Coming from a particularly hot place, I love a good, hearty salad-meal. This recipe is light enough for those sweltering late-summer evenings yet meaty enough for the heartier appetite.

Enough talk, let’s see the recipe!

elk recipe

It’s really hard to photograph raw meat in an appetizing way sometimes.

This elk recipe adds zest with a little Southeast Asian flavor, and it’s a great make-ahead because you marinate the meat after you broil it, not before. I added some lightly sautéed asparagus and rice noodles to my version of this recipe just to give this salad a little extra weight to it, but if you’re serving it with a main dish feel free to skip on the noodles. If you really need a little extra somin’ somin’ (you know, in case you’re entertaining drinkers), serve them with fresh Vietnamese or Thai spring rolls. Yes, sometimes I make them myself, but if I’m entertaining I totally cheat and just order a bunch to go from the closest Thai restaurant. You can also serve the whole shebang on a small bed of rice stick (aka, vermicelli rice noodle) and make a little extra marinade to drizzle over it.


Southeast Asian Elk Salad

Serves 4
Prep time 8 hours
Cook time 15 hours
Total time 23 hours
Meal type Main Dish, Salad
Region Thai
Website Adapted from Eating Well


  • 1lb Elk sirloin, round steak or medallions
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Chopped scallions or chives
  • 2 limes (Zest of one, juice of both)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1.5 tablespoons Fish sauce (Fish sauce can be found at any Asian grocery store, or in the Asian section of most grocery stores. Don’t be afraid of the bottle of fish sauce upon opening; it stinks really really bad, but I assure you it adds a really nice dimension to the flavor that salt alone just cannot do. If you are really leery, start with half the amount and taste as you go.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1-2 crushed red pepper
  • 1 bunch asparagus (Chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon Peanut or vegetable oil (Or a good squirt of pan spray)
  • 4 cups Spring mix, frisee, or a combo
  • 4 cups red leaf lettuce (torn)
  • 2 tablespoons mint (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame or canola oil


  • 1 Package Rice Stick


Meat marinade
Step 1
Rub steak with soy sauce and pepper. Put on a baking sheet and broil in the top 1/3 of the oven for about 14-16 minutes (for medium-ish rare, depending on how thick your cuts are – adjust to your taste). You can turn, but I forgot and everything was still OK. Remove to a cutting board and let repose (aka – hang out and cool) for five minutes or so.
Step 2
While the steaks are cookin’, combine green onions, lime zest, lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, garlic and crushed red pepper in a Tupperware.
Step 3
Slice the steak into thin strips and then further cut into bite sized pieces if desired. Throw them in the marinade, put the lid on the tupperware and give it a good couple of turns. Refrigerate overnight (you can also prep all this in the morning for an evening meal).
Step 4
Heat a pan over medium high heat with the oil or pan spray. Lightly sauté the asparagus just until they turn bright green but still have a little crunch. Remove and let cool. If you're including rice noodle, cook according to package directions and drain and rinse with cold water. This should take all of 2 minutes after the water boils. Set aside.
Step 5
Place rice noodles (if using), lettuces, cooled asparagus, and chopped mint on a plate. Add the steak along with some of the marinade and drizzle with sesame oil. You can toss it if you want, but I'm not much of a salad tosser (no pun intended). I hate how the tasty bits fall to the bottom of the salad so I like to leave everything on the top where you can find them, even though it irritates my mother-in-law when I do not toss.


WARNING: This recipe involves an overnight (or at least 8 hour) marinade.

Non-game substitution: This would be good with flank steak, or anything you might use for fajita meat.
Vegetarian/Vegan substitution: This marinade would go wonderfully with extra firm tofu, but you wouldn’t need to soak it as long (30 minutes – 2 hours). You can pan fry the tofu before you marinate for some extra crispiness.
**To make this recipe gluten free, make sure to use wheat free Tamari soy sauce.

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[…] idea was simple. I took the broil-then-marinate steak approach that I really like to do with salads, made the marinade with classically Spanish ingredients (lemon, really good olive oil, garlic) and […]