garlic lime steak and noodle salad

For most of the last decade or two, my dad was on a perennial low-carb diet, eschewing bread and often sugar, save for carefully chosen exceptions. When family would come over for dinner, he’d always tell me I didn’t need to make anything special for him, but I enjoyed the challenge of coming up with a menu that would work for everyone. The results became some of my favorite meals to this day. Previously, dinner parties usually had a carb-assault at the center — lasagna or spaghetti and meatballs or mussels and fries — but in these, protein (and a great heap of vegetables) get the spotlight: chicken gyro salad, street cart chicken (one of my favorites in Smitten Kitchen Every Day), piri piri chicken, and many steak salads. As should be clear, these aren’t bread- or carb-free, but they’re set up in an assemble-your-own style that allows the carb-rejecting to eat as they wish, and the carb-demanding (or not) children to get into the meal too. Everybody wins.

lime juice for marinade and dressingthin rice noodlescooked green beanspersian cucumbers
lightly marinated cucumberssome fixings

This is one of the more recent ones. I jokingly called it the Not-Really-Thai Steak Salad because I was craving a flavor profile, not authenticity. [While it’s probably closest to yum neua yang (grilled beef salad), it wouldn’t include noodles or greens beans, just for starters; neua naam tok (waterfall beef) would have even fewer extras, and is often served with rice.] The first time I made it, while it was delicious, I completely overdid it with fixings: chile-lime peanuts, crispy fried shallots, julienned mango, sheesh, almost full-sized salad bar of options. I was craving it again last Friday (when this handsome couple came over) but vowed to keep it simpler, trying to distill it to its most essential parts — it’s the garlic, lime, and fish sauce marinade that I crave most — and landed on this, and it was so good, it’s officially in the summer rotation now.


Because this is an assemble-your-own situation, getting the ingredient amounts exactly right can be tricky. If your people love noodles, you might need more. If they don’t eat noodles but love steak, get extra; a half-pound per person is a fairly safe bet for crowds. Some people love the dressing (my kids, even!), others devour entire bowls of green beans before people arrive (coughme). What I’ve written below works for our family of four on a weekday night. The leftovers keep well, too, so don’t be nervous about scaling up.

garlic-lime steak and noodle salad
garlic-lime steak and noodle salad


One year ago: Broccoli Rubble Farro Salad and The Red and Black
Two years ago: Cucumber Yogurt Raita Salad and Chicken Gyro Salad
Three years ago: Swirled Berry Yogurt Popsicles and Pasta Salad with Roasted Tomatoes
Four years ago: Carrot Salad with Tahini and Crisped Chickpeas and Nancy’s Chopped Salad
Five years ago: Lobster and Potato Salad
Six years ago: Tzatziki Potato Salad and Rhubarb Snacking Cake
Seven years ago: Strawberry Summer Cake and Spring Salad with New Potatoes
Eight years ago: Mushroom Crepe Cake, Braided Lemon Bread, and Carrot Salad with Harissa, Feta, and Mint
Nine years ago: Almond Raspberry Layer Cake, Asparagus, Goat Cheese, and Lemon Pasta, Raspberry Buttermilk Cake
Ten years ago: Green Bean and Cherry Tomato Salad, Martha’s Macaroni and Cheese, Crispy Salted Oatmeal White Chocolate Cookies, and Haricot Vert with Shallots
Eleven years ago: Coconut Pinkcherry Yogurt and Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Bakery-Style Butter Cookies
1.5 Years Ago: Root Vegetable Gratin, Cheesecake-Marbled Pumpkin Slab Pie, and Brussels Sprouts, Apple, and Pomegranate Salad
2.5 Years Ago: Date, Feta and Red Cabbage Salad, Pecan Pie, and Roasted Leek and White Bean Galettes
3.5 Years Ago: Pickled Cabbage Salad, Pretzel Parker House Rolls, Classic Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Praline Sauce, and Crispy Sweet Potato Roast
4.5 Years Ago: Cranberry-Orange Breakfast Buns, Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Onions, and an Apple-Herb Stuffing for All Seasons

Garlic Lime Steak and Noodle Salad

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

As we discussed when we made Crispy Tofu Pad Thai, fish sauce brands can vary a lot in their salty intensity so any recipe that uses it should be adjusted to taste. It’s not written this way below because the dressing should be all you need for flavor, but I usually toss my cucumber slices with a splash of rice vinegar, a splash of toasted sesame oil, and two pinches of salt because certain small people in my family seem more inclined to eat them this way. 1 pound of green beans is probably a bit much for most people; they’re a family favorite here so I tend to overdo it.

