To Thai for

To Thai For

Thai-style beef salad serves 4 – 6

Beef Carpaccio, a traditional Italian dish, is made with thinly sliced beef tenderloin which is drizzled with a fruity, garlic-infused olive oil, sprinkled with freshly ground black pepper and garnished with the likes of shaved parmesan, olives, semi-dried tomatoes, chopped fresh basil…

Importantly, it is served raw, which isn’t to everyone’s liking. More popular, and a favourite of some of our trendy eateries, is seared beef Carpaccio, where the meat is first browned in a very hot pan to rare or medium rare then treated as with the original.

Similar, but with a totally different garnish and seasoning, Thai-style beef salad enjoys far greater popularity. Like most recipes, there are many variations and interpretations. Some call for the meat to be seared in one piece then sliced, while others such as today’s recipe, ask for the meat to be sliced raw, then marinated and quickly seared just before serving.


  • 500g trimmed beef fillet, sliced thinly


  • 2 tblsp sweet soya sauce
  • 2 tblsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tblsp Thai fish sauce
  • 1 tblsp chopped garlic


  • 1 tblsp light soya sauce
  • 2 tblsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tblsp fish sauce
  • 2 tblsp lime juice
  • 2 tblsp palm or brown sugar
  • 1 tblsp chopped ginger
  • Chillies, to taste
  • Finely chopped coriander roots


  • 2 cups finely shredded cabbage
  • 200g bean sprouts, blanched
  • 1 small bunch snake beans or a handful of small beans, blanched
  • 1 small tin of straw mushrooms
  • 1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small bunch coriander (with roots to be used in salsa)
  • 4 sprigs mint


Combine marinade ingredients, pour into a bowl with beef, mix lightly and set aside for 30 minutes.

Combine salsa ingredients.

When almost ready to serve, arrange cabbage, sprouts and beans in small mounds on the plates. Remove beef from marinade and sear quickly in a very hot pan. Place on top of vegetables.

Heat remaining marinade and salsa ingredients in the pan.

Spoon sauce over beef and vegetables. Garnish with tomatoes, straw mushrooms, mint and coriander leaves.


  • Article first published in the Sunday Star Telegraph, 28 May 2000.  To view or download PDF of this feature CLICK THIS LINK —> To Thai for