Spicy Thai Beef Salad (Yam Nuea)

Spicy Thai Beef Salad Recipe (Yam Nuea)

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A Wonderful Blend of Thai Spices and Fresh Herbs in a Fresh Beef Salad.

One of my favorite Thai salads is Yam Nuea or the Spicy Thai Beef Salad. This salad is just bursting with flavor but also filled with freshness. It is a very easy and simple salad for you to make at home.

Thai food is known around the world for its spicy taste, freshness, and flavors. This recipe of the spicy Thai Beef Salad (Yam Nuea) is a perfect example of this. The reason why Thai food is constantly rated as one of the top foods in the world is that Thai food has some of its influences and roots in Indian, Chinese, and even Portuguese food.

Watch our video (on the link below) to see how we make Yam Nuea or Spicy Thai Beef Salad.

Authentic Spicy Thai Beef Salad (Yam Nuea) Recipe
Spicy Thai Beef Salad (Yam Nuea) Recipe

Spicy Thai Beef Salad Recipe (Yam Nuea)

You can download your free PDF copy of the recipe by clicking on the link below:

Spicy Thai Beef Salad (Yam Nuea) Ingredients
Spicy Thai Beef Salad (Yam Nuea) Ingredients

Spicy Thai Beef Salad (Yam Nuea) Recipe

Spicy Thai Beef Salad With A Burst Of Flavors

1 to 2 servings of the salad  

(for more servings just add to the recipe) 


10 ounces or 300 grams Beef Filet or your favorite cut of steak.  

Pinch of salt and pepper for the beef

2 to 3 garlic cloves 

3 Tablespoons Fresh Lime (use lime that is freshly squeezed) 

2 Tablespoon Fish Sauce (Thai or Vietnamese Fish Sauce should be OK) 

1 Tablespoon Cane Sugar (you can use white sugar but we like the cane sugar as we find it a healthy alternative and it works great in Thai food)  

1 to 10 Thai red chillies (use as many want for as hot and spicy as you want it) 

.17 ounces or 5 grams (small bunch) Fresh Mint

.35 ounces or 10 grams (small bunch) Fresh Cilantro

.70 ounces or 20 grams Thai Celery

.70  or 20 grams Green Onion (I bunch green onions) 

.70 or 20 grams Red Onion (about 1 red onion) 

1.76 ounces or 50 grams cherry red tomatoes

1.76 ounces or 50 grams cucumbers (about 2 small pieces) 



Lightly salt and pepper the beef on both sides.  Then you can grill it on your BBQ, grill or fry on the stovetop. Let the beef sit for at least 5 mins after cooking it.

After it has sat, cut the meat into thin slices.  


Cut up all the vegetables. They do not need to be cut to small pieces but just in bite size pieces.   Normally we peel and core the cucumbers. Slice tomatoes into small pieces. Cut the onion and Thai celery.   

Pick the mint and cilantro leaves off the stem.   


In a pounder pound the garlic cloves,  Then add the fresh red chillies, and pound them together with the garlic.  Add as many chillies as you want.  Remember the more red chillies you add the more spicy it will be.   

Then add in the sugar, lime and fish sauce and pound together. Stir until sugar is dissolved.  

Right before serving mix the meat, vegetables and dressing together.  Add some mint and cilantro on the top before serving.  

Why is Thai Food So Spicy?

All the years I lived in Thailand I would often ask myself that questions. Sometimes I would go out to eat and felt like I could hardly taste the food or all I could taste was the hot and spicy taste. Despite living in Thailand for many years, I could never eat the hot and spicy food like the Thai’s can.

A trick I learned in Thailand in eating hot and spicy food, if the food was spicy, eat rice with the food. Rice takes away the burning sensation out of your mouth. That is how the Thai’s will eat Thai food – with a bowl of rice nearby.

Thailand Floating Market
Thailand Floating Market

A Bit of Thai Food History

Like most countries, Thai food has changed and adjusted over the years as the history of Thailand has evolved, and as outside influences came into Thailand. I love this history of Thai food as it shows how the Thai people were able to take the best their foreigner visitors brought them to make some of the best and most sought after food in the world.