  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) brown sugar, light or dark
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons (45 to 60 ml) fish sauce, to taste
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) lime juice
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Thai chili powder, red chili flakes, or thinly sliced Thai/bird’s eye chili to taste
  • 1 1/4 pound (565 grams) flank steak
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) vegetable or another neutral oil, plus more for grill
  • 8.8-ounce (250 grams) package thin rice noodles (I used these)
  • 1 pound (455 grams) green beans, trimmed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces (225 grams) cherry tomatoes, halved (mixed colors are lovely here)
  • 12 ounces (340 grams) Persian-style small cucumbers, unpeeled, thinly sliced
  • About 1/2 cup chopped mix of fresh cilantro and mint

Make marinade and dressing: Combine brown sugar, smaller amount of fish sauce, lime juice, garlic, and chili heat of your choice in a medium bowl. Taste it; you want it to be salty and sour first, followed by sweetness and heat; I usually find I need more fish sauce.

Place steak in a sealable freezer bag. Pour in about 1/3 of this mixture and press all of the air out of the bag so it stays on the meat. Place steak in the fridge for about an hour and up to a day. I am usually in a rush, and just marinate it for as long as I am prepping everything else.

Slowly whisk 3 tablespoons oil into remaining marinade; this is now your dressing. Adjust flavors, again, to taste. Set aside until needed.

Prepare other salad ingredients: Bring a medium pot of salted water to boil. For regular sized green beans, cook them for 2.5 minutes; for haricot vert (skinny green beans), cook them for 2 minutes, then scoop out with a slotted spoon and drop into a bowl of ice water to cool, then drain and transfer to a bowl.

I use the water again to cook the noodles according to package directions; mine say to remove the boiling water from the heat, add the noodles, and let them soak for 5 minutes, until softened. Drain, place in bowl, and set aside until needed. If they get sticky, you can run cold water over them, or toss them with a splash of oil.

To grill steak: Get your grill really hot and lightly coat grates with oil. Remove steak from marinade and cook for about 3 1/2 minutes, and up to 5 minutes, per side, depending on thickness. Season both sides with salt and pepper as you grill. (I did 4 minutes per side in the thinnish flank steaks shown, and they were too medium for our tastes, but your mileage may vary.) Remove Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing very thin and putting on a serving plate.

To serve: Place cherry tomatoes, cucumbers (see Note), and herbs each in their own bowl with a spoon for serving. I like to put out extra sliced bird’s eye chili on the side, splashing a little rice or plain vinegar on it for extra kick. Put out your noodles, steak, and salad dressing too. A tiny ladle (I have one like this) is ideal for the dressing, because mine always separates, and this allows people to stir a bit before spooning it over.

To eat! We like to start with a small pile of noodles, followed by a few slices of steak, big spoonfuls of each vegetable, a few chilis, and a ladle of the dressing, followed by the herbs (don’t skimp; they’re perfect here). Repeat as needed.

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138 comments on garlic lime steak and noodle salad

  1. Deanna

    I’ve been on a noodle salad obsession for quite awhile. Weird it’s start time coincided with a move that took me away from all bun cha. The one thing I think this recipe is missing (for my tastes) is fried garlic or shallots. I buy both in large quantities at my local Thai grocery store.

  2. Cy

    Yum! I see my next party. So many people are on/off keto, no carb etc. this makes it perfect for everyone. Asian food is a big part of our local culture here in San Francisco. We have a wonderful selection of markets ( May Wah is the best). The endless aisles of sauces and spices is overwhelming! I actually have two brands of fish sauce in my cupboard. Three crabs is popular here, but, my favorite is Red Boat. I have a sensitivity to MSG and Red Boat is brewed without it. As always, thank you for the inspiration. I would happily eat this any day of the week! :)

  3. Kathryn

    Exactly our taste! Please could we have metric quantities too? I can do lb but converting from cups to weight or volume makes my brain hurt. Thanks!

