Shaking Beef (or Other) Salad

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Adapted from Charles Phan’s The Slanted Door.The original recipe calls for filet mignon, red onion, scallions, watercress, and a soy-based stir-fry sauce. I’ve used Romaine in place of the watercress and a lot more of it to turn this more into an entrΓ©e salad. The warmth of the meat and vegetables will slightly soften the Romaine, but it won’t get lost. I’ve made several variations of this recipe, including one where I cleaned out the fridge: I passed half a pound of Brussels sprouts and a few carrots down the shredder of my food processor; I thinly sliced some shiitake mushrooms; I sliced a jalapeΓ±o, chopped some cilantro, and finely cut up a bunch of curly kale. So, I think you can really tailor this to what you have on hand. I also really love this salad when the beef is replaced with cubes of tofu, coated lightly in cornstarch and pan-fried until golden. They stay crisp but also soak up the flavorful sauce. Finally, the original recipe calls for a lime dipping sauce made with fresh lime, salt and pepper. When this dish becomes more of a salad, as here, the dipping sauce doesn’t work as well, but a little bit of fresh lime to taste is nice.

  • 3/4 to 1 pounds skirt steak, thinly sliced across the grain
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil or grapeseed oil, divided
  • 3 teaspoons sugar, divided
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons mirin
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 7 ounces Romaine lettuce or other (see note)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 3 to 4 scallions, white and green parts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 6 ounces other vegetables, optional, such as shiitake mushrooms, carrots, shaved Brussels sprouts, cabbage (see notes above)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • fresh lime wedges for serving, optional


  1. Place the steak in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of the oil, 1 teaspoon of the sugar, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and pepper to taste. Toss to coat. The steak can sit like this for as long as one day in the fridge.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the remaining 2 teaspoons of sugar, the vinegar, mirin, soy sauce, and fish sauce. Place the Romaine in a large serving bowl.
  3. Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil, and when it shimmers, add the steak. Cook undisturbed for about a minute, then stir and cook until done, about 1 more minute. Transfer steak to a plate. Discard oil in wok, and add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Immediately add the red onion, and scallions. Cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Add any other vegetables, the garlic and cook for 1 more minute or until the vegetables just begin to soften. Return the steak to the wok and add the sauce. Bring to a simmer (it should happen immediately), toss to coat, then turn off the heat.
  4. Pour the contents of the wok over the Romaine. Let sit for a minute to allow the heat to soften the Romaine. Toss gently to combine. Serve with lime wedges if using.


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