From America's Test Kitchen Season 12: Southeast Asian Favorites
This traditional Thai salad features slices of deeply charred steak tossed with thinly sliced shallots and handfuls of torn mint and cilantro in a bright, bracing dressing. We started on developing our own version at the grill, choosing flank steak for its generous marbling, beefy flavor, and moderate price. Grilling the steak over a modified two-level fire and flipping it just when moisture beaded on the surface yielded perfectly charred, juicy meat. Adding a fresh Thai chile and a mix of toasted cayenne and paprika gave the dressing a fruity, fiery heat. Toasted rice powder, a traditional tableside condiment that gives the dressing fuller body and a subtle crunch, is not widely available, but we found it easy enough to make our own.
Our goal was to look no further than the supermarket to replicate this salad's complex range of flavors and textures. Along the way, we learned a neat trick for grilling meat.Watch the Video
Serves 4 to 6
Serve with steamed jasmine rice, if desired, although any style of white rice can be used. Don't skip the toasted rice: It's integral to the texture and flavor of the dish. If a fresh Thai chile is unavailable, substitute half of a serrano chile.