Thai Steak & Noodle Salad

Before you take one look at the list of ingredients below and ignore the rest of this post, please hear me out.  This Thai Steak & Noodle Salad is unusual, tangy, filling, and oh-so-good.  Yes, there are quite a few ingredients, but there is overlap between the ingredients for the marinade and the salad dressing.  You can prep almost everything the day prior (the marinade, the dressing, and the vast majority of the salad ingredients - I'd cut the avocado and mango just prior to serving).  Plus, you are likely to have a handful of the ingredients already.  This would be the perfect one-course dish for a summer dinner party - you can throw the meat on the grill, toss the salad, and voilà!  

If nothing else, please give the marinade and the dressing a try.  Often I find that I'll marinade meat or chicken and once it is cooked, the flavor seems to have disappeared, which was not the case here.  And I think you could use greens and whatever other ingredients you happened to have on-hand, toss them with the dressing, and top with a protein to create a simpler version of this salad.

One tip - dress the salad right before serving.  I used kale instead of arugula, which held up in the leftovers the next day, but I'd advise waiting until you are ready to eat the salad (so if you plan to have leftovers, only dress what you'll eat immediately).

Thai Steak & Noodle Salad
Recipe from Bon Appétit 
Serves 4-6

Steak

   1 ½-inch piece ginger, peeled, finely chopped

   ¼ cup soy sauce

   3 tablespoons raw sugar or light brown sugar

   2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

   1 tablespoon fish sauce

   ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

   ½ teaspoon garlic powder

   ¼ cup olive oil

   1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

   ¾ pound filet mignon steaks, 1 inch thick

   Kosher salt

Dressing

   ¼ cup fresh lime juice

   ¼ cup hot chili paste (such as sambal oelek)

   ¼ cup peanut oil or vegetable oil

   2 tablespoons fish sauce

   2 tablespoons sugar

   1 tablespoon honey

   1 garlic clove, finely chopped

   Kosher salt (optional)

Salad and Assembly

   2 ounces dried ramen or lo mein noodles

   Kosher salt

   ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil

   1 large mango, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces

   ½ bunch arugula, stems removed, leaves torn

   ½ bunch watercress, tough stems removed (I omitted this)

   2 medium carrots, finely shredded on a mandoline or a box grater

   2 scallions, chopped

   2 cups finely shredded savoy cabbage (I used regular cabbage)

   1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

   1 avocado, cut into 1-inch pieces

   ½ cup chopped cilantro

   ½ cup torn basil leaves

   ¼ cup torn mint leaves

   ¼ cup crumbled toasted unsweetened coconut flakes

   ¼ cup finely chopped salted, roasted peanuts, plus more for serving

   Lime wedges (for serving)

Preparation

Steak

   Whisk ginger, soy sauce, raw sugar, lime juice, fish sauce, pepper, and garlic powder in a small bowl until sugar is dissolved. Whisking constantly, gradually add olive oil, then sesame oil. Transfer to a small resealable plastic bag and add steaks. Close bag, pressing out air, and turn steak to coat. Chill at least 6 hours and up to 12 hours (I marinated mine overnight, for approximately 20 hours, and it was delicious).

   Prepare a grill for medium-high heat. (Alternatively, heat a grill pan over medium-high.) Remove steaks from marinade and pat dry. Season very lightly with salt. Grill, turning every 2 minutes, until lightly charred all over and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of each steak registers 120° for medium-rare, 8–10 minutes total. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest at least 10 minutes before cutting into 1" pieces.

   Do Ahead: Steak can be grilled 1 day ahead. Let cool; cover and chill. Cut just before serving.

Dressing

   Whisk lime juice, chili paste, peanut oil, fish sauce, sugar, honey, and garlic in a small bowl to combine. Taste and season with salt if desired.

   Do Ahead: Dressing can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Salad and Assembly

   Cook noodles in a small pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and run under cold water to stop cooking. Toss with oil in a large bowl. Add mango, arugula, watercress, carrots, scallions, cabbage, tomatoes, and dressing and toss to coat. Season with salt if desired. Add steak, avocado, cilantro, basil, mint, coconut flakes, and ¼ cup peanuts. Gently toss just to combine.

Divide salad among plates, piling as high as possible. Top with additional peanuts and serve with lime wedges for squeezing over.

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