Recipe: Thai Waterfall Beef Salad

You ever go to a Vietnamese restaurant and try their lemon beef salad? I’ve found they all make it just a bit different from one another (which is frustrating!) but I like it when they serve it with the thin slices of raw beef. It’s always a guess how the restaurant will prepare it and it gets me majorly sad when the salad arrives with beef that is completely cooked. Ugh. I like this salad because it’s very fresh and refreshing and the acidity in the dressing helps to “cook” the raw beef a bit, almost like a ceviche. So far, the best lemon beef salad I have tried is from Pho 777. It is killer, highly recommended.

Anyhoo, I had the inspiration to make it myself at home. I know the recipe title is Thai Waterfall Beef Salad, but it’s very similar to the lemon beef salad. I actually made this recipe twice and prefer using lemon juice over lime juice and I omit the raw bean sprouts because I personally dislike the taste of raw bean sprouts. Check it out!

The mix of greens in this salad guarantee choke flavor. Here’s what I have in this, romaine lettuce, fresh thai basil, cilantro and sautéed shallots (it can be raw but I decided to cook it up in the steak grease because hello, yum)

The best part about making this salad at home? NO BEEF LIMIT. Go hog wild because you’re paying for it anyway. I seared the beef I had and kept it more raw on the inside. Was so good you guys.

Okay doesn’t look too impressed after it’s mixed up but you gotta believe me, it’s so good. Give it a try! If too lazy to cook, try it from a restaurant!

Thai Waterfall Beef Salad

Recipe: the spruce eats


  • 1 to 2 sirloin steaks (depending on the amount of meat you prefer)
  • Marinade:
  • 2 tbsp. oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • For Salad:
  • 6 cups salad greens
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 handful mint (or basil, fresh, lightly chopped or torn)
  • 1 cup coriander (fresh)
  • 1 cup papaya (fresh, cubed or cut into spears)
  • 1 cup tomatoes (cherry, left whole or sliced in half)
  • Dressing:
  • 1 to 2 tbsp. fish sauce (available at Asian food stores)
  • 3 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. rice (sticky variety, toasted and ground, OR 2 tbsp. ground peanuts)

Steps to Make It

  1. Mix marinade ingredients together in a cup or bowl, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Pour over the steak(s), turning meat to coat. Set in the refrigerator to marinate.
  2. For the ground sticky rice (instead of peanuts): Place 2 tbsp. uncooked sticky rice in a dry frying pan over medium-high heat. Stirring continuously, dry-fry the rice until it starts to pop and is lightly toasted. Remove rice from the pan and allow to cool slightly before grinding it up with a coffee grinder, or pounding into a powder with pestle & mortar.
  3. Combine all dressing ingredients together in a cup or mixing bowl, stirring until sugar dissolves (adjust fish sauce according to your desired level of saltiness). Then prepare your bowl of greens and other salad ingredients.
  4. Grill the steak over a hot grill, turning only once or twice to retain the juices (meat should still be pink in the center).
  5. If oven-broiling the steak: Set oven to broil setting. Place steak on a broiling pan OR on a foil or parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Place in oven on the second-to-highest rung. Broil 5 to 7 minutes per side, or until steak is well done on the outside but still pink on the inside.
  6. While steak is cooking, toss the salad with the dressing. Taste-test for salt, adding more fish sauce if not salty enough, or more lime juice if too salty for your taste.
  7. When ready to serve, portion out salad onto serving plates or bowls. Slice the steak as thinly as you can and top each portion with a generous amount of sliced sirloin. Enjoy!

Jenny Notes:

  • Didn’t know where to find roasted rice powder so I made my own. I bought jasmine rice and slowly toasted it over medium heat until it was golden brown. After it cooled down, I ground them to a powder in a coffee grinder.
  • Play around with the salad ingredients, I didn’t put like half the ingredients she does. In fact, I named exactly what I put in the salad above. The second time I made this, I added mint and thai basil and it was delicious.

La Tour Cafe – Kalihi, HI

It’s a vicious cycle. I work hard all week. Go to school and attempt to study all week. The weekend comes. I am dead tired and try to sleep it off but inevitably, the weekend ends (all too quick) and I am back at work again. For you state workers out there, our next holiday is in NOVEMBER. Gosh. I should really take some vacation days here and there before I crash and burn forreal.

I hope you are all doing well. I can keep apologizing but I’m sure you folks are used to it and tired of it by now. So all I can do is ask for your patience and to keep checking in! I’ll try to update at least once a week…hopefully more. This post focuses on a visit I had to La Tour Cafe recently. It was a pretty good meal! They are much better than I remembered so I should return sooner rather than later. I had what my friend called rabbit food. I didn’t feel like something too heavy and well…I got hungry pretty soon after. Haha…anyway, check it out!

