Yum Nua (Thai Beef Salad) with Shrimp and Squid

While living in Dallas, Texas, I encountered a lot of different food. I talk about it quite a bit on this site, however I think it deserves to be talked about. Sure, I traveled to New York City a couple of times while representing Ad agencies in winning awards for websites back in the day, and was totally amazed that I could walk into a side store and see someone cooking in the back, something amazing. I was blown away by that stuff, don’t get me wrong. But Dallas had a food thing going on as well. Everything from a great greasy spoon, to Middle Eastern cuisine that I just cannot find anymore, to some really amazing Asian food. They had it all, and everything was very accessible.

Thai Beef Salad Recipe

Granted I realize that I was raised on a lot of comfort food, and being from Indiana, there was a lot of Amish dishes, many of which I can’t share recipes with all of you. They are award winners to say the least, however, when I able to diversify my culinary palette, and realized there was comfort in all cultures, then it clicked. This is one recipe I can share with you. It is a make it your own kind of recipe, where the chili peppers are here for the taking (or not), the saltiness, the sourness, or the sweetness is also here to make it your own. Beef, veggies, seafood, or a mix of the few, you will sure be rocking and rolling after this wonderfully delightful, and fresh salad. I was introduced this salad while hanging out and playing cards  with buddies back in the day.


  • 1 lb of beef tenderloin
  • 1/2 cucumber, skinned, seeded, cut into strips
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup of fish sauce (more if you want it saltier)
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar (more if you want it sweeter)
  • 2 Thai chilies, chopped (more if you want it spicier)
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass, top removed, white part thinly sliced
  • 2 kaffir leaves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 of small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 (31-40) shrimps, cleaned, deveined, and slightly butterflied
  • 6 small squid, cleaned, cut into strips (optional)
  • Mixed greens, washed and dried
  • 20 fresh mint leaves, rough chopped
  • 5 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Fresh cilantro, small handful, rough chopped
  • salt and pepper to season the beef

Begin by slicing your beef tenderloin into thin slices. Salt and pepper both sides. You can grill, or broil the meat to your desired tenderness. I like mine medium, to medium rare on this salad.

While the beef is cooking, make the sauce, or dressing. Keep in mind that this dressing has the sweet, the heat, and the sour, that makes most Thai dishes rock with. Once you make the sauce, taste and adjust accordingly. Too hot? Add more sugar.
So to a small bowl, add the fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, garlic, and Thai peppers. I will stop here and let you know how much I truly love the flavors going on with this sauce. It is a perfect balance and goes great with beef, and for that matter egg rolls, or placed over warm rice. Dipping sticky rice into this, along with a cold beer, is another one of those mixtures that are really hard to beat.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add in the shrimp and squid, and cook for a few minutes until they are both cooked. Drain, and toss with some of the dressing.

To plate, toss the beef, shrimp, squid, lettuce, onion, cucumber, and herbs with some of the dressing. When I say some, take a spoon and drizzle some over the mixture, and lightly coat. Taste. If you need more, add more.

Plate the way you would want it presented to you, and dig in.

I can’t tell you enough of how this flavor profile is going to have you coming back for you. The dressing, the herbs, and the meat combination results in a light salad, that is just packed with great flavor. Enjoy.

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Dax Phillips

Thank you for visiting my website. Truly, I do appreciate it. My free time and stress reliever is cooking for my family, friends, and everyone in between. The recipes you find on this site are those that I have either created, been part of, or those that I simply enjoy and have made my own in some shape, form, or other. My focus has always been on comfort food, because at the end of a long work day, you want something comforting. I currently am the father of three children, and married to a wonderful wife of thirteen years. There is nothing fancy with these recipes, just simple, and I will admit, not so simple ingredients, and a simple kitchen corner I can call my own. I learned early on that cooking and bringing family together was very important. After all, this notion of being together at dinner time was instilled early on by my parents. There are many memories of being in the kitchen with my parents, watching them cook, or preparing meals, or those home cooked smells while waiting for dinner. My parents who worked full-time, always had home cooked meals during the week, with the exception of Friday nights where we would enjoy a Wisconsin fish fry, and often on late afternoons on Sunday, where we would order Ann's pizza. I tend to cook by making things up. As a home cook, I think you have to take chances, and add or subtract ingredients that make up a dish, and make them your own. Remember to taste, and taste often. If a dish has potential, try it again, and make it your own. You should also note that I do not count calories, or break down recipes into grams of anything. To me, that's a bit boring. My philosophy is that if the food is good, eat it, and eat it in moderation. Life is just too short not to enjoy good food. Commonly Asked Questions: Can I use your photography/content on my website/blog? Please do not redistribute my photography or recipes without my permission. All of the recipes and photography on this website are my own unless noted, and is subjected to copyright  If you’d like to use a photograph or a recipe, please contact me for permission. Will you review my product/book/site? I am available for recipe development, food photography and/or styling, travel/press events, product reviews, brand promotion/ambassador, and sponsored posts. If you are interested in working with me, or if you have a question/comment regarding a recipe or about my blog, please send me an email.

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