Fun facts about Thai food

Thai steak salad with noodlesMy youngest son turned 15 at the end of January.  For his birthday celebration he wanted to take some of his best buddies out to one of his favorite rib joints – Hillstone Restaurant at Faneuil Hall in Boston.  My husband Eddie and I got a separate table nearby and I ordered my favorite salad in the world – the Hillstone Thai Steak and Noodle Salad. When salad trumps ribs you know it has to be great. I asked the waiter what was in the dressing.  He smiled.  It was clear that he was not at liberty to divulge the secret formula.  I wasn’t surprised. Hillstone has created a recipe treasure with this dish.  I’ve savored every bite of that salad, with my eyes closed for some bites, imagining what ingredients are making it so tangy and sweet and spicy and perfect!  After a lot of experimenting, here’s my version. The beef is warm and tender.  The greens are cold and crunchy.  The dressing is tangy and light; the mangos – sweet and fruity. There is so much going on in every bite!

I can’t think of a more colorful, fresh and happy dish for the middle of winter.

Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Thai
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 5-6
This one-dish dinner salad has everything going on - sweet, sour, spicy, tangy, tender, crunchy - delicious!
  • 1½ pounds filet mignon or other good quality steak
  • Marinade
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • Dressing
  • ⅓ cup fresh lime juice
  • 4 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha chili sauce
  • 3 large cloves garlic, pressed
  • 4 tablespoons neutral flavored oil such as Canola
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • Salad
  • 4 ounces Chinese egg noodles (cook per package directions, drain & cool)
  • 6 cups thinly sliced napa cabbage (1/2 a cabbage)
  • 2 generous handfuls of baby arugula
  • ½ cup packed thai basil leaves or regular basil leaves, slivered or torn
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 8-10 cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small carrot, shredded or julienned
  • 1 ripe mango, pitted and sliced
  • 2 avocados, peeled, pitted and cut into bite sized pieces
  • ½ cup chopped scallions, white part plus 2 inches of green (1 bunch)
  • 1 cup roughly chopped peanuts (put peanuts in a plastic baggy. Bang lightly a few times with a hammer or rolling pin)
  1. Marinate the steak Put steak in a shallow dish. Whisk soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and sugar. Pour over steak. Turn to coat. Marinate for 15-30 minutes at room temperature.
  2. Make the dressing: Combine lime juice, orange juice, fish sauce, sugar, Sriracha and garlic in a small bowl. Pour oils in slowly while whisking, to emulsify. Set aside.
  3. Cook Steak Sear the steak in a hot skillet with a tiny bit of oil for 2-3 minutes per side or to your desired doneness. Cut into bite sized slices. Toss with 2 tablespoons of dressing. Set aside.
  4. Salad Toss the cooked egg noodles with 2 tablespoons of dressing and put them into a large bowl. Put all the salad ingredients, except peanuts, into the bowl with the noodles. Toss with the rest of the dressing. Add the steak. Toss. Divide salad onto 5 plates. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts. Enjoy!



  1. Julia says

    I saw Thai, and was bummed – I used to love it until I became allergic to peanuts. SO HAPPY to see that the peanuts are just added at the end, so can be left off – Thai so often has peanut oil in the recipe. Thanks! Can’t wait to make it.

  2. Terri says

    Made this tonight and it was fabulous! we have relatives coming in two weeks and we’ll do it again!! I pumped up the garlic a smidge and gave it a squirt more of sarachi.

  3. Donna says

    I made this for Fathers Day and my husband loved it! I used a few time saving ideas. I found sliced and peeled mango at the store. Nice. The napa cabbage did not look good, so I bought a fresh bag of coleslaw and used that instead. I had some pre shredded carrots and japanese udon noodles already and It was a perfect dish. I will be making it again!

  4. Donna says

    Fell in love with this salad at Hillstone last year and always wanted to try to duplicate the recipe…then I found this recipe thanks to a friend. I added unsweetened coconut (about a handful) and some fresh mint to the salad in addition to the ingredients called for in the recipe. Cannot wait to do this again!

  5. Kim says

    You nailed it!! I’ve been craving this salad from Hillstone (Houston’s) lately and just found your recipe. I made it tonight and added a bit of mint. It’s just what I remember! I’ll be making this again and again and again…. Thank you!!!!

  6. Jeab R says

    It looks very fusion and good. I am from there and never have or heard of this dish before. Some
    ingredients are unusual for thai kitchen but well adapted to western market. That makes it convenient. I will try this recipe.


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