Thai Beef Salad with Spicy Sesame Dressing

Deli roast beef makes this salad super fast and easy; ask for it to be sliced a little thicker, which allows it to hold up well in the salad. Leftover steak, chicken, salmon or shrimp work equally well. The dressing can be made ahead of time and doubled or tripled, to make future salad prep even faster. Fish sauce is a salty Asian condiment made from fish, available in larger grocery stores, gourmet stores and international markets.  

Serves 4 to 6

1 medium lime
1/4 cup sesame oil
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
3 garlic gloves, chopped
1 (1-inch) segment fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 Serrano chili pepper, seeded and minced, or to taste
1 English or hothouse cucumber
1 large head butter lettuce
1/2 cup sugar snap peas, thinly sliced on the diagonal
4 scallions, thinly sliced (include some green tops)
1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks or shredded
2 small tomatoes, cut into eighths
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1 pound sliced deli roast beef

  1. Squeeze lime into a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Add sesame oil, toasted fish sauce, sugar, garlic, ginger and Serrano chili pepper. Screw lid on jar and shake vigorously to mix. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  2. Halve cucumber lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Cut cucumber halves crosswise into 1/4-inch slices.
  3. Tear lettuce into bite-sized pieces and combine in a bowl with cucumber. Add sugar snap peas, scallions, carrots, tomatoes, cilantro and beef. Drizzle with enough dressing to lightly coat leaves and toss to mix. Divide salad among each of four individual plates and serve immediately