Weeknight Cooking

Spicy Thai Steak Salad + Sesame and Coconut Sugar Cookies

March  3, 2015

Today: Get tropical tonight with a taste of Thailand and quick coconut sesame cookies.


Don't get us wrong, soups and stews are glorious and hot chocolate is a blessing, but it's time to switch things up. You can't change the weather, but you can change your meals.

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Let the chiles in this steak salad warm you up while the limes carry your taste buds and thoughts to warmer climates. Top it off with a spin on the classic sugar cookie, golden and familiar, but with a tropical twist from coconut and sesame folded into the batter. Don't be surprised when it turns out that a steak salad and cookie dinner is exactly the thing you were craving this week.

Here's how to make it:

Start by making the steak: Fire up your stove or grill and sear the unseasoned steak until it's well-browned on both sides, cooking until medium rare or at the desired temperature. Let the steak rest while you prepare the salad. With a mortar and pestle, mash the garlic and chiles to create a paste, then scrape them into a large bowl. Add the lime juice, fish sauce, and 1 tablespoon of sugar, making sure to mix well so as to dissolve the sugar. Add thinly sliced onions, chives, and cilantro, tossing well to combine. Take your well-rested steak and slice it into thin, even slices across the grain, and add it to the salad. Mix thoroughly and allow it to marinate for at least 30 minutes. In the meantime, if you plan on serving your steak with freshly steamed rice, prepare your rice now. Once your rice is bubbling away, it's time to make cookie dough!

Preheat the oven to 375° F. In a bowl, stir together 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder. In a larger bowl, mix 1 cup butter and 1 1/2 cups white sugar until smooth, then beat in 1 egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Gradually blend the dry ingredients into the egg mixture, followed by the coconut and sesame seeds. Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, and place them onto ungreased cookie sheets. Sprinkle more sesame seeds or grated coconut onto the cookies, then bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden. Let them stand on the cookie sheet for two minutes before removing them to cool on wire racks. 

Serve your steak salad alongside the rice, or use them as the filling for lettuce wraps. Sprinkle a few more sesame seeds or coconut on top of your cookies as desired before eating.

The menu:

Click through on the recipe photos or titles to see (and save and print) the full recipes, or take advantage of our handy grocery list below.

Spicy Thai Steak Salad by Merav

Sesame and Coconut Sugar Cookies by skylinetothesea

Grocery List

Serves 4, with leftover cookies

1 pound steak (flank, top sirloin)
1 to 2 fresh red chilies (bird's eye preferred)
3 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
4 tablespoons fish sauce
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1 packet chives, sliced into 1-inch lengths
1 handful cilantro, roughly chopped
1/4 cup grated coconut, plus more for sprinkling
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds, plus more for sprinkling
Butter lettuce (optional)

We're assuming you have rice, sugar, flour, baking soad, baking powder, butter, eggs, and vanilla extract. If not, be sure to add those to your list, too.

Photos by James Ransom

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Skiingstella
  • Millie | Add A Little
    Millie | Add A Little
Jenny Xu

Written by: Jenny Xu

Dorm baker and connoisseur of digestive biscuits.


Skiingstella June 30, 2015
I felt the fish sauce and saltiness was too strong as prepared. Ill be trying this again with half the fish sauce.
Millie |. March 3, 2015
Mmm this salad looks heavenly! Also, the cookies sound great!