Steak Pad Thai Salad

a bowl of Steak Pad Thai Salad with chopsticks

Steak Pad Thai Salad  ~ a classic rice noodle bowl made into a salad with lots of crunchy veggies and greens topped off with thinly sliced grilled steak. The noodles are naturally gluten free, and the flavors really pop ~ who could ask for anything more?

steak pad Thai salad in a bowl with chopsticks

Thai food is some of the most refreshing on the planet!

I find myself turning to Thai and Vietnamese dishes for inspiration all the time in the summer ~ today’s steak pad Thai salad follows close on the heels of last week’s  summer rolls. I’ve upped the refreshment factor by turning traditional pad Thai, which is usually stir fried, into a salad. I’ve added lots of green crunch in the form of slivers of cucumber, pea pods, and green pepper. Also lots of freshness with micro-greens and herbs like basil, cilantro, and mint. Lime gives it a burst of citrus, and the slippery rice noodles? They’re like a cool breeze. Are you feeling refreshed yet?

Steak Pad Thai Salad with fresh greens.

Naturally gluten free rice noodles are so easy to cook and use!

Thai rice noodles are such fun because you don’t even need to cook them, they just need a soak in hot water to soften. They aren’t starchy or sticky like pasta, either, so they’re easy to work with. Just drain them and use them right away or set them aside.

Adding dressing to a large glass bowl of Steak Pad Thai Salad

Ingredients for Thai dressing

The dressing has all the classic Thai flavors, so you may want to think ahead and grab anything you don’t have in the kitchen already. You’ll find the fish sauce and tamarind paste in the Asian section of your supermarket.

  • fresh limes
  • soy sauce
  • fish sauce
  • tamarind paste 
  • garlic
  • sesame oil
  • brown sugar

Tossing a big bowl of steak pad Thai salad with tongs

Ingredient spotlight: TAMARIND PASTE

tamarind paste

Tamarind is a tropical sweet sour fruit that’s used in many parts of the world, in fact, if you’ve had Worcestershire  sauce, you’ve had tamarind. The jar of paste will keep a very long time in the refrigerator and you can use it in Indian, Southeast Asian, Middle Eastern, and Caribbean dishes. It gives the dressing for my steak pad Thai salad an authentic flavor.

a bowl of Steak Pad Thai Salad with chopsticks

Steak Pad Thai Salad ~ a naturally gluten free rice noodle salad with healthy vegetables and grilled steak ~ #Thai #padthai #noodlebowl #healthy #easy #salad #ricenoodles #steaksalad #beef #sirloin #steak #cold #glutenfree


Other summery Thai inspired recipes to try ~

Spicy Thai Spaghetti Salad 

This riff on classic Thai flavors is the perfect thing when you want to bring something a little different to a potluck. I use spaghetti in place of traditional Thai rice noodles.

Toassing a spicy Thai spaghetti salad


Thai Beef Salad

This recipe is better and fresher than what you’ll find at your favorite Thai restaurant.

A vibrant and healthy Thai Beef Salad is a zesty 30 minute meal that everybody goes wild for!


Shrimp Pad Thai

This is the more familiar stir fried version of pad Thai, it can be eaten hot, warm, or cold, making it a super versatile dish. It uses the same rice noodles that I’ve used in today’s salad.

Shrimp Pad Thai ~ a gluten free rice noodle dish from Thailand ~

steak pad Thai salad in a bowl with chopsticks
4.41 from 5 votes

Steak Pad Thai Salad

Steak Pad Thai Salad  ~ a classic rice noodle bowl made into a salad with lots of crunchy veggies and greens topped off with thinly sliced grilled steak.  The noodles are naturally gluten free, and the flavors really pop.
Course 30 minute dinner, dinner
Cuisine Thai
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield 6 servings
Author Sue Moran


  • 1 lb sirloin steak
  • 10 ounces pad Thai rice noodles
  • 1 bunch about 8 green onions, trimmed and thinly sliced, white and green parts
  • 1 small pickling cucumber cut in thin matchsticks (don't peel)
  • 1 small green pepper cut in thin matchsticks
  • 1 cup snap peas sliced in half lengthwise, on the diagonal.
  • 1 cup micro-greens or sprouts
  • 3 Tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/3 cup small basil leaves if your leaves are larger, roll and thinly slice them
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts


  • 1/4 cup lime juice fresh squeezed
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Tamari soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp tamarind paste
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic


  • chopped peanuts
  • basil or cilantro leaves


  • Soak the noodles according to the package instructions, you want them to be nice and soft. Drain well and put in a large salad bowl. Whisk the dressing ingredients together and toss the noodles with some of the dressing.
  • Meanwhile heat a grill pan over medium high heat until quite hot. Season both sides of the steak with salt and pepper and grill for about 5 minutes per side, or until done to medium (or however you like it.) Set aside to rest under foil for 10 minutes before thinly slicing against the grain.
  • Add the vegetables, herbs, and peanuts to the salad bowl and toss to combine. Top with the sliced steak. Pour the remaining dressing over all, and serve, garnished with extra chopped peanuts and fresh herbs.

Cook's notes

Occasionally I notice that the soaking directions on Thai noodles aren't accurate, and I end up with stiff noodles. Taste your noodles after soaking and if they aren't perfectly soft, hit them with a quick dousing of boiling water...that will instantly soften them, then drain and proceed with the recipe.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

Make this steak pad Thai salad your own ~

  • Make it with grilled shrimp or chicken
  • Make it vegetarian/vegan ~ use form tofu, omit the fish sauce and use more soy sauce..
  • Make it spicy ~ add a finely diced jalapeño pepper, with seeds, to the mix.


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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    gregory anderson
    August 2, 2018 at 4:57 pm

    For those who cannot easily find fish sauce, I have substituted Worcestershire sauce and it is okay. But, the right fish sauce is exactly right.
    Thanks for the recipe.

    • Reply
      August 2, 2018 at 5:02 pm

      Thanks Gregory, that’s useful!

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    August 2, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    Such a pretty salad and a perfect Summer dinner! Loving all that green 🙂

  • Reply
    Lisa Small
    August 2, 2018 at 8:49 am

    The link to the Tamarind Paste on Amazon isn’t right. Just in case you want to fix that.

    • Reply
      August 2, 2018 at 9:06 am

      Thanks so much Lisa, I just fixed it!

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s Recipes
    August 2, 2018 at 5:51 am

    I am HUNGRY! The steak is so perfectly grilled 🙂

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving Room for Dessert
    August 2, 2018 at 5:14 am

    Very nice recipe Sue – I love this flavor profile too, and wish I could find produce as gorgeous as yours! Thanks for the dinner inspiration 😉

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