Thai Beef Salad with Noodles – authentic spicy, sour, delicious Thai beef salad with the addition of noodles. It is strong on flavor, boasting all 4 elements of Southeast Asian cuisine – hot, sour, salty and sweet. Every bite is an explosion of flavor.

Thai Beef Salad with Noodles
Thai Beef Salad with Noodles

I’ve been teaching Thai cooking classes for 6 years now. They have always been and always will be one of my favorite and most popular classes. The fact is – everyone loves Thai food!! I don’t think I’ve met someone who doesn’t and if I did we probably couldn’t be friends. Why do people love Thai food so much? Because every bite of food is an explosion of flavor!

What makes Thai cuisine different to western cuisine is the layers of flavor. Think of some of our celebrated national dishes – English Shepherd’s Pie, the American burger, France’s Coq au Vin, Germany’s Schnitzel, Hungary’s Goulash. They are all amazingly delicious but they are all also one dimensional. Thai food, however, is like the ecstasy of cuisine. (In a good way.) It creates a sensory overload!

Thai cuisine excites the senses because of its dimensions of flavor. There are 4 basic elements to Thai cuisine – HOT, SOUR, SALTY AND SWEET. These 4 elements create depth and balance in Thai cuisine. The sweet of coconut milk helps to balance the spiciness of curry. The sourness of lime balances the saltiness of fish sauce. In my classes I encourage the students to go home and play around with Thai flavors in their day-to-day cooking, keeping these 4 components always at the forefront of their mind. Have I used hot, sour, salty, sweet? Is one component too strong? How can I balance it?

Thai beef salad with noodles
Thai Beef Salad with Noodles

Thai Beef Salad with Noodles…

In Thailand, Thai Beef Salad is usually served as part of a multi-dish meal. There might be a few more salads, a curry, some grilled fish and rice, etc sitting at the table alongside the salad. Traditional Thai beef salad is also mostly vegetables and a little meat. Meat is expensive, vegetables are not. However, at home here in France or in the US we don’t have the time to make a multi-dish meal. We spend our busy lives juggling 15 balls at once just hoping one is not about to hit us in the head. And yet we want to eat healthy. That’s why I’ve come up with this variation. This is the authentic beef salad with bean thread noodles added to the mix to make it a bit more substantial and a one-dish meal.

Thai Beef Salad with Noodles is a perfect example of the 4 key components – hot, sour, salty, sweet:

  • HOT – chiles
  • SOUR – Lime Juice
  • SALTY – Thai Fish Sauce and peanuts
  • SWEET – Sugar

Add to that rare beef, crunchy vegetables, noodles and LOADS of fresh herbs and need I say more?!?!

And if you like this salad….you will probably love my Crunchy Vegetable & Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing

Thai Beef Salad with Noodles
Thai Beef Salad with Noodles

Thai Beef Salad with Noodles

Thai Beef Salade with Noodles

Authentic Thai Beef Salad with the addition of noodles to make it a substantial main dish. 

  • Author: Jessica Verity
  • Prep Time: 25 min
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Cuisine: Asian – Thai


  • Dressing:
  • 2 teaspoons Thai red chili, thinly sliced, about 1 Thai chili
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro (coriander) stems, finely chopped
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons (1/4 cup/60 ml) Thai fish sauce
  • 6 Tablespoons (90 ml) fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil
  • SALAD:
  • 1 nest of beanthread noodles (about 80-100g)
  • glug of olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 8 oz/225g grilling steak (depends on the country you are in but something not too fatty that is good for grilling)
  • 1/3 of an English hothouse cucumber, cut in half and sliced on the diagonal into half-moon shapes
  • 1/3 cup of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/4 small-medium red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup fresh mint
  • 1/3 cup of fresh coriander
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped peanuts
  • 4 large handfuls salad greens
  • For garnish:
  • additional chopped peanuts
  • lime wedges
  • cilantro (coriander) leaves


  1. Make the Dressing: Combine the chilis, garlic, sugar, fish sauce, lime juice and oil in a blender, Nutribullet or pestle and mortar and pulse/pound the chilis, garlic and cilantro into the wet ingredients.
  2. For the Salad: Place the noodles in a medium bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow to soften, this only takes a few minutes and then drain and rinse with cold water.
  3. Season the steak with salt and pepper. Heat the glug of oil in a hot pan and sear the steak on both sides until rare or medium-rare. Allow to sit for a few minutes before thinly slicing.
  4. In a bowl combine the noodles, steak, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, mint, coriander and peanuts. Add half of the dressing and toss to combine. 
  5. Mound the salad leaves into a bowl or platter and top with the Thai beef salad. Drizzle with additional dressing if you want or pass it on the side for everyone to add to their liking. Garnish with chopped peanuts, cilantro and lime wedges. 

Keywords: Thai Beef Salad with Noodles