This salad recipe hits all the flavors we crave in a weeknight dinner: a hit of spice from the chiles, heartiness from the beef, crispy crunch from fresh veg, and even a bit of sweetness from the honey. We highly endorse cooking off extra rice noodles to keep on hand for low-maintenance stir-fries and soups for later in the week.
small serrano chiles
small garlic clove
cup plus 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
Tbsp. fish sauce
Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
lb. skirt steak
oz. wide rice noodles
small head Napa cabbage, coarsely chopped
6" piece daikon, peeled, thinly sliced
mini seedless cucumbers, thinly sliced
cup finely chopped mint, plus more leaves for serving
cup finely chopped roasted, salted peanuts, plus more for serving
Remove seeds from 2 chiles, then finely chop with remaining chile on a cutting board. Thinly slice garlic. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over. Mash chiles and garlic with the flat side of a chef’s knife on cutting board, alternating chopping and mashing, until broken down into a coarse paste. Transfer to a large bowl. Add lime juice, fish sauce, honey, and 1 Tbsp. oil, stirring vigorously to dissolve honey.
Place steak in a medium bowl and pour 3 Tbsp. dressing over, holding back any pieces of chile with a spoon; reserve remaining dressing in bowl. Let steak marinate, turning every minute or so, at least 10 minutes or up to 1 hour.
Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Remove from heat, add noodles, and cover. Let sit, stirring every minute to keep from sticking, until noodles are al dente, 5–8 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Drain well again and set aside.
Combine cabbage, daikon, and cucumbers in a large bowl; season lightly with salt. Massage with your hands to release excess water. Drain off any water that pools in bottom of bowl.
Pat steak dry; season lightly with salt. Heat remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add steak and cook, turning once, until browned all over, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Let rest 5 minutes before cutting into pieces.
Add cabbage mixture, noodles, steak, ½ cup mint, and ½ cup peanuts to bowl with reserved dressing. Toss to combine; taste and season with salt if needed. Top with more mint and peanuts before serving.