  4. Sarah M

    Yes! Yum neua is a family favorite (my Thai mother-in-law’s recipe). It’s a great starter dish for people afraid they won’t like fish sauce. The dressing is delicious. Her version served with rice is basically yours without the sugar, garlic, tomatoes and green beans.. and just that simple it is out of this world. I’m excited to try this more vegetable-heavy version on my fam next week. No sides necessary!

  5. Paperbacklizard

    I recently read an article (on Epicurious I think) that was promoting *smashing* cucumbers as the ideal cuke prep method for salads (especially Asian-inspired ones). Have you ever tried this? I’m tempted to give it a shot for this recipe and see how it works!

    1. deb

      In fact, I have a smashed cucumber salad (with wasabi peas and salted peanuts, just trust me, it’s awesome) in Smitten Kitchen Every Day. But I’m not sure such a chunky, messy technique is good for mixing with a fine noodle salad here.

  6. manglin

    This looks terrific! Since I have a 4-year-old in the house, who isn’t especially fussy, but prefers foods separate, not all thrown together in one dish, I try to cook exactly like this, in an “assemble-your-own” manner, as you say. It’ll be nice to have something along those lines other than tacos I can make. (Although your recipe for sweet potato tacos has become a family-favorite!)

  7. This also looks like a perfect flexitarian meal. In my extended family, we have a vegetarian, a couple people who don’t like red meat, and some picky people who don’t really like certain veggies. We usually end up doing something similar to this, with a shared marinade/sauce for the various protein combinations available. This looks like a good one to add for our next family dinner.

    For others in the same boat, we were all recently on vacation, and generally did one fresh protein for dinner and then everyone else did leftover proteins from the other meals, or something else that didn’t need to be cooked (canned beans, marinated or smoked tofu). This worked really well for us, with minimal stress and much deliciousness.

  8. My dad did the same thing and is still doing the no-carb diet, for upwards of ten years now. He’s lost a ton of weight but complains about missing flavor and a sense of fullness as a result. I could see him eating this! I’ll probably make it the next time we’re together. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Dana

    The Garlic Lime Steak was very good. I heated the dressing to infuse the garlic more, and concluded that 2T of fish sauce would’ve been better than 3-4T. It rather stinks, lol, and overpowers the lime. I used grass fed beef. The mixture of flavors and textures was delightful and beautiful.

  10. sparkgrrl658

    i haven’t made this yet but i already know it will be good. for obvious reasons sure, but also because the pork noodle salad –
    made with the ‘dipping sauce’ from the peanut lime chicken recipe as suggested in the notes –
    is one of our faves. i know this comment looks a mess but what i’m saying is, i’m glad to see a sort of streamlined, stripped down recipe getting its own post. this is definitely going on my summer dinner menu.

    1. deb

      I know a lot of people like Red Boat, so I’d go with that, but I either have that, Masterchef, or currently, Squid brand around.

    1. deb

      Not at all; I’ve always used plastic bags and acidic marinades together. If you’re worried, you can always use a container but this isn’t a huge amount of marinade for the steak (I didn’t want to tell everyone to buy 10 limes, it can get expensive) so a bag makes it easier to keep the small amount right on it.

  11. Abigail

    I don’t eat fish- will this work without the fish sauce or is there something to substitute for fish sauce? Thank you!!

      1. Katie

        Have you tried vegetarian fish sauce? Does it add the same flavor profile without the fish smell? My husband won’t eat anything if he knows I made it with fish sauce, though he likes plenty of restaurant foods that include it, ha.

        1. Marcy

          If you’re nervous about fish sauce like I am, do what I did…. Tbsp and a half each of fish sauce and tamari or soy sauce. It had enough fish sauce to do what only fish sauce does, but 0 fish taste, and enough salt from the tamari. I LOVED this recipe… Definitely putting it on my regular rotation. Thank you!

  12. Shelly

    This turned out great, a big hit! Love the cucumber as you fix it for your small people – the sesame flavor is a nice touch with the rest of the dish. I used my immersion blender on the dressing, and the emulsion held together throughout prep & dinner.

  13. Made this for dinner today so hubs and I could have leftovers during the week. Loved the rice wine vinegar/sesame oil cucumbers, use of rice noodles, and different flavor profile of the beef. I might use 2 1/2 or 3 tbs of fish sauce next time. I marinated the beef 6 hours and thought it tasted too fishy- but hubs liked it. Used sriracha as an additional spice factor- yum! All in all a hit, that we can make again.

