If you're looking for a dish that's bursting with freshness, fragrant aromas, and a mouthwatering umami flavour, then look no further than our Vietnamese Beef Salad! This sensational salad is not only a winner for a weekday dinner but also a perfect addition to any Asian banquet.
If you are looking for an easy introduction to Vietnamese cooking then our Vietnamese Beef Salad is a great place to start. We have marinated beef fillets in the classic Vietnamese flavours of fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, garlic and chillies, then added some crunchy vegetables and peanuts and tossed everything in a nuoc cham dressing
There is nothing complicated about this salad; all it takes is an easy marinade, a few veggies, aromatic herbs and a super delicious dressing to tie it all together.
You Will Need
Consider Adding... Some noodles such as vermicelli or rice noodles to make it even more filling. Cherry tomatoes or red capsicum/peppers for added sweetness and colour. Dried shallots or dried anchovies for added flavour and crunch.
How to Make It
Step 1 - Marinate the Beef
Place the beef fillet in a small bowl or container, mix up the marinade, pour it over the fillet, season with some sea salt and cracked back pepper, then toss to coat.
Keep it covered while you prepare the vegetables for the salad. Leave it in a cool place but not in the fridge as adding cold fillets to a hot pan lowers the temperature in the pan, and you will not be able to get a good sear on the fillets.
NOTE: You can marinate the beef the day before and keep it in the fridge; just remember to bring it to room temperature before cooking.
Step 2 - Shake-up the Dressing
Before diving into the fiery world of chili, it's a good idea to slip on some gloves for protection. Trim the chilli, remove the seeds and rinse it under cold running water, then dice finely.
Add it to a glass jar with all the remaining dressing ingredients, season and then shake well to combine.
Step 3 - Sear the Beef Fillet
Preheat a non-stick, frypan on medium to high heat.
Add your marinated beef fillet to your hot pan. Sear on each side for approximately 3 minutes or cook it to your liking.
Add the leftover marinade to the pan allowing it to sizzle and evaporate; the beef will absorb all its delicious umami flavour.
Then remove the fillet to a plate and allow it to rest for five minutes, before slicing.
Step 4 - Prepare the Veggies
While you are waiting for your beef to rest, we can get on with preparing the veggies!
First trim the end of your cabbage and remove the hard-core, and any damaged leaves and thick outer leaves from your cabbage.
Separate the leaves and wash them gently under cold running water. Shake to remove excess water and pat dry.
Then shred finely using a sharp chef’s knife.
Wash and trim the carrot and cucumber then using a vegetable or y-peeler peel them into ribbons.
Rinse the herbs under cold running water, shake and pat dry and then roughly chop.
Step 4 - Assemble Your Vietnamese Beef Salad
Place all the vegetables, herbs, cooked beef and peanuts in a large mixing bowl, pour over the dressing.
Toss until well to combined, taste and if you feel it needs it, season with some sea salt and cracked black pepper.
Arrange in a salad bowl and keep chilled until ready to serve.
Vietnamese beef salad pairs well with a variety of side dishes and accompaniments. Here are some options to consider:
- Fresh spring rolls: These rice paper rolls filled with herbs, vermicelli noodles, and shrimp or tofu provide a light and refreshing counterpart to the beef salad.
- Rice or rice noodles: Serving the beef salad over steamed jasmine rice or alongside rice noodles adds substance to the meal and helps balance the flavors.
- Vietnamese dipping sauces: Offer condiments like nuoc cham (a fish sauce-based dipping sauce) or hoisin sauce for individuals to customize their experience.
- Grilled vegetables: Grilling vegetables like eggplant, zucchini, or bell peppers and serving them alongside the salad adds smoky flavors and a touch of sweetness.
Tips and Questions
What Is Wombok Can I Use White Cabbage Instead?
- It is a Chinese cabbage that originated in Beijing; it is light green and elongated with a milder flavour and softer texture than ordinary cabbage. In the US it is known as Napa cabbage.
- You can swap it for any type of cabbage you have on hand, green, white, or savoy. Make sure that you shred it finely as you don't want big chunks of cabbage in your salad.
What is the Best Cut of Meat to Use?
- We used a beef eye fillet for this recipe as I wanted it to cook quickly and still be tender.
- You could also try some other tender cuts of meat such as sirloin, skirt, tenderloin, ribeye or flank steaks.
What Can I Use Instead of Lemongrass?
Lemongrass is available from most major supermarkets or at your Asian Green Grocer. It can be replaced with some Kaffir/Makrut Lime Leaves or with lime zest.
Can You Make Vietnamese Beef Salad Ahead?
- This is a great salad to make several hours in advance as the flavours will meld together for an even tastier salad.
- For a crisper salad just add the dressing just before you serve it.
- You can also make up the dressing and marinate the beef 1-2 days in advance and keep in the fridge until you are ready to make it.
How Can I Meal Prep This Salad for Weekday Lunches?
- Marinade the beef, cook, rest and then slice thinly.
- Cut up the vegetables and herbs and toss them together.
- Portion the vegetables into individual containers, top them with the sliced beef and scatter the peanuts on top.
- Place the dressing into small separate containers.
- Keep it refrigerated until you are ready to eat it, then simply pour over the dressing and toss it together.
How Do I Store the Leftover Beef Salad?
Even made up this salad tastes sensational after a few days in the fridge so there is no need to worry about food wastage.
More Asian Salads You May Like...
- Mandoline or V-Slicer
- Non-stick frypan
- 400 grams beef fillet (approximately 14.11oz)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon lemongrass, chopped
- 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 kilogram Wombok/Napa or Chinese Cabbage (approximately 35.27 ounces)
- 1 medium carrot (approximately 120 grams / 3.5 ounces)
- 1 medium Lebanese cucumber or Persian cucumber (approximately 170 grams / 6 ounces)
- ½ cup mint, chopped
- ½ cup coriander, chopped
- ½ cup peanuts, roasted
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
- 4 tablespoons fish sauce
- 4 tablespoons lime juice, fresh
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 red chilli seeds removed, finely diced
- Place beef in a container, add marinade ingredients, sea salt, and cracked black pepper. Toss to coat and keep covered.
- While beef marinates, prepare the salad vegetables. Avoid refrigeration to maintain pan temperature.*
- Trim, deseed, and finely dice chilli after rinsing under cold water.
- Combine all dressing ingredients in a glass jar, season, and shake vigorously.
- Preheat a non-stick frypan on medium-high heat.
- Sear marinated beef fillet for about 3 minutes per side. Or to your liking.
- Add leftover marinade to pan, allowing it to sizzle and evaporate.
- Rest cooked beef for five minutes, then slice into thin pieces.
- Remove core, damaged leaves, and thick outer leaves from cabbage. Wash, pat dry and shred finely.
- Wash and trim carrot and cucumber, creating ribbons with a vegetable peeler.
- Rinse herbs, pat dry, and roughly chop.
- Combine vegetables, herbs, cooked beef, and peanuts in a large mixing bowl.
- Pour dressing over the mixture and toss well to combine.
- Taste and season with sea salt and cracked black pepper if desired.
- Arrange in a salad bowl and chill until ready to serve