Thai Steak and Noodle Salad

This recipe is adapted from the popular entree salad at Hillstone restaurants. We’ve simplified it for an easier weeknight meal.

Course Anytime, Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American, California, Thai
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 people



- Marinade -

  • 1/2 inch ginger, smashed with knife
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (tamari is my fave)
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 lb flank or skirt steak, cleaned of excess fat
  • salt and pepper

- Dressing -

  • 1/4 cup chili garlic paste (sambal olek)
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil, or flavorless oil
  • 1 garlic clove

- Salad -

  • 1 package dry asian noodles (soba, lo mein, udon, ramen)
  • 1 mango
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 scallions
  • 2 cups cabbage, finely shredded (napa or green)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves, torn
  • 2 cups arugula or baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup coconut, unsweetened
  • 1/4 cup chopped roasted, salted peanuts
  • more limes for serving, wedges



  1. Combine ingredients for marinade, except the steak, in a bowl and whisk together well. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Clean thick excess fat from the flank steak, using a sharp knife. Most fat can stay, but sometimes you’ll see a stringy looking piece that you can remove. Place with marinade and flip to coat a few times. Let sit while you work on the rest of the dish and as long as 48 hours in the fridge. 

    (If cooking the same night, make about 5 1" incisions into the steak randomly around the surface to help flavors absorb. Don't do this if letting steak sit overnight)


  1. Combine ingredients except oil in a bowl and whisk. Drizzle in the oil as you whisk to emulsify. (Alternatively, put all, including oil, in blender and blend)


  1. Boil water for the noodles and cook according to the package instructions, cook just a hare under so they don’t get mushy. When you drain the noodles, run under cold water until they are completely cooled. Toss noodles with a tablespoon or so of the dressing to marinate. Set aside.

    Chop, slice and dice your mango, cabbage, scallions, cucumber, carrots, avocado, cherry tomatoes (maybe leave whole if small). Tear your mint and cilantro leaves. Toss these all together in a bowl, add the salad greens and about half of the coconut and peanuts. Set aside.


  1. Heat a large flat saute pan over high heat. Add a drizzle of canola or sesame oil, just to coat the bottom of the pan. Remove steak from marinade and let the excess drip off. Place the steak in the pan and cook. Don’t move it after its been placed down. When the first side is deeply caramelized and the steak is cooked about halfway through, flip it over (for a typical 1.5 lb flank steak, this will take about 6-7 minutes). Cook the second side until deeply caramelized and cooked to medium rare (or your preferred doneness), remember that it will carry over cooking just a little bit. Let the steak rest for ideally 5-10 minutes. Slice across the grain into thin strips on an angle. Drizzle the steak with a bit of dressing.


  1. Toss the dressing with the salad, gently. Add steak. Add noodles. Toss all together very gently then mound onto plate in a tall dramatic pyramid shape. Garnish the top of each with more peanuts, coconut, herb leaves. Pluck out and rearrange veggies and steak to highlight each for a gorgeous presentation.

Recipe Notes

As all salads do when dressing, this will wilt rapidly in the fridge. I’d eat it the next day for lunch, but the leftover wary among us may not like that - SO, if you want to prevent leftovers, only toss the dressing with the exact portions you can eat, leaving the excess salad undressed. If anyone wants seconds, they can toss another small portion. Store in airtight containers and eat within 2 days. Unused dressing will last 2 weeks.

Flank Steak → skirt steak, filet tips, tri trip
Steak → chicken, shrimp, tofu, shiitake or portobello mushrooms
Mango → apricots or peaches, asian pear
Cherry Tomatoes → wedges of the best tomato you can find, any variety
Noodles → GF Glass noodles, zoodles, spaghetti squash
peanuts → sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pepitas, cashews