  14. MR in NJ

    Photo of daughter about to devour large spinach (?) leaf could be the cover of a vegetarian (or any) cookbook.

  15. kellyb

    Wow! Thank you Deb. We Made this tonight, and used what we had in the fridge… shredded carrots, tomatoes, scallions, but the surprise and a huge hit were slices of yellow mangos! A perfect foil to the sour, salty, spicy and background sweet of this marinade and dressing. This will be a summer staple for sure!!

  16. Rachel J.

    Shirataki noodles (this is a type of noodle, not a brand) might work in this recipe for those who want noodles and low carb. They have an unpleasant odor right out of the package, but if you boil them for a minute and rinse well, they are largely tasteless and absorb whatever sauce is put on them. I’m trying to cut down on carbs and have been experimenting with these essentially zero carb Japanese noodles, as I have found spaghetti squash and spiralized zucchini can sometimes interfere with other flavors on the plate.

  17. Rochelle Bochner

    I rarely comment on recipes or review them but I had to here! I made this recipe last night and everyone in my house LOVED it!!! I had kids, picky eaters, vegetarians and people with severe allergies to please/feed. People could not stop raving. I prepped everything in advance, I followed your instructions exactly when it came to the rice noodles…I let them sit in water until we needed them. I was actually a bit concerned, as they sat for over 2 hours. But they were absolutely perfect and not sticky!
    I did tweak a bit:
    1. Put out a dish of chopped green onions…nice addition in flavors
    2. Added some ginger to dressing
    3. served both beef (used skirt steak instead of flank) and chicken (boneless, skinless). I scored the chicken prior to dropping into the marinade so it would absorb the marinade.
    4. Used sesame oil for the finished dressing…yum

    Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe. I will add it to my arsenal of great meals to make again and again!

  18. Laura

    SO. GOOD. I’ll be making this an embarrassing amount of times over the impending summer in my sweltering NYC apt. I sealed the steak in a foodsaver bag and let it marinate for a while, then threw it in the sous vide at 128* for 1.5hrs. Seared it on either side in a cast iron pan and heaped our plates full! It was everything I love in a summer dish – grilled meat, loads of veggies, cool noodles, and a light zippy (thai-esque) dressing. Absolutely loved your suggested cucumber treatment, too! Thank you for saving me from a summer of Seamless!! <3

  19. Linda

    Made this tonight for dinner. So refreshing and delicious. I am diabetic so I’m always on the lookout for low carb recipes. I used tofu shirataki noodles instead of rice noodles and coconut sugar in the dressing (only 1 Tbsp). Loved the crunch from the greens beans and cucumbers. Definitely making this again. Thank you, Deb!

  20. Feeding John

    We loved this salad! Incredibly fresh & bright, summer in a bowl. We grilled our beans and soaked the noodles in a bowl of warm water (too hot & humid to turn on the stove). This recipe has found it’s way onto our list of favorites. Thank you!

    1. deb

      I know it looks so posed, but she seriously does this every time I am taking photos (because I’m usually doing it at 5:57 so dinner will be fresh and she comes home at 6) and this time, I hadn’t even REALIZED her hand was there until I looked at the picture preview screen.

  21. Hey Deb (and Alex), just want to say I really like the new “Related” bar at the bottom of each blog post, with the thumbnail pictures. I find it useful, thanks for adding.

  22. MMC

    Best meal we’ve made in weeks. The best part is how easy to tailor it is: more meat, more vegetable, less noodles, whatever your dietary thing is. Also, my four year old likes it!!

  23. This was delicious! And really simple to put together.

    I substituted seitan for the steak (and vegetarian fish sauce for the fish sauce) to make it vegetarian. [Pressed and then marinated tofu would probably work beautifully, too.] I also made extra sauce, because I found I didn’t have enough for both the marinade and the dressing.

    It is a perfect summer lunch and keeps wonderfully in the fridge all week (so long as the cucumbers are placed in a way that they don’t get too wet).

  24. Kathleen

    Definitely a winner, when we started eating this tonight for the first time my thirteen year old son said “we should have this more often”. The make your own is perfect for my family, i dont eat meat, my daughter added just a couple green beans to her noodle amd beef an husband and son ate everything (we added bean sprouts and sweet peppers too)

  25. This was excellent, as a cilantro-phobe I was nervous about the herbs, but Deb is right, they really do make the dish! This seems like it would also be really good as like a spring roll wrap — maybe I’ll try that next time.

