the salad. We liked it, but I would have liked a little something different for the dressing. Great picture!

Anonymous said...

The photo makes the salad look so appetizing.
Unfort. you weren't 100% sold on the recipe. We thought it was great. Happens.

sara said...

Sorry to hear this wasn't a favorite. The meat was definitely the star and I plan to make it again with other things as well.

Jen said...

Looks great! Thanks for cooking with me this week!

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