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Thai Beef Salad

Take a quick trip to Bangkok with this main-course salad - perfect for a hot summer evening. I do not remove the seeds from the chili - Thai food is spicy hot! There is no additional salt in this recipe, as fish sauce and soy sauce are very salty. Don't forget to reserve 1/3 cup of the sauce to use as the salad dressing.

1/3 cup fish sauce
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil (like canola)
Juice and zest of two limes
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 Serrano chili (or jalapeno) minced, seeds removed if desired
Flank steak, about two pounds
One head of Romaine, Iceberg or Butter lettuce, or combination, torn
Handful each of fresh basil, mint and cilantro leaves,
      coarsely chopped - plus additional cilantro as garnish, if desired
One English cucumber, sliced
One red pepper, slivered
Cherry tomatoes, as desired
About one cup slivered white or yellow onion
Mix the fish sauce, soy sauce, vegetable oil, lime zest, lime juice, brown sugar, minced garlic and minced chili in a small bowl. Stir well, and reserve 1/3 cup of the sauce to use as the salad dressing. Place the steak in a ziptop bag or shallow dish. Pour the remaining sauce over the flank steak and let marinate, refrigerated, for several hours, or even overnight.
Bring steak to room temperature. Remove from marinade (discard marinade) and grill the flank steak over a fairly hot temperature, until steak is cooked as you prefer. Remove steak to a plate, cover with foil and let the steak cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, place the torn lettuce, chopped basil, mint and cilantro in a large bowl. Toss with the reserved sauce. Arrange dressed lettuce on a serving platter and place the cucumber slices, slivered red pepper and tomatoes decoratively around the platter. Sprinkle the slivered onions over the top of the lettuce.
Slice the cooled steak, against the grain, into thin strips, then lay the steak over the lettuce and onions. Garnish with additional cilantro leaves, if desired. Serve immediately. Serves 4-6 - and can be stretched with additional lettuce and vegetables.

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