The prep work for this dish — adapted from a recipe by Ivy Manning — takes some time, but it makes enough to feed a crowd.
If it’s not grilling weather, use a stovetop grill pan to give the scallions, tomatoes, and steak a nice char. And if you want to skip the steak entirely, the dish makes a great vegetarian meal.
| ||2 || cloves garlic, minced |
| ||1 || fresh chile, minced (use a fresh red Thai chile if available, a serrano if not; if fresh chiles aren’t available, use ½ tsp. to 1 tsp. dried red chile flakes) |
| ||1 || Tbsp. brown sugar, packed |
| ||½ || Tbsp. rice-wine vinegar |
| ||1 || Tbsp. dark soy sauce (use mushroom soy sauce if available) |
| ||2 || Tbsp. fish sauce |
| ||~ || Juice of 2 to 3 fresh limes |
| ||1 || cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeds removed, and flesh sliced into half-moons |
| ||1 || package (13 to 14 ounces) medium-width dried rice noodles (often labeled “pad thai noodles”) |
| ||2 || Tbsp. peanut oil |
| ||1 || bunch (about 8 to 10) scallions, washed and trimmed |
| ||1 || pt. cherry tomatoes |
| ||1 || lb. steak (such as top sirloin or flank), trimmed of fat |
| ||~ || Salt and pepper |
| ||1 || cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves |
| ||½ || cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves |
| ||½ || cup finely chopped dry-roasted peanuts |
- Make the dressing: In a large serving bowl, combine the garlic, chile, sugar, rice-wine vinegar, soy sauce, fish sauce, and lime juice. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the cucumber slices and set aside.
- Cook the noodles: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook until tender, about 6 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside. Snip into lengths of about 4 to 6 inches with kitchen shears, then add to the serving bowl and toss with the dressing.
- Prep the grill: If using an outdoor grill, preheat the grill to medium-high. Otherwise, get out a grill pan or large skillet.
- Prep the scallions, tomatoes, and steak: Put the peanut oil in a large baking dish and turn the scallions over in the oil until lightly coated. If using a grill, skewer the tomatoes on bamboo or metal skewers (if using bamboo, be sure the skewers have soaked for at least 30 minutes in cold water before using) and add to the baking dish, turning to coat with oil. (If you’re using a grill pan or skillet indoors, skip the skewers.) Sprinkle both sides of the steak with salt and pepper.
- Cook the scallions and tomatoes: Grill the onions and tomatoes over the hottest part of the grill, turning once or twice, until the onions are charred and the tomatoes are charred and soft. Put the onions and tomatoes back in the baking dish. When cool enough to handle, use kitchen shears to cut the onions into 1-inch pieces. Add the onions and tomatoes to the dressed noodles in the serving dish.
- Cook the steak: Grill the steak until medium-rare, a few minutes per side depending on thickness. Remove to a cutting board and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Thinly slice the steak against the grain.
- Assemble the salad: Add most of the cilantro and mint to the noodles and toss, reserving enough for garnishing each plate. Arrange the noodles on serving plates, topping each serving with several pieces of steak and a sprinkling of peanuts. Garnish with the remaining cilantro and mint and serve warm or cool.
Any other grilled summertime vegetables you have on hand — kernels cut from grilled ears of corn, green beans, zucchini, eggplant, etc. — will also work well in this dish.