You won’t usually hear me say things like, “Oh my mom makes the best…” or when I’m at a restaurant you won’t hear me say “Oh my mom’s version is better.” My mom isn’t that kind of mom. The type of mom who loves to be in the kitchen, perfecting recipes that have been handed down generation after generation. That’s not to say I didn’t eat home cooked meals every night and liked it. Every night my mom cooked, and I usually enjoyed the things she made. But now that we’re all grown up, it turns out my mom cooked purely out of necessity and not out of passion. She’s actually pretty lazy when it comes to cooking. Still though, there are a handful things my mom made that have just stuck with me all these years as things that I just love to eat. Her steak salad is one of those things.
It’s totally simple, but to me it’s delicious. She would take leftover rib-eye steak, cut it up, stir fry it with some oyster sauce and throw it on top of a salad with a really simple vinaigrette. Eaten with a side of rice, makes for a complete meal. I think I just love the idea of meaty flavorful slices of beef mixed into a refreshing salad. I love the Thai beef salad, yam neua.
Here I just take a cut of flank steak, sliced up into strips, marinate it in some oyster sauce and garlic.
Then, I stir fry it on very high heat with some onions and extra oyster sauce. It’s important to get some good color on the meat without overcooking it.
Another key to this salad is the dressing. I’m not sure how my mom came up with this. Maybe it’s a very common dressing eaten in other homes. I know I just love it. I recently bought this brand of balsamic vinegar at Trader Joe’s and I love it. It has a very rounded, slighly sweet taste. The Maggi is key, but perhaps can be replaced with regular soy sauce, but I’ve never tried. Maggi just has a special taste to it that I grew up on.
Mom’s Steak Salad
1/2 lb flank steak, sliced into strips
Romaine lettuce (any lettuce or mixed greens works)
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1/4 onion. sliced
1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp oyster sauce
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp high quality olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar (Trader Joe’s has a great brand)
1-2 tsp Maggi
1-2 cloves finely minced garlic
Pepper to taste
1. Marinate slices of flank steak with garlic and oyster sauce. Let it sit in the refridgerator for at least 30 minutes.
2. Prepare dressing by mincing garlic, and combining with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and Maggi. Whisk vigorously to combine. The longer you let it sit, the more you’ll cut out the raw garlic taste.
3. Wash, pat dry, slice/julienne all components for salad.
4. Heat up pan with vegetable oil and saute onions on medium-high heat.
5. After onions get some good color, add beef and stir fry on high heat. Cook steak to your preference, I go for medium to medium rare.
6. Toss salad with dressing and then place meat on top.
7. Enjoy with a bowl of white rice!