Vietnamese Beef Salad

Vietnamese-inspired beef salad, from grass-fed beef, with plenty of fresh herbs and bitter greens is a perfect weeknight dish. It’s a 30-minute meal. If you’re vegetarian, try tofu or mushrooms with the same marinade (skip the fish sauce). I like to serve this over jasmine rice.

Vietnamese Beef Salad with Fresh Herbs

Ingredients

BEEF

  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • ½ tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves smashed
  • 1 ½ pounds grass-fed boneless rib eye steak or New York strip steak trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons safflower oil or other neutral oil

SALAD

  • 1 medium size shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 ½ tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons coconut sugar or honey
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups lightly packed watercress or arugula or other salad greens
  • 1 cup torn radicchio
  • ½ cup fresh mint, basil, cilantro or other herb leaves, torn
  • 1 cups white jasmine rice (optional)

Instructions

  1. Stir together oyster sauce, soy sauce, cornstarch, fish sauce, pepper, and garlic in a medium bowl. Add beef, toss well to coat, and let marinate 20 minutes at room temperature.

  2. If serving with rice, cook 1 cup of jasmine rice in 1 ½ cups of water, or according to the instructions. Combine rice and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Cover with a tight-fitting lid, reduce heat to low-simmer, and cook 15 minutes. Remove from heat (with lid on) and steam for 10 minutes. 

  3. Whisk together 2 tablespoons water, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until sugar is dissolved. Add onion; top with watercress, radicchio, and herbs. Do not toss.

  4. Heat a large, heavy skillet over high, and add oil. When oil is shimmering, carefully add beef in a single layer. Cook, shaking pan every 30 to 60 seconds, until seared on all sides and meat reaches desired degree of doneness, 3 to 4 minutes for medium-rare. Remove from heat. Quickly toss salad, and transfer to a platter or serving dish. Pile cooked beef and juices on salad, and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

If you don't have oyster sauce, do not substitute fish sauce for it. (I did that and it was a salt bomb.) The dish will be too salty. It will still taste good without the oyster sauce, however if you have it definitely use the oyster sauce.