There are few more comforting ways to close out a stressful weekday than by indulging in a hearty plate of Thai takeout. Flavorful dishes like pad Thai, chicken satay, and green curry have a way of warming us up from the inside out, and takeout is just plain easy. But there’s an equally simple way to obtain soul-satisfying Thai food without relying on delivery thanks to Danielle Chang’s new cookbook Lucky Rice: Stories and Recipes from Night Markets, Feasts, and Family Tables ($19; amazon.com).
The book is named after Chang’s LUCKYRICE festival, a national celebration of Asian cultures and cuisine, and includes classic and modern recipes from countries such as Thailand, Japan, Korea, and China. Chang’s Thai Grilled Beef Salad is a cinch and perfect for weekday lunches and dinners. “This version hits all the high notes: smoky, beefy, spicy, herbal, sweet, salty, citrusy,” says Chang. “I like to toss in copious amounts of mint, basil, and cilantro to create a robust salad that almost competes with the meat.” Try the recipe below.
Thai Grilled Beef Salad
3 tbsp fish sauce for the marinade, plus 6 tbsp fish sauce for the dressing ($8; jet.com)
5 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 garlic cloves, smashed, plus 4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 lbs flank steak
2 medium cucumbers, halved, seeded, and sliced into half-moons
2 medium tomatoes, halved or quartered
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves and stems, plus more for garnish (optional)
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves and stems
Sea salt, to taste
1 lemongrass stalk, trimmed and finely sliced
4 dried Thai bird’s-eye chilies, coarsely torn, or 1 tsp Thai roasted chili paste ($16; smartorganicnyc.com)
1 tbsp Sriracha, or to taste (optional)
1. In a small bowl, combine the 3 tbsp of fish sauce with the 1 tbsp of lime juice and smashed garlic. Place the flank steak in a shallow dish, and pour the marinade evenly over it. Cover, and marinate at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, until the meat comes to room temperature.
2. Prepare a hot grill, or preheat a stovetop grill pan. Remove the meat from the marinade, and grill it for 4 to 5 minutes per side, until it’s well seared on the outside and firm to the touch, but still very pink in the center. Let the meat rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes.
3. While the meat rests, combine the cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, basil, cilantro, and mint in a medium bowl. Toss with a sprinkling of sea salt to draw out the liquid. Discard the liquid. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining lime juice and the fish sauce, the chopped garlic, lemongrass, chiles, and Sriracha if using.
4. To serve, slice the meat diagonally across the grain into ½-inch thick slices. Just before serving, gently toss the meat and vegetables with the dressing. Garnish with additional cilantro if desired, and serve at once.
Reprinted from Lucky Rice: Stories and Recipes from Night Markets, Feasts, and Family Tables. Copyright © 2016 by Danielle Chang. Photographs copyright © 2016 by Christina Holmes. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.