YumNua Yang, ยำเนื้อย่าง Thai beef salad

Thai beef salad recipe with authentic aromatic flavours and an enticing complexity of sweet, sour, spice and heat combined with grilled marinated meat. This dish is one of our family & friends favourites.

Quick and easy to prepare, serve the salad as a starter for lunch or as a side with other complimentary dishes together as Thai dinner theme. The recipe as always retrieved from my memory vault with all the ingredients and steps but no good food photographs.

I couldn’t have a better excuse to make this dish today. Usually, as soon as the dish arrives at the table it disappears to late to make any snapshots. Prepping the dish received much enthusiasm of my better half he replied: “Somebody got to eat happily to help :-)”.

The family loves salad and Thai beef salad ranks on top of all time favourites in our house. We actually moved and lived in Asia for more than a decade. Taiwan became our second home but Thailand was very close sharing the same position, both destinations were foodies paradise.


I visited Thailand for the very first time by invitation to come along with friends. My husband couldn’t accompany me so my sister joined as a travel companion. We both thoroughly enjoyed our sister’s holiday and Thai cuisine.

Of the many dishes we devoured, YumNua Yang a.k.a. Yum Neua was among the first plates of much more to come. We re-visited Thailand on many more occasions travelling through all the regions. The roadside street food stalls, night food markets or restaurants beautiful plated and served local style.

The heart of this dish must be a good piece of beef, sirloin or steak cut. Cheaper cuts like a skirt or flank steak after grilling let it rest (10min.) before cutting. Next is the authentic fresh made dressing of fish sauce, garlic, bird’s eye chilli, palm sugar, lime juice, coriander, Thai/Chinese celery. Mint and lemongrass (optional).

marinated pan-fried rib eye steak

marinated pan-fried rib-eye steak

Thai flavours

To create Thai flavours, you have to look at the ingredients and some of them just can’t be ignored or simply substituted, the basis is fish sauce, just buy a small bottle don’t think for a minute to easily replace this with vinegar or soy sauce.

Vinegar only has acidity no umami (savoury taste/flavour), I love soy sauce but it will not do justice to this dish, same counts for palm sugar if you don’t have then rather use brown or cane sugar it adds more depth than white sugar.

Lime or lemon juice it is just a subtle contrast but when you grate the rind it will release essential oils, the scent enables you to tell and smell the difference. Coriander is an essential herb as is celery and lemongrass add fragrance to the whole dish bringing it all together to the next level.

They are actually irreplaceable if left out everyone will notice something is missing even while you have a good steak on your plate. The dressing needs to have the complexity of sweet, sour, spice, heat and fragrance to make YumNua or leave it bland and that would put the dish to shame.

In this recipe, I have marinated the meat beforehand it is worth the wait and effort to add this step, use a bit of fish sauce with black and white pepper and a dash of Chinese cooking wine (optional).

YumNua Yang ยำเนื้อย่าง Thai Beef Salad

You will find the recipe in the recipe box here below, enjoy this wonderful dish. Try and enjoy your own home-made YumNua Yang, Thai beef salad!

YumNua Thai Beef Salad ingredients

YumNua Thai Beef Salad ingredients

Update 20th June 2017

With every summer this recipe is trending on our Instagram and FB Page as a popular recipe easy to make and enjoy. For dieters following Keto, Paleo diet based on LCHF or Type 2 diabetes  this dish is perfect with the following dietary adjustments.

In Thai cooking Palm sugar is often used and advertised with health claims having low glycemic index, however, this does not directly apply for sweeteners. For Bulletproof fans “Coconut palm sugar is not Bulletproof period“, click the link for a post by guru David Asprey.

I recommend Lakanto all natural sweetener, a product of Chinese Luo Han Guo aka monk fruit sugar to replace standard sugar.

Monk Fruit or Luo Han Guo (Siraitia Grosvenorii) is a rare perennial plant cultivated mainly in the mountains of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in China. Unlike most fruits, whose sweetness comes from fructose, Monks Fruit’s sweetness comes from natural mogrosides that are 300 times sweeter than sugar. Modern research shows that Monk Fruit extract does not elevate blood sugar or insulin. These fruits are powerful antioxidants and contain no calories

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) the healing properties have been known for centuries. Luo Han Guo is native to southern China and northern Thailand.

You can easily buy this fruit in dried powdered form at larger Asian supermarkets and fresh when the season arrives, they are exported and available for a short period to eat or use the fruit in cooking.


Tropical thunderstorms


We`ve encountered numerous thunderstorms in Asia before, as quickly as they come with a hard downpour it vanishes as fast too. Although monsoon season has ended the weather gods assume differently.

While enjoying a foot massage outside a drizzle started and within 15-20min time it  flooded Central Pattaya. Stormy rainclouds accompanied with lightening blazing the sky followed with thunderous cracks. In no time the water level rose above knee-height. A renewed  experience for me, but not our friends. They were just dumbfounded how quickly harmless raindrops could turn into a hazardous rainfall.

