Vietnamese Steak and Watercress Salad

I'm not sure how traditional this salad is, but I grew up eating this Vietnamese steak and watercress salad. It's a colorful salad with tomatoes and eggs, but the star of the dish is the stir-fried beef and onions. It's a great combination of savory and sweet.

The marinade for the beef is commonly used in Viet stir-fries. It's just a simple mix of fish sauce, soy, sugar and black pepper. As a kid, my mom would lightly dress the watercress in a vinaigrette. This time, we dribbled a little nuoc cham (Viet dipping sauce) over it. It's good either way.

The salad is delicious on its own, but we like to eat it with jasmine rice. Give it a try the next time you want a salad as a meal.

Viet Stir-Fried Beef and Watercress Salad

Vietnamese Steak and Watercress Salad Recipe

SND Note: The watercress can be lightly dressed with your favorite vinaigrette or Vietnamese dipping sauce. For some heat, add a fresh chili pepper or chili garlic sauce to the marinade.

Beef Marinade Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
Salad Ingredients
  • 1 pound flank steak, skirt steak or sirloin
  • 1 large onion, halved and sliced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 bundles of watercress
  • 6 large eggs, medium or hard boiled, quartered or sliced
  • 8 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes
  • Vietnamese dipping sauce (nuoc cham) or vinaigrette
  1. Trim excess fat and gristle from steak and thinly slice against the grain. In a medium bowl, mix together the fish sauce, soy sauce, corn starch, sugar, black pepper and garlic. Add the beef and toss to evenly coat with marinade.
  2. Trim the stems of the watercress, wash and dry. Set aside.
  3. Heat canola oil in a wok over high heat. Add the onions and stir-fry until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the beef and stir-fry until just browned, but still medium rare, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from wok and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, lightly dress the watercress with a vinaigrette or Vietnamese dipping sauce. Arrange the watercress on a plate and top with beef, onions, tomatoes and eggs. Enjoy as is or serve with a bowl of jasmine rice (optional).

Makes 4 servings

[tags]vietnamese, flank steak, skirt steak, onions, eggs, easy, tomatoes[/tags]

8 Comments on “Vietnamese Steak and Watercress Salad”

  1. This looks delish!

  2. Interesting…. so there’s no dressing apart from what clings to the meat? Sounds like that would make a nice, light salad. Will bookmark.

  3. Kevin said:

    Now that is what I call a salad! :)

  4. chiff0nade said:

    I just adore those little tomatoes with necks. LOL

  5. Candace said:

    Fabulous looking salad. I’m totally digging the beautiful colors!

  6. I grew up eating this beautiful salad that you made too. But I never had it with the eggs and tomatoes. I wish my mom added these to the salad, I really would have loved it too. I’ll go show her this and pout about how much extra color and texture I missed out on for my beef and water cress salad!

  7. kittie said:

    This salad looks amazing – great colours, and really cute tomatoes!

    (whoops – delayed commenting alert, but catching up on my reading now!)

  8. kristin said:

    easy and DELICIOUS!! thanks for this recipe, it’s a keeper :)

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