Thai-Style Melon & Beef Salad

July/August 2009

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (28 votes)

We give this Thai-style beef salad a sweet twist by adding thin matchsticks of melon to the mix. Firm orange- or pale green-fleshed melon is equally good. The saltiness of the fish sauce helps to balance the sweetness of the melon.

"This salad had potential. I used romaine lettuce instead, and I didn't like the way the lettuce had the wilted look after a couple of hours. What I would do next time is make the sauce and the fillings (except the lettuce) in one bowl and...
Thai-Style Melon & Beef Salad

Makes: 6 servings, about 2 cups each

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  • 12 ounces beef sirloin, or other boneless steak, about 1 inch thick, trimmed
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce, (see Shopping Tip)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, grated or minced
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 medium-to-large firm ripe melon
  • 1 small green bell pepper
  • 1 small red bell pepper
  • 6 cups lightly packed torn Boston lettuce, (about 1 head)
  • 1/2 cup slivered red onion
  • 1/2 cup thin cucumber slices, halved
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed torn fresh mint leaves


  1. Preheat grill to medium.
  2. Sprinkle both sides of steak with salt and pepper. Grill the steak about 5 minutes per side for medium-rare and 6 minutes per side for medium. Transfer the steak to a clean cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes before thinly slicing crosswise.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, garlic and crushed red pepper to taste in a small bowl. Cut melon into enough 5-inch-long matchsticks to make 4 cups. (Reserve any remaining melon for another use.) Cut bell peppers into 2-inch-long matchsticks. Combine the melon and peppers in a large bowl along with lettuce, onion, cucumber, cilantro and mint.
  4. Add the sliced beef to the salad. Whisk the dressing, pour it over the salad and gently toss to combine.

Tips & Notes

  • Shopping Tip: Fish sauce is a pungent condiment made from salted, fermented fish. Find it in the Asian section of large supermarkets and in Asian specialty markets. We use Thai Kitchen fish sauce, lower in sodium than other brands (1,190 mg per tablespoon), in our nutritional analyses.


Per serving: 150 calories; 3 g fat (1 g sat, 1 g mono); 21 mg cholesterol; 18 g carbohydrates; 15 g protein; 3 g fiber; 690 mg sodium; 721 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Folate (23% daily value), Potassium (21% dv), Zinc (17% dv), Iron (15% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 1

Exchanges: 1 fruit, 1 vegetable, 1 1/2 lean meat

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