We tried to wait it out but eventually you’ve gotta make a dash for transport and a wetsuit. A digital temperature display showed 23.9°C still pleasant, so as the Thai would say “Mai pen rai” meaning never mind/it`s okay. ◆smile◆

Our songtel taxi had to detour twice on route to get us to our destination. After arrival and a hot shower to clean up, night-life resumed and we finally could enjoy the results of our earlier foot massage fully relaxed by closing our eyes. The next morning the sun broke through the sky we decided to visit the beach again to enjoy a different liquid sunshine, a swim in  the Gulf of Thailand on the east coast side.

Boon Guer eatery Al Fresco

While relaxing your days at the beach or sightseeing you might consider to visit the local Thepprasit Night Market, just hop on one of the local transport Songtel bus-taxi (song=two and tel=benches). They will drive and drop at the intersection where the street begins for transfer. From this corner (near bus station & Foodland Market) it is still a long stretch so this is where you switch over to another Songtel, or if you like the exercise it’s about 5km walk (could easily be more).

However on the left side about 30mtrs from the corner is “Boon Guer” a very good local casual food place located with a garden/al fresco kind of dining, as soon as you sit down they will bring over fans to cool you down. Instead of me pronouncing it wrongly, thought it might be best to post a picture of their neon street signboard easy to find and use.

Authentic Thai food restaurant

We’ve frequently enjoyed our dinners here it still services the same quality as our very first visit. We brought company along friends who decided to join us on this trip to get up close and personal encountering Thai flavours and hospitality. Alas too much chilli and not yet settled, they took it down a notch however Thai food is not always spicy, so we ordered different dishes easy on the palate and tummy. The menu; stir-fried Chicken with Cashew, minced meat with Thai fragrant basil, Dou-Fu soup with glass noodle, stir-fried greens with oyster sauce and we were waiting for our steamed Fish in Lemon Sauce. It is their dedicated fish and seafood preparation where they have build a solid reputation on, loyal customers even us holiday visitors keep coming back for more.

Thai-style stir-fried dishes and dou-fu soup

Well this picture doesn’t need any under-script, another “Happy Meal” with cheerful dinners!

Enjoying another Thai dinner

Early bird hawker food (1)

On my list of favourite hawker food you will find the simple Thai Chicken Noodle Soup as mentioned in another blog post, followed closely by Som Tam, Thai Papaya Salad and Gai Yang Gai known as barbecue chicken. The last two items are often combined together for lunch as snack.

Thai hawker food – Gai Yang Gai

Early bird hawker food, every morning when we crossed the road to get a songtel ride for the beach, this food stall was grilling rows of  Gai Yang Gai and before noon he would be sold out.

Gai Yang Gai – Thai barbecue chicken

Isn’t this just mouthwatering just by looking at it? Well smelling Thai rubbed spice chicken on the grill makes it even more tantalizing, such a shame we kept on missing out. We were either going for breakfast or coming back from the beach looking at an empty grill.

Som Tam Papaya salad

The slightly tart flavour of the young and green papaya combined with the heat of red chilli, saltiness of  fish sauce and tamarind juice, with a little bit sweetness of palm sugar mixed all together is just gob-smacking good! Passing by one of these stalls I saw a pot filled with salted small black crabs, apparently that’s a popular local version, while I never tried the fried bugs I sure tried the black crab Papaya salad and if you like saltiness this is the one.

Tropical fresh fruit with full flavour

Fresh cut tropical fruits, explosion of taste and fruitiness and so many varieties to choose from it is just hard work :-). Here you can and should eat loads of Rambutan, Mangosteen or Jackfruit to name a few. These are hard to get in Europe and taste not even half as good when you have the chance to have them almost freshly plucked into your mouth.

Nongmaii beach Pattaya

Nongmaii Beach Cafe

Pattaya Bay is located on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand, about 165 km southeast of Bangkok, a beach resort popular with tourists and expatriates. Pattaya an ordinary small fishing village, it all changed during the 60’s when American servicemen arrived during the Vietnamese War for rest and relaxation, changing life forever as in sin-city. While wiki pages states it developed into a family-orientated seaside destination it wasn’t until some legal action was undertaken to enforce changes in the sex industry and child prostitution. The Government is now re-branding Pattaya with a master plan as mentioned in the  NewYork Times post in 2010 A Thai City of Sleaze Tries to Clean Up by Thomas Fuller. The sex industry is still at large but with the growing wider exposure of foreigners and locals exposed in illicit affairs, the government is undertaking action to make changes for the better.

As a visitor I do share a critical view of sex tourism in Thailand, will write post in a separate entry. For now I’d like to share my positive observations visiting friends and places we have patronized over the years and still experiencing unwavering Thai hospitality. This and following posts will be about vacation in Pattaya as we have come to known and like it.

