I’d love to lock this recipe down and say “this is Thai salad” or “this is a Chinese beef dish,” but the reality is that I stole components from a whole bunch of different countries in Asia, and probably bastardized the cuisines of all of those countries to the point where their denizens would cry real tears, so let’s just stick with the generic “Asian” moniker, okay? Because honesty matters.
This salad is the perfect dish for when you accidentally confuse one BOX of brownie mix with one SERVING of brownie mix, and it’s only 4 p.m. and you are still hungry for nutrition. Why? Because it’s between 300-500 calories a serving, depending on how big you go. And because it’s jam packed with actual nutrients in the form of vegetables and protein. It’s the dinner of champions…who maybe ate a vat of brownie batter for lunch. Stop judging.
It’s also impressive enough that you can serve it for a festive lunch or light dinner party, even though it really involves very little work. Plus, it’s just really good. It’s complex enough in flavor and texture that you won’t get bored after a few bites, which is the typical failing of entree salads.
|Asian Beef Salad Napoleons||
- –For the dressing–
- 1 t fresh grated ginger
- 1 T chopped cilantro
- ¼ C seasoned rice vinegar
- ½ C olive oil or grapeseed oil
- 3 T soy sauce (more to taste)
- ¼ t garlic powder (or 1 clove fresh garlic, minced)
- 1 T sriracha
- 1 t white sugar
- 2-4 thai chiles (or part of a jalapeno–whatever you have)
- –For the salad–
- 3 summer squash (combo of yellow and zucchini)
- 6 green onions, root end cut off and all but 3″ green trimmed off
- 2 C shredded cabbage
- 2 C broccoli slaw*
- 2 C fresh snap peas
- 1 large sirloin or strip steak
- In a blender, combine salad dressing ingredients on high speed until they thicken slightly.
- Preheat grill or broiler to high heat
- Slice summer squash into 1″ thick rounds and season with salt and pepper
- Season steak with salt and pepper
- On a grill grate or other perforated pan, arrange squash and green onions in a single layer and grill/broil until charred gently on both sides
- Meanwhile, grill/broil steak on both sides until medium rare in the center and set aside to rest
- Toss together shredded cabbage, broccoli slaw, and snap peas
- Prepare garnish**
- Slice steak thinly against the grain, trimming excess fat/gristle
- Assemble by creating layers of crunchy garnish, salad mix, grilled veggies, and steak.
- Drizzle with dressing immediately before eating to preserve crunch
- Sit back and accept praise for your elaborate creation (that took 15 minutes of active prep time)
*both shredded cabbage and broccoli slaw are available in the bagged salad area of your local produce department. Broccoli slaw is a raw mixture of shredded carrots, broccoli, and red cabbage. It’s very nutritious, and tastes amazing with simple dressing
**To garnish, I took a package of rice paper rounds (used to make summer rolls, and available in the asian section of your local grocery store) and fried them for about 1 second per piece. They puff up immediately when introduced to oil at 350 F and make a delightful, crisp, low-cal crunch layer for your salad. If you don’t want to make the napoleon, and just want the flavors, you can use pre-made wonton strips or crunchy chow mein noodles instead.