Spicy Thai Beef Salad with Wilted Coconut Lime Mustard Greens

This dish was a staple when I moved to London. It's where I've eaten the best Thai of my life! We discovered a little, nondescript place in Chalk Farm near our house called Muang Thai that became an instant favourite. The staff were all Thai, extremely friendly and the place was warm and inviting with dark wood accents and, of course, the food was incredible. 

This is a light dish. Though saucy, it's not heavy like a Thai curry. The heat from the chiles perfectly offsets the coolness from the citrusy dressing. You can serve it all cold or serve with the beef still hot. It makes a great starter for 8 or main for 4. 


Spicy Thai Beef Salad with Wilted Coconut Lime Mustard Greens
Serves 4




1 lb beef sirloin steak
1 tsp freshly ground pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch purple mustard greens
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 cup coconut milk

1/2 c fresh beef stock
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tbsp fish sauce (nam pla)
1 tspn turbinado or coconut sugar
1/3 c thinly sliced red onion
4 scallions, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 serrano chiles, minced
1/4 c fresh mint leaves
1/4 c fresh basil, chiffonade
1/4 c cilantro leaves
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

To serve

8 to 10 Bibb lettuce leaves
5 to 6 Chinese long beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
3 scallions, thinly sliced on the bias
1 seedless European cucumber, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick


Season the steak with pepper. In a large sauté pan, heat the butter over high heat. When beginning to brown, add the steak and sear on each side to desired doneness, though a rare steak is recommended. Slice the meat very thinly against the grain. 

In the same sauté pan, add the vegetable oil and garlic.  Toss in the chopped mustard greens and immediately add lime juice. Toss to coat. Add the coconut milk. Toss again and set aside when the greens are just wilted. 

In a medium saucepan, combine the stock, lime juice, fish sauce and sugar and bring to a boil. Add the meat to the saucepan and stir quickly to coat with sauce. Immediately pour the meat and dressing into a bowl. Add the red onion, scallions, chiles, basil, mint and cilantro and gently toss.

Mound the salad atop the greens on a plate. Serve with a platter of accompaniments and rice.