  26. Marie-Ange Michaels

    I am so happy to have found this recipe. I love this salad. Since it has been posted, I have made a version of it already 4 times… each time with a different protein. It’s perfect for the summer and for those who like carb-lite meals.

  27. CJ

    made this, substituting raw veg (thin sliced jicama) for the beans. used shirataki noodles for low-carb. very tasty! any veg could substitute – i’m thinking red bell peppers and shredded cabbage next time.

  28. Kim Tran

    Yo, this is a Vietnamese dish called bun. The beef may be Thai-inspired, but honestly, Vietnamese people have been serving cold noodle salad with fish sauce dressing and some sort of meat topping for a long, long time. I know you weren’t going for authenticity, but it’d be nice to see some representation of the actual culture this is from

    1. vlnshosh

      CHILL. OUT.

      Many foods are found in multiple cultures – is it possible this recipe/dish is another example?!?! Do you really believe it was SmittenKitchen’s intent to offend YOU?! Its just delicious food. not a social justice potluck.

        1. Vlnshosh

          Impact over intent? So it’s ok to be rude if you have a social justice bone to pick with the world? Good luck making and keeping meaningful relationships with others with that kind of attitude! What is the point of Kim’s supposed impact then? To make smittenkitchen feel bad for not properly quoting the vietemiese ancestory of this dish? I missed the Italian SK follower who threw a fit when a grilled cheese sandwich recipe was posted and write SK that she should call it a Panini. Good luck making time to culturally appropriate every recipe in the SK library….!

    2. deb

      I was unaware that this was also the way a Vietnamese dish is made; thank you for letting me know.

      I fully understand how frustrating it is when a dish is mislabeled, although it wasn’t any kind of intentional omission. I try to research things as thoroughly as possible, and determined here that because — despite the fact that every recipe I looked at (in publications and books big and small) called salads like this “Thai Steak Salads” but it didn’t appear to be any authentic one, that I’d leave the geography out of it; it was this flavor combination I was after.

    3. AnnieN

      @Kim Tran, the Vietnamese aren’t the only people with the rice noodle salad with the fish sauce dressing. There was and, still is, a lot of trade and travel in this area between the neighboring countries (Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam). As a proud Vietnamese, I am comfortable in saying the salad doesn’t below exclusively to Vietnam. Everyone, from Cambodia to Laos to Thailand, has a variation of this salad.

  29. Raluca

    So easy, so good! I feel like having this for dinner three nights a week until the end of summer. It’s also a versatile dish; I varied with roasted pork tenderloin, glass noodles, and charred bell peppers with great success. The dressing is absolutely spot on.

    1. deb

      While this is not a feature I’m interested in adding to the site, I frequently use this recipe analysis tool to check information. It’s far more useful than any list I could add at the end of a recipe because it allows you to cut and paste whole recipes, removing or adding any ingredients you’d like and adjusting serving sizes to what you’ll eat or make.

  30. Kate Y

    This dish is AMAZING!
    The sauce is incredible. We used flap steak, and ate it two nights in a row because we couldn’t get enough!

    Fresh, delicious, easy, yum! Thanks Deb!! Your recipes never fail :)

  31. This was so delicious! I used the juice of two limes because that’s all I had and kept everything else the same. So yummy! Next time I’ll make sure I have 3-4 limes. The only other change I made was I did lightly season the cherry tomatoes with salt and pepper before serving. Thanks Deb for a great dish!

  32. Great meal. It did make a lot, but I think the leftovers will be just fine. I used about a 1/2 tsp of Thai chili paste in the dressing. Just to “translate” – I am about a “3” on spice in any Thai place. Also used asparagus rather than beans simply because I had it — as noted by others, the veggies are flexible. I imagine that using chicken or shrimp for this would also be wonderful.

  33. Morgan

    I made this last night and it is the perfect summer meal. The quick pickled cucumbers were a favorite and the beef marinade was wonderful. Thanks!

    1. deb

      It’s such a loss. He was one of the good ones; I wish we could have gotten him the help he needed. We’ve been watching Parts Unknown since the news; bad timing but it is still warming to enjoy what a gift he left us.

