Thai beef salad (Yum Nua) made with grilled beef steak! It’s incredibly satisfying and full of Thai flavor. The juicy beef is tossed with fresh herbs, cucumber, and cherry tomatoes in a signature Thai dressing. Great for low-carb dieters!

Thai beef salad garnished with fresh herbs on a serving platter.

“This is a great recipe. My family loves it. We are having it for dinner for the third time in a month.


I love all kinds of Asian salads, but for satisfying taste and easy preparation, Thai beef salad is my top choice. Also known as Yum Nua or Asian steak salad, this refreshing dish is perfect for summer and bursting with authentic Thai flavors.”

It features grilled beef steak mixed with cucumber, tomato, shallot, fresh chili, and herbs. The dressing, a blend of fish sauce and lime juice, captures the essence of Thai cuisine with its signature spicy, sour, salty, and slightly sweet flavors.

This beef salad is not only easy to prepare but also healthy and fulfilling, making it ideal for those on low-carb or gluten-free diets.

Choice of Beef Steak

Beef tenderloin grilling in a pan for making Thai beef salad.

Any tender cut of beef is suitable for this Thai beef salad recipe. While I prefer to use tenderloin in my beef salad, rib-eye, striploin, or sirloin steak would also work well.

For a richer beef taste, you might want to use skirt steak or hanger steak in this recipe. Ensure you grill these cuts correctly to maintain tenderness and avoid overcooking.

Important tip to remember: Make sure to bring your steak to a room temperature before you begin grilling, about 30-45 minutes. Cooking a cold steak can result in uneven cooking.

Thai beef salad made with beef steak and fresh herbs on a platter.

Ingredients for Thai Beef Salad

Ingredients for making Thai beef salad (Yum Nua).

Using Fresh Herbs

To capture the full flavor of Thai salad, I recommend using fresh herbs, particularly a combination of cilantro and mint. Adding a small amount of Thai basil can also introduce an extra layer of fragrant herbal flavor.

For Salad Dressing

The combination of these 4 ingredients achieves the salty, sour, sweet, and spicy flavors typical of Thai cuisine.

  • Fish sauce: seasons and adds umami to the dressing
  • Lime juice: adds tanginess and sourness to the salad
  • Fresh red chili: adds spicy heat
  • Palm sugar: Provide a hint of sweetness. If not available, replace with brown sugar

How to make Thai Beef Salad

Quick Prep for Thai Beef Salad

  • Season your raw beef steak with soy sauce and pepper, then let it marinate for 15 minutes.
  • While it’s marinating, halve the cucumber and remove the seeds, then slice. Halve the tomatoes, thinly slice the shallot, and gently tear the herbs.

Grilling the steak

  • Place your steak on an extremely hot grill to achieve those desired grill marks. Cook until it reaches your preferred level of doneness.
  • After grilling, allow the steak to rest for 5 minutes before slicing thinly against the grain with a sharp knife.

Thai beef salad dressing

  • If using palm sugar, grate about 1 tablespoon. If you can’t find it, use light brown sugar instead of white sugar for a caramel flavor.
  • Extract juice from the lime and finely chop the fresh red chili. For a milder kick, consider removing the chili seeds.

Dressing and Salad Assembly

  • In a small bowl, combine fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, and chili. Adjust the taste for sweetness, saltiness, and tartness as desired.
    • Remove the seed from the chili if you prefer less spicy dressing.
  • In a large bowl, mix beef, cucumber, tomatoes, shallot, and herbs. Add roughly 3 tbsp of the dressing and mix. Add more dressing if required.
  • It’s best to serve the Thai beef salad right away. You can chill the leftover in the fridge, and the flavor will get stronger as it chills.
Thai beef salad served in a salad serving dish.

What to Serve with Thai Beef Salad

I typically accompany it with simple steamed jasmine rice. Here are some other pairings to consider:

Hungry for more Asian salad adventures? Don’t miss out on my Vietnamese Chicken Salad recipe– it’s a sure hit!

Love this recipe? Rate it and share your experience in the comments below! On Instagram? Tag me to showcase your creation. For more delicious recipes, subscribe to our newsletter!

Thai beef salad is tossed with cucumber, tomato, shallot, and fresh red chili.

Classic Thai Beef Salad (Yum Nua)

Classic Thai beef salad recipe (Yum Nua) is made with grilled beef steak, cucumber, tomato and fresh mint and cilantro herbs. Perfect for low-carb and gluten-free diet.
4.92 from 24 ratings


  • 3/4 lb (340 g) beef tenderloin, rib-eye, sirloin, or striploin, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • dashes pepper
  • 2 small cucumber or 1 English cucumber, seeded and sliced
  • 4 oz (113 g) cherry tomato, cut in half
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) mint, loosely packed and torn
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml ) cilantro, loosely packed and torn

For salad dressing

  • 1 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar, or light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 fresh red chili, finely minced



  • Season your beef steak with soy sauce and pepper. Let it sit for 15 minutes.
  • Grill your steak over a very hot grill to get the grill marks. Cook to your desired done-ness. Let the steak rest for 5 minutes, then slice thinly across the grain.
  • For the salad dressing, mix together the fish sauce, sugar, lime juice and chili in a small bowl. Taste and adjust sweetness, saltiness and tartness according to your taste.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine beef, cucumber, tomato, shallot, and herbs. Drizzle about 3 tbsp of dressing and toss together. Taste and add more dressing if needed.


It’s best to serve the Thai beef salad right away. You can chill the leftover in the fridge, and the flavor will get stronger as it chills.
Calories: 271kcal, Carbohydrates: 8g, Protein: 17g, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 60mg, Sodium: 836mg, Potassium: 478mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 467IU, Vitamin C: 27mg, Calcium: 30mg, Iron: 3mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag @beyondkimchee on Instagram. I love to see your masterpiece.