Crisp spring greens, crunchy carrots and cucumbers are tossed with plenty of fresh herbs (a signature of Vietnamese cuisine) and a savory lemongrass vinaigrette in this refreshing salad. Topped with slices of grilled, marinated flank steak that are reminiscent of the street food of Hanoi, this dish makes an excellent lunch or light supper. Add a few slices of crusty baguette (also a Vietnamese tradition) to finish the plate.

Ruth Cousineau
Source: EatingWell Magazine, May/June 1998


Recipe Summary

4 hrs 30 mins


Lemongrass Vinaigrette


Instructions Checklist
  • To prepare steak: Combine lime juice, fish sauce, soy sauce and chile oil in a large sealable plastic bag. Add steak and seal the bag, turning to coat the meat with the marinade. Marinate in the refrigerator, turning the bag occasionally, for 4 hours.

  • Meanwhile, prepare vinaigrette: Combine broth, lemongrass and 2 tablespoons shallot in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Strain into a small bowl, discarding solids. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons shallot, lime juice, fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar and chile oil; whisk to combine. Just before serving, stir in cilantro and mint.

  • Preheat grill to high.

  • Remove the steak from the marinade (discard marinade). Grill the steak, 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer to a clean cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice thinly on the diagonal, across the grain.

  • To prepare salad: Toss watercress (or spinach), cucumber, carrot, cilantro and mint with 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette in a large shallow bowl. Arrange the steak over the greens. Spoon the remaining vinaigrette over the top and serve.


Make Ahead Tip: Marinate the steak (Step 1) for up to 8 hours.

Note: Fish sauce is a pungent Southeast Asian 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.

People with celiac disease or gluten-sensitivity should use soy sauces that are labeled "gluten-free," as soy sauce may contain wheat or other gluten-containing sweeteners and flavors.

Nutrition Facts

225 calories; protein 27.9g; carbohydrates 10.6g; dietary fiber 1.9g; sugars 4g; fat 7.9g; saturated fat 3g; cholesterol 68mg; vitamin a iu 5326.4IU; vitamin c 37.7mg; folate 41.1mcg; calcium 132mg; iron 3.4mg; magnesium 54mg; potassium 785.7mg; sodium 770.2mg; thiamin 0.2mg.

Reviews (2)

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2 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 0
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 3 stars
Fresh tastes but too much work Though we enjoyed the salad I thought the same result could be had with less labor. The boiling of the ingredients of the dressing didn't seem to do anything and there didn't seem to be enough dressing. I get the idea but there was so much chopping. The best part was the whole mint and coriander in the salad which I think gave it the most taste. I would have shredded the carrots as I'm not a fan of hard carrots in my salad and I'm not a great matchstick maker. Also there didn't seem to be enough marinade to give the meat much flavor either. I would use the recipe as a basic idea. Pros: Herbs added a lot good way to use beef sparingly Cons: Too much work for a week day salad dressing didn't add that much Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Very tasty light and wholesome way to enjoy steak! I liked to add some rice noodles to get a little extra starch. Our whole family loved it including a seven- and ten-year-old! Read More