Indian Influence on the Thai Food

The Indians from India were knowns to be in Thailand during the Sukhothai and Ayutthaya periods during the 13th Century and beyond. There was a sizeable number of Indians in Thailand that this was mentioned by numerous western travelers and traders who came to the Thai courts during that time.

The Indians would have also brought with them some of their spices. It is believed that the Thai’s learned from the Indians how to use spices in their cooking and food in a variety of ways. We can thank the Indians for the wonderfully hot and spice flavors of Thai food that we have today.

One of the spices the traders from India and later Persia brought to Thailand is the curry spices. The Thais adapted these dishes so that they became what we know today as simply “Thai Curry.”

The Indians also taught the Thais about their herbal medicine. Many of the herbal medicine plants found in Thailand today originated from India.

Chinese Influence on Thai Food

The Chinese also influenced Thai food. In the 15th Century, many Chinese came to Thailand. They now form a majority of the Thai population and what is commonly known in Thailand as Thai-Chinese.

Like the Indians, the Chinese also brought to Thailand a lot of their foods like tofu, rice porridge, noodles, stewed pork, and rice. The Chinese introduced the Thais how to stir-fry with the wok and deep-fry foods.

Portuguese Influence on Thai Food

The first westerners, the Portuguese, came to Thailand in 1511. The Portuguese also brought with them many of their recipes including recipes as custard where they used coconut milk to replace cows milk.

One of the most important influences on Thai food came in the 16th or 17th century when the small red chill pepper was brought to Thailand from the Americas. This happened during the period known as the Columbian exchange, or the Columbian interchange.

The Columbian Exchange or the Columbian interchange was named after Christopher Columbus and his 1492 voyage that discovered America. The Columbian Exchange started the transfer and trade of plants, animals, culture, human populations, technology, and even diseases between Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americans.

It was during these Columbian Exchanges that the Spanish and Portuguese traders brought to Thailand foods and plants such as red chillis, tomatoes, corn, papaya, peas, eggplants, pineapple, pumpkins, cilantro, cashews, and peanuts. All of these are now a major part of the Thai diet and integral part of Thai food and Thai cooking.

We love this Thai Beef Salad or Yam Nuea. It is a great blend of spice, sweetness, grilled beef and vegetables. It is a very easy salad to make. Our recipe is a very authentic recipe from Thailand.

What is the Vietnamese Cucumber and Peanut Salad -Nộm Dưa Chuột?

This is a wonderful fresh Vietnamese Cucumber and Peanut Salad. Each day the Vietnamese will go to the market to buy the vegetables for the day. It can be common to see the Vietnamese coming home each morning with a bundle of fresh vegetables on their bike or motorcycle. This Vietnamese Cucumber and Peanut Salad is a great example of Vietnamese food as it uses mainly fresh cucumbers and bean sprouts as the main ingredients along with some peanuts. This is a wonderful fresh summer salad.

Discover the recipe of the Vietnamese Cucumber and Peanut Salad -Nộm Dưa Chuột by reading our blog Vietnamese Cucumber and Peanut Salad Recipe -Nộm Dưa Chuột and by watching a video by clicking here.

What Is The Vietnamese Bun Bo Nam Bo- A Warm Beef Noodle Salad?

The Vietnamese dish of Bún Bò Nam Bộ or the warm beef noodle salad is a wonderful fresh Vietnamese salad. Bún Bò Nam Bộ is an extremely popular food in North Vietnam. It is quite an easy Vietnamese recipe to make and you should be able to find most of the vegetables and ingredients you need to make Bún Bò Nam Bộ at home.

You can download our recipe for The Vietnamese Bun Bo Nam Bo- A Warm Beef Noodle Salad by reading our blog the Vietnamese Bun Bo Nam Bo- A Warm Beef Noodle Salad Recipe and watching the video by clicking here.

Anita L Hummel
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