Pattaya Boulevard is located central with a very popular small stretch of Beach with at one end the infamous Walking Street. On the very opposite side south of the Bay you will find Jomtien Beach both well known spots, with Dongtan Beach centred in the middle being closed off for cars. Ideal for joggers along the beach or on the pavement visited by beach guests, strollers and bicyclists. Away from the noisy centre it’s not as crazy over crowded like popular tourist spots can be.

While still being popular it is quiet, last few years coastal area business has seen quite a dip due to environmental problems, political and economical unrest. Pattaya’s view changed too by rapidly build constructions, condo’s and many high-rise towers all along coastal line. Without increase of sales potential, lack of tenants or buyers most housing remain unoccupied instead becoming concrete walls of what once was lush greens.

Nongmaii beach residents

But some things and spots remain the same, such as Nongmaii Beach Cafe. Introduced by friends more than a decade ago we keep coming back for outstanding service, the warm hospitality by the proprietor Mrs. Latana’s family and her helpfull staff. This is a great place to relax, chat, occasionally keep beach office as I like to do while observing local wildlife big and small. These chipmunks have been entertaing us during our Autumn stay just before high season starts here.

Office at Dongtan Beach

Thai Noodle soup, Guay Tiew Gai

Update 19th January 2015 – New blog link 100 best Thai dishes to eat in Bangkok. Scroll down for post link information or click in our Favorite Links bar, to enter main website . 

In our company travelling with us are friends with love for good food visiting Thailand for the first time. Their very first Thai meal was at our home, followed by many more dinners enjoying wide range of flavors of southeast Asian dishes. Between drinks and meals we shared a lot about Thailand`s culture, food, sights and places.

Fresh herbs accompaniments for Noodle Soups

However even the best pictures, writings or talks will never be as a firsthand encounter being submerged in natural  habitat. Curious and excited they have taken a leap by joining us not taking the beaten track but following our trails along hawker stalls. ★Big Smile★ Sit with Thai, do as Thai and eat as Thai.

First food trail dish, popular hawker stall street food selling Thai Noodle soup ‘Guay Tiew Gai’ big bowl with flat-rice stick noodle in chicken broth with fragrant fresh herbs. Always accompanied with Thai traditional seasoning’s of fresh chillies in vinegar, sugar, fish sauce, dried chilli flakes, adding to your liking. As soon as I am back from travelling I will add my recipe to this post as it is a dish on our family favourite comfort food list.

Thai Chicken Noodle Soup clear broth

Just stumbled upon Mark Wiens 100 Thai soups and dishes blog post featuring beautiful food images including a description with phonetic dish names and in Thai script (which is perfect, the danger of phonetic translations it isn’t always correct or clearly pronounced). Going through his list made me very happy seeing listings of my favorites dishes too, if far and away than looking will bring back fond memories of places and eateries. Even better it makes me plan to make a few dishes Mark has so perfectly delectable captured with his camera’s eye and love for food.

Back-up and full on A-live

Months have past since my last blog entry, while amidst all planning what to do next, sad news came around the corner which made me halt and reflect on my life. News, images, stories it all came along my minds eye at odd moments, randomly thoughts thinking it were just moments in reality it had taken much longer as in weeks of not being very productive on my time-line. It finally turned around after cleaning out a large storage cramped with stuff of a decade ago, while throwing out almost everything we only kept heirlooms and memorabilia of a family business long gone. Taking charge we finally have a large space free of junk and  it feels good, the next is actually our shed but that’s at another time.

Finally having the luxury to avoid school breaks, we combined work with vacation to fly off to Thailand next week accompanied by curious friends and family to meet former colleagues who have chosen Thailand as their retirement home thus becoming locals. The creative buzz of travel, working on new projects with trial and errors is always challenging but never boring. While initially preparing to get a website live in native Dutch, finalizing proof-read e-cookbook, in between cooking up a storm before it gets buried underneath new fun’s, want’s and on-the-road goodies.

We turned everything upside down by choosing a new template multi-language encouraged by my social media followers to reach out and me not ending up translating by individual request as I did previously. So English to start of in combination with handy apps to post live while on-the-road. Working on new discoveries, transferring information, geeky gadget tips and musings with something to munch, share and hopefully enjoy reading all together.

Sharing tips and information comes natural to me with a huge passion for diverse communities and people, immensely enjoy networking. The hobby got a bit out of hand and now it’s work but fun work, bringing me to new places, following trends and great finds.

Taking charge being back up, having everything ready and good to go Asianfoodtrail website with content growing a-live. Started typing this post on the fly on a new editor app thinking it would load-up directly, that was the whole idea of being mobile and connect whenever, wherever. Well the last part as in wherever is promising but the whenever as in wireless connected and functionality hopefully earns its worth soon and fast.