Thai is one of my favorite cuisines, so when Thai Watercress and Steak Salad popped up in our “Make It Tonight” series from Fine Cooking, I knew we had to try it. Perfect for supper on a warm weeknight—which are starting to dwindle now that summer is but a not-so-distant memory. Plus, no cooking other than the few minutes the meat is on the grill.
A bright, tangy, fruity Thai dressing enhances the peppery bite of raw watercress, fabricating a myriad of flavors and colors to engage your senses. And engage it did. The steak was amazingly tender, and all of the flavors came together in perfect harmony. Russ was even surprised to learn there was jalapeño in the dressing. Yes, it was only a half of one, but it added just enough tang to be the perfect counterpoint to the sweet pineapple chunks.
Thinking ahead, we purposely chose a flank steak that was over 1 1/2 pounds, so that we’d have some leftover slices for a future meal—or to be honest, just to munch on when the urge arose.
Those of you who do not include red meat in your diet, feel free to substitute some leftover chicken, pork tenderloin or tofu.
Oil and season the flank steak with salt on both sides.
- 1 lb. skirt steak or flank steak
- 1 Tbs. canola or other neutral oil
- Kosher salt
- 2 Tbs. fish sauce
- 1-1/2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
- 1 tsp. dark brown sugar
- 1/2 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
- 3/4 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
- 3/4 cup diced fresh pineapple
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 1 large bunch watercress (about 7 oz.), stemmed and torn into bite-size pieces
- 1/4 cup chopped unsalted peanuts
Grill the steak for 3 minutes on each side over direct heat.
After resting under tented foil for 10 minutes, the steak is sliced against the grain.
Once cooled enough, toss the meat slices with the other ingredients before plating on the bed of watercress.
- Prepare a medium (350°F to 375°F) gas or charcoal grill fire or heat a grill pan on the stove over medium-high heat. Brush the steak with the oil and season all over with 1/4 tsp. salt.
- Grill the steak, turning occasionally, until cooked to your liking, about 3 minutes per side for medium rare (125°F). Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let cool slightly, about 10 minutes (if the steak is too hot, it will wilt the greens).
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, and jalapeño.
- Thinly slice the steak against the grain. In a large bowl, combine the steak, tomatoes, pineapple, and onion. Add the dressing and toss to combine.
- Just before serving, put the watercress on a platter, lightly salt, and toss. Top with the steak mixture and peanuts, and serve.
by Laura B. Russell from Fine Cooking
Top with peanuts for an added crunch factor.