Do you ever go to a restaurant and find one menu item you like so much, you end up always ordering it when you return? To me, at Houston’s (now Hillstone), it’s their Thai Steak and Noodle Salad. I’ve tried their meaty and decadent Crab Cakes, indulged in their Spinach and Artichoke Dip and really loved their made-fresh daily Sushi, but I always return to this dish as my favorite.
While I haven’t been to Hillstone’s in ages, (even before the Pandemic, I couldn’t stand the crowds), I do miss this salad. I tried to re-create it at home, but it never tasted exactly right until I found this recipe online at La Dolce Vita, written by Fred Bollaci, known as the Healthy Gourmet. I had leftover steak and a beautiful Mallika mango from my tree (one of only 3 I’ve had this year), so I had most of the makings for this salad.
I didn’t have ramen or lo mein noodles, so subbed angel hair pasta and didn’t have arugula or watercress (although I love both!) so subbed Romaine and spinach. Don’t skip the herbs, however, as they really add another, fresh, dimension to this salad. If you’re not a steak-lover, this salad would also work great with leftover pork or chicken. This is the perfect salad for Miami Foodies this summer. The temperatures have been brutal, so who wants to heat up the kitchen? Even my meat and potatoes husband Zeke, enjoyed this sweet, savory and spicy salad for dinner. I hope you will too.
Houston’s Thai Steak and Noodle Salad
1 1/2 inch ginger, peeled, finely chopped
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 garlic powder
1/4 olive oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
3/4 pound filet mignon steaks, 1 inch thick
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup hot chili paste (I used sriracha)
1/4 cup peanut oil
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
Salad and Assembly
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 large mango, peeled, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 bunch arugula, leaves torn
1/2 bunch watercress, tough stems removed
2 medium carrots, finely shredded
2 scallions, chopped
2 cups finely shredded savoy cabbage
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 avocado, cut into 1 inch piences
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup torn basil leaves
1/4 cup torn mint leaves
1/4 cup crumbled toasted, unsweetened coconut flakes (I skipped this)
1/4 cup finely chopped, salted, roasted peanuts, plus more for serving
Lime wedges (for serving)
Whisk ginger, soy sauce, sugar, lime juice, fish sauce, pepper and garlic powder in a small bowl until sugar is dissolved. Whisking constantly, gradually add olive oil, then sesame oil. Transfer to a small resealable plastic bag and add steaks. Close bag, pressing air out and turn steak to coat. Chill at least 6 hours and up to 12.
Prepare grill for medium heat. Remove steaks from marinade and pat dry. Season lightly with salt. Grill, turning every 2 minutes, until lightly charred all over and the temperature in the thickest part reads 12o, 8 to 10 minutes total. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest at least 10 minutes before cutting into 1″ pieces.
Whisk lime juice, chili paste, peanut oil, fish sauce, sugar, honey and garlic in a small bowl to combine. Taste and season with salt if desired.
Salad and Assembly
Cook noodles in a small pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and run under cold water to stop cooking. Toss with oil in a large bowl. Add mango, arugula, watercress, carrots, scallions, cabbage, tomatoes and dressing and toss to coat. Add steak, avocado, cilantro, basil, mint, coconut flakes and 1/4 cup peanuts. Gently toss to combine. Top with additional peanuts and sere with lime wedges for squeezing over.
Divide salad among plates, piling as high as possible. Top with additional peanuts and serve with lime wedges.
Recipe by Hillstone Restaurant Group
Up Next: Foods to Always Have in the Freezer, Mango Mania.