140924-01La Tour Burger
My friend’s lunch. Not bad. The sauce on the side definitely makes the burger better. Not sure if the sauce is for the fries or the burger. The sauce does not go well with the fries..haha


Sorry for the blurry picture, here is the inside of the burger!

140924-02Pomme Frites – comes with the burger

140924-04Crispy Goat Cheese and Beets
Breaded Goat cheese, fresh beets, spring greens & our tomato balsamic vinaigrette.

140924-05Raisin bread slices with the salad. A bit of a weird combo for me, I didn’t eat the bread.


140924-07Crispy Goat Cheese! I love goat cheese, especially with beets! Great salad! I would recommend it!

Healthy Dinner = Healthy Wallet

My friend and I were cruising around for some dinner the other night and since we couldn’t head to the place we wanted, we decided to check out Down to Earth. We both love their tofu nori rolls so we decided to make a salad at the salad bar. A scoop here, a scoop there and before I knew it…I was paying $16 bucks for a container of salad. Salad. Gosh, it costs so much to eat healthy. The salad wasn’t great, I got a bunch of beets for my salad and it was the worst part! They had shredded the beets and they were so dry, it was hard to eat. Do I think the salad was good? Not at all. I saw another guy really packing his salad plate FULL – I’m scared to imagine what he paid.


140618-02I was really excited about the watercress tofu salad but it was SO bitter. I was so unhappy.

140618-03Brownie! I forgot the exact name of this but I’m sure it was healthy in some way but it tastes like it looks…delicious! Doesn’t this look so moist? It was so good. It was nice to get the taste of the salad out of my mouth…hehe

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Duke’s Waikiki – Waikiki, HI

This post will be more of a gallery of pictures than a review. I tried to take pictures of Duke’s Waikiki serves during their Lunch Buffet. It’s basically a huge salad bar with hot entrees thrown in. They even have a made to order pasta and panini station. Our office came here to celebrate administrative professionals day and everyone loved it. Great selection of foods and killer view of Waikiki beach…with lots of tourists, hehe. The parking for this place is located in Ohana East hotel so you do have to walk a few blocks to the restaurant but it’s not too bad. Here are the pictures!










140605-10140605-11Not the best lighting for picture taking. You can’t really tell from this plate but I grabbed a LOT of beets. They have an awesome salad bar with all the toppings you can imagine. Their beets were great because they were freshly cooked and sliced, not from a can! I can eat beets all day long…with ranch dressing. Hahaha…one of my favorite dishes was also the spicy broccoli salad. I don’t think I have a picture of it here but it was perfect. I also liked that they par-boiled the broccoli because I can’t stand raw broccoli. The lunch buffet is only $16.95 – great deal!

Koi Catering & Takeout – Kalihi, HI

I coordinated a lunch order with Koi Catering & Takeout last week and they must have had a heyday with me. I called constantly to change and add orders in but each time they picked up the phone, they were nice as could be. I really appreciate great customer service. When we went to pick up the food, the cashier was sweet as pie too! We were running late with lunch this day so I wasn’t able to take much pictures of the food. I hope to return there soon so maybe I’ll have more pictures then! The food was good. I got the wrong dish so I definitely have to go back and try one of their ahi plates, I heard that was good. I originally wanted the mushroom chicken but they were out of it so I had to get the pork chops, it wasn’t a good choice for this order.

140604-02It doesn’t look THAT bad but it really wasn’t good. It was overcooked and dry, I was disappointed.

140604-01Steak and Portabello Mushroom Salad – looks GOOD ah? My coworker loved it, I’m pretty sure she did because she cleaned it out!

Bird’s Nest Salad – Andy’s Sandwiches

I love the sandwiches at Andy’s! They are the best and the people who work there are some of the nicest folks you will meet! My go to sandwich is the Ahi, Avocado, Tomato & Cheese. The smoked ahi spread is divine – so delicious! I found the smoked ahi in a grocery store and totally pigged out on it. My coworker wanted to check out their salad options so I joined in! I got the Large Bird’s Nest. The Bird’s Nest includes Tossed Greens, Tomatoes, Mushrooms, Cucumbers, Sprouts, Sunflower Seeds, Tuna, Avocado & Papaya Seed Dressing.  So how was it?

140304-01Well, I can share that it tastes like it looks. Hahaha take that as you will. It is very…healthy tasting, lol. But it’s good! And it is very filling. I think if you enjoy the contents of their sandwiches, this is it..salad form. I would definitely get it again – gotta support local!