  34. Wife To An Amazing Cook

    I love the new “related” feature! And I’m so curious about the algorithm used to select what shows up, as I think the selections are perfect, though not so obvious that they are uninteresting. I guess I mostly just wanted to say thanks for keeping the site feeling fresh and up to date, while simultaneously keeping it the same (i.e., I don’t have to relearn your site’s architecture every six months, and I love you for that!). As for this recipe – it’s on tonight’s menu and I can’t wait.

    1. deb

      Thanks. I was actually looking to make a small adjustment and found this as an option feature, and was like “hrm, sure, why not!” which is the opposite way I handle any site changes. It needs some tweaking; no idea what the algorithm is and not sure it’s a great one. A redesign (sorry! but it will be for the best) is in the works that will smooth it and a few other things that were left a little clunky in the last one out.

  35. Unrelated, but I really thought you should know – June 14th is National Bourbon Day (for you)
    and today is Kitchen Klutze’s of America Day (for me!)

  36. Anna

    I’ve made it twice now, and it was really, really lovely. The first time I followed the recipe exactly, but cooked the steak in a frying pan as I don’t have a grill where I live now. It wasn’t super successful. The sugar it the marinade burned in the pan and created this thick, black coat that was difficult to remove. It also made the beef taste slightly burned. The second time I sliced the beef thin before cooking, and marinated in just fish sauce, some oil, garlic and lemongrass. Cooked in the frying pan again, and it turned out great.

  37. Karen Pitzer

    The recipe for Crispy Short Rib Carnitas with Sunset Slaw from your great Smitten Kitchen Every Day cookbook, calls for “meaty short ribs” I’m not having any luck finding pork short ribs. Can country style pork ribs be used instead? Thanks for your help Deb you’re the BEST!

  38. Jeanie

    Yum! My family agreed that we will be making this a lot this summer. We added extra veggies (thin sliced red pepper, matchstick carrots, baby romaine) but otherwise followed the recipe to a t.

  39. ptloveshouses

    We made this tonight and loooved it! My husband is on a low carb diet and as you noted, this was created with your father’s low-carb needs in mind, this perfectly filled the bill. We also inaugurated a new “no carb” shirataki noodle to replace the rice noodles and with the scrumptious dressing, they worked well.

    Thanks for a lovely dish, aesthetically and for the taste buds!

  40. Made this last night on a whim and it was delicious! We erred on the side of less fish sauce and it came out perfect to our tastes. Refreshing, lots of veggies and came together in no time at all.

  41. Becca

    So delicious, marinated the steak overnight with 3 tbsp fish sauce in the dressing. Such a quick and versatile summer dinner. Rave reviews from everyone.

  42. Donna

    Hi Deb – We had this for dinner last night and it was (of course) delicious. I always try to make your recipes exactly as written without substitutions, at least the first time just to see, but I had to make two adjustments for this one right away: flank steak is too expensive, so I went with a less-expensive sirloin, and I decided to substitute low-salt tamari for the fish sauce. I can’t have a lot of salt, and the brand I was looking at had over 1400 mg of sodium in a tablespoon. Now here is a question: what would you suggest I use in place of fish sauce to get the right flavor? Was soy sauce the right choice? This dish tasted great with the tamari, but I would like to get as close to your recipe as possible. Now I am off to research some more recipes…seems to me I saw a cucumber-avocado salad somewhere (maybe one of your cookbooks?!)

    1. deb

      I’m glad it was a hit. It’s tricky to replace fish sauce with other things because the salty/funky/fermented thing is key. However, I generally use it as the salt in a dish. Further, brands vary a lot by saltiness so it might be worth looking around, maybe ordering online one that better suits your diet, or simply using less. (Fish sauce from some countries is more salt-forward and funky than others.)

  43. Karen Wilger

    This is all about the dressing! I made this at a vacation house where I was strapped for ingredients. It was still excellent! I substituted soy sauce for the fish sauce since I can’t stand fish sauce -so I added some fresh ginger. I also used chopped romaine instead of the green beans and I brought back the mango option. Served with leftover cold chicken so it was not marinated, but dressed. Perfect, quick and easy way to use up leftover chicken! I will make this again and stick to the recipe.

  44. Jo

    Costco has really great quality and price on flank steak. I bring it home slice it the ATK recommended way freeze in portion sizes what a time saver. Beef stir fry with peppers & pepper episode has great tips on how to handle flank steak properly.
    Another great recipe & great for summer thanks Deb.

  45. Cristy Lee

    Used herbs from the garden and some filet mignon, as that’s what I had in the fridge, cooked med rare. I was worried how it’d take to the marinade, particularly being in lime juice for most of the day, but turned out wonderful. Really delicious and such a pretty meal. And my husband didn’t even pick around the tomatoes!

  46. Jacquelyn

    Most delicious thing I’ve ever eaten in my life. Every flavor was spot on in this. LOVED it. I followed recipe exactly with exception of adding some chopped thai basil and scallions as additional toppers. YUM! Since I have leftover noodles, but no more steak, I think I’m going to replicate the recipe tonight using shrimp. The lime/fish sauce/garlic flavor profile with the fresh herbs is something I think I could consume daily for the rest of my life. Thanks for ANOTHER amazing recipe!

  47. Jessica

    This dressing (and whole meal, but especially the dressing) is killer. I made it just as written, using the 3T amount of fish sauce and red chili flakes, and I could eat anything dipped in it. So delicious and balanced between salty, sour, sweet, and spicy. I’ve been rewatching Parts Unknown and it was the perfect thing to eat after watching the Thailand episode, keeping in mind my summer kitchen laziness.

    I went the “salad bar” route and had all three extras mentioned above (mango, peanuts, fried shallots) and it was fun but it would have been just as delicious without.

    1. deb

      Glad you enjoyed it and also yesss, we too are watching Parts Unknown and although it’s such a shame about Bourdain and such a loss for everyone I feel like they’re such a great gift he left us. Okay, carry on!

  48. Pamela

    I love pad thai, so this recipe was very inviting. I made it for dinner and my husband really, really loved it. Made me happy because it’s easy to prepare and wonderful for a hot evening. Thank you for posting this.

  49. randshoaf556139275

    Totally my kind of salad! Looks so tasty and fresh in your photos! I gave it a try and it was wonderful, but didn’t look quite as good as yours.

  50. Liz

    I made this last week as an assemble-your-own setup for a dozen or so folks with a multiplicity of ages, tastes, and dietary issues, and everybody had what they wanted and nobody went away hungry. I overestimated how much we’d need (family of origin = 11 at the table), and we feasted for several days afterward. The fish sauce boosts the beefiness of the beef, and lime is one of my favorite tastes. Plus noodles … this goes into the rotation!

  51. smallholdingsforsaleuk

    That meat looks delicious – assemble your own is great because I tend to drown my noodles in dressing and go heavy on the protein (hopefully not at every1 elses expense!)

  52. Oh this would have been so perfect for dinner, a light salad with meat during the heatwave. I love the flavor profile of Thai food, recently made a steamed fish with the same flavors. For this salad, great idea to set it up so everyone can make their own plate.

  53. I made this tonight and it was AMAZING! Best thing I’ve eaten in a while, and I even forgot to add the lime juice! 🤦‍♀️ Even so, it was so good, can’t wait to make it again!

  54. Nawana

    I just wanted to chime in here in case anyone was wondering. I made this exactly as written but swapping the flank steak for chicken thighs and it was amazing! Thanks as always Deb for yummy dinner on the table.

  55. A taste of summer in the midst of winter, here. Seems so simple, but it’s so so good! Used the broiler and did the steak (1.5 lbs) about 5 minutes per side, and still had plenty of nice dark pink.

  56. Mary johnson

    I love trying to read your recipes but have you ever thought to use a different darker color of lettering? For those with visual difficulties the grey tone makes it very hard. Thank you

  57. Trisha

    I made this and it was delicious and super easy! My boyfriend couldn’t believe his taste buds. The sauce made the meal. I added a jalapeno to the marinade for even more spice. I also used my Ninja Foodi to cook the steak and it still came out perfect.

  58. Jennifer

    Delicious! I live in a small town where ingredients such as Thai bird chile are exotic and difficult to find so instead I added sambal olek to the dressing/marinade and it was great. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  59. Rob

    I’ve made this recipe countless times – it’s one of my favorites. I often substitute sirloin if it’s less expensive. We finally had some good spring asparagus so I used that instead of green beans most recently, but both are delicious. I prefer the greater amount of fish sauce. The cucumbers with the vinegar/sesame oil are my absolute favorite part (and I didn’t even think I liked cucumbers!). Also makes amazing lunch leftovers throughout the week!

  60. Elena

    We made this last week for a dinner party and loved it so much I’ve done it again with salmon and then chicken in the week since! It worked great with either, the chicken really soaked up the flavor of the marinade much better than steak or salmon which was nice.

  61. Karen

    Great flavors! Big hit. A couple points – the marinade is not very strong, and no one really got those flavors coming across in the meat. I would just grill with salt and pepper next time – simpler. Then, I doubled the dressing to pour over the entire dish. As written, it’s a tiny amount that would get lost in the pile of noodles. I would also cut back on the amount of lime juice – it’s a bit dominant. Don’t skimp on the cilantro and mint on top! Very nice!

  62. Lora

    Sometimes it takes me forever to get to recipes I’ve bookmarked. I wish it hadn’t taken me until today to make this. So delicious! It reminds me of my favorite Vietnamese noodle salad, bun thit nuong..

  63. This looks delicious! I am totally making it for supper. I thought you might like this recipe ( I found the napa cabbage gets soggy so I use a regular cabbage, and I eyeball (read: double) the dressing. I also combine the cabbage with whatever asian wheat noodles I can get. The recipe suggests either/or. And the steak to top it is perfect. It hits all the sweet/salty/tangy notes and is a regular at our house.

  64. Gwen Hendry

    I made this for a campfire picnic dinner with friends last night. I dressed all the veggies and noodles seperately, and served in bento boxes with the sliced steak over the noodles in the largest section. It was so pretty, and perfectly tasty.
    I subbed is buckwheat soba noodles, remembering your recipe from a few years ago with miso. This dressing is simpler and, satisfyingly, I had all the ingredients on hand.

  65. danana

    Hi Deb – We had this for dinner tonight, and as always – this is delicious, and we will be making it again! I made it as written with this exception: I used an 8oz steak, so smalled the recipe, and used the broiler instead of the grill because it wasn’t worth heating up the grill for our little bit of steak. This will be great to serve when we have friends over (then the grill will be utilized!) Thanks as always – you are my go-to for recipe ideas, and I always find something wonderful and delicious to make, and which usually uses ingredients that I already have on hand. Thanks!

  66. Erin B

    I made this for dinner when it was hot out last week and it will be a go-to summer meal since I barely had to turn on the stove. I used the larger quantity of fish sauce – the brand we have is not super funky or salty. The whole family enjoyed this as a build-your-own type of meal. The only thing I added was tossing the rice noodles with sesame oil so they wouldn’t stick together. Worked a treat for the leftovers – no sticky noodles – that I had for lunch the following two days and added some nice flavor.

  67. Catherine

    Made this today – and we loved it!

    Couldn’t find rice noodles at store so substituted buckwheat soba noodles that actually worked really well.

    My 13year old loved the dressing, and kept dipping more vegetables in….success!

  68. Yvette Hills

    This is a favorite in our summer dinner rotation. It’s super easy and so delicious. We often use even a smaller piece of steak for 4 of us, and just really go heavy on the veggies. Highly recommend

  69. Marguerite Hajjar

    I made this last night for the first time in a while. Sadly, no one was home when it was ready so I left all the components out for whoever came home hungry. Left for work today before anyone was up. Received this text after lunch from my 22 year-old son: “Mom I think this was the best lunch I’ve ever taken to work”. Thank you Deb!!!!!

  70. I recently tried the garlic lime steak and noodle salad recipe from and it was a huge hit! The marinade for the steak was delicious and the combination of flavors was spot on. The addition of noodles to the salad made it a complete meal. I also appreciated that the recipe was easy to follow and didn’t require any difficult to find ingredients. I highly recommend giving this recipe a try. If you’re looking for more delicious and easy to make recipes, check out my blog quick low carb dinner recipes

  71. This is my new top summertime recipe! The sauce is just brilliant and just gives that banging wang to all the ingredients.

    I made it (again) using oven roasted, good quality salmon, which I then cooled and gently marinated before setting up the gigantic bowl. I broke up the salmon into easily served small pieces.

    I also added mango, which takes it to another level altogether.

    We had 7 guests for dinner, so I increased all the ingredients proportionally and set up our giant, shallow serving bowl with everything, laying the salmon across the noodles, and arranging the veg and mango in a sunburst pattern. I made a lot more sauce of course, not a drop was left, every morsel devoured.

    Thank you for this!