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Steak salad is typically slices or cubes of steak on top of salad greens. The steak can be grilled, pan fried, or broiled, and the greens may be accompanied by a variety of vegetables and fruits. Steak salad can have an Asian-flare or be Mexican-inspired as well. If excess fat is trimmed away from the steak, plenty of fruits and vegetables are added to the dish, and a light dressing is used, it can be a healthful and filling meal.
Since the steak on a steak salad is typically thinly sliced or cubed, nearly any type of steak can be used. Among the popular choices are tenderloin, flank, strip, and rib eye. In addition, steak does not necessarily have to come from a cow. Other choices include buffalo steaks, venison or deer steaks, and elk steaks. Some of the wild game choices may have less fat and may even be healthier than steaks from cows.
Typically, the first step to making steak salad is to address the steak. It can be marinated in a wet marinade or it can have a dry rub applied to it. The longer the steak sits in its marinade, the more flavor it will infuse into the meat. Regardless of whether the steak is grilled, pan fried, or broiled, it is important not to overcook it. Few steaks will cook longer than five minutes per side unless they are extremely thick.
Many people prefer their steak salads with an Asian flare. The steak is typically marinated in a mixture of ginger, soy sauce, brown sugar, and sherry. Sometimes extra marinade is mixed with olive oil to create an Asian salad dressing as well. Other people may prefer their salads to fall in the Mexican genre. In that case, the salad could contain black beans, corn, bell peppers, and cilantro. Often, the dressing will be a combination of salsