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Thai Beef Salad

Serves 4

Preparation Time: 10 minutes + marination / Cooking Time: 10 minutes


This recipe is dedicated to my wonderful friend Aaliyah who has been trying out most of my GPW recipes, and put in a request for this one which she had at my place. I made this a lot while I was pregnant because I could prepare the vegetables fresh at home, and consume beef for protein and iron. The best part was picking fresh herbs from the garden to go straight to the bowl – the aniseed smell of Thai basil was delicious! This is a fast and easy recipe to make, and with simple Thai favours and fresh herbs it is great to whip up when friends come around.


  • 300g beef, sliced and rinsed
  • 1 tbl oyster sauce
  • 1 tbl soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp ginger paste (or freshly grated)
  • ¼ tsp garlic paste (or freshly grated)
  • 1 chilli, sliced thinly (optional)
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber, peeled
  • 1 small carrot, peeled
  • 1 large tomato, cut into quarters with seeds removed
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 100g dried vermicelli noodles
  • Handful of fresh herbs torn/ripped by hand – choose from coriander, Thai basil, basil, mint, sesame leaves
  • 2 tsp coconut oil, for frying
  • Extra chilli, thinly sliced (optional)

NOTE – if you do not have Lebanese cucumbers, use half a standard long cucumber.


  1. Marinate the beef with oyster sauce, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and chilli. Leave for at least 1 hour for flavours to infuse (overnight is even better).
  2. Add noodles to a large bowl and cover completely with boiling water. Leave to soak.
  3. Using a peeler, peel away at the cucumber until you reach the seeds, to create long strands.
  4. Using a peeler, peel away at the carrot until you have a similar amount of strands as cucumber in step 3.
  5. Slice each quarter of tomato into long, thin strips.
  6. Heat a wok on medium-high heat. Fry the beef for 2-4 minutes (cook to your liking) in two batches with 1 tsp of coconut oil each time. Leave covered in a bowl to rest. [NOTE – Frying the beef in two batches ensures that the wok remains hot. If the wok cools while frying too much meat, water can be released which will stew the beef and leave it chewy and tough.]
  7. Put the fish sauce, lemon juice and sugar into a small bowl or mug. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds and then stir until sugar has dissolved.
  8. Drain the noodles and rinse with cool water.
  9. Put the noodles evenly into two large bowls.  Top each bowl with carrot, cucumber and tomato.
  10. Place beef on top and scatter herbs around. Add the optional chilli if you like it hot!
  11. Pour the fish sauce mixture over the beef in both bowls and serve immediately.

You can use whatever Asian style herbs you have at the time. For the photo above, I used coriander, shredded sesame leaves and mint. I was unable to obtain basil in South Korea.

Enjoy! GPW