Thai sesame noodle salad with steak

The first time I made this salad was for a friend’s dish-to-pass baby shower, and I was so happy with how it turned out. This salad just gets better as it sits with its flavors melding, and it makes a really pretty addition to a buffet style line up. I know it may look like it has a lot of ingredients, as a lot of Thai cooking does, but I promise you it’s worth it. More recently I made it on Sunday to act as a few weekday lunches, and I was thrilled with it again. The flavor combination of this dish is honestly a little bit life-altering. I love hearty cold salads and this one fits the bill better than any other I’ve encountered. With juicy medium-rare skirt steak and plenty of crunchy vegetables, this tastes like so much more than a salad. It’s got great texture, great color, and obviously great flavors of salty soy sauce, lime, vinegar, cilantro, and a little heat from sriracha. Go make this right now! 

Thai sesame noodle salad with steak

1 lb skirt steak
2 T pure sesame oil
¼ cup soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
Good amount of salt and pepper (maybe 1 T salt)
8 oz straight cut rice noodles (I use A Taste of Thai)
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 carrot, shaved into long strips
2 celery stalks, cut in half and shaved into long strips
½ red onion, cut into thin slices
3 T sesame seeds (I used white and black)
¼ cup roughly chopped cilantro

Thai dressing

½ cup pure sesame oil
1 tsp Sriracha sauce
2 T rice wine vinegar
¼ cup soy sauce
Juice of 3 limes
1 tsp sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper  

Marinate steak in sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, and salt and pepper for at least 20 minutes. 

Meanwhile, cook rice noodles according to package instructions (stirring vigorously—rice noodles can stick together while cooking and remain hard and uncooked). Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside to drain fully.

Toss peppers, carrot, celery, onion, sesame seeds, and cilantro in a large mixing bowl. When the noodles are fully drained, add them to the bowl as well. 

Heat a cast iron grill pan over medium high heat. When hot, place steak on the grill pan. Cook for about 4 minutes for medium rare, and flip the steak over to cook for another 4 minutes. When done, transfer steak to a cutting board to rest for 5-10 minutes.

Make the dressing by combining all of the ingredients in a bowl and whisking vigorously to emulsify the oil.

Pour ¾ of the dressing over the veggie/noodle mixture and toss well to combine. 

Cut steak against the grain into thin strips about 2-3 inches long. Add the steak to the veggie/noodle mixture and toss to combine. Pour remaining dressing all over and toss again to combine. Let flavors meld in the fridge for at least a couple of hours if you can, and then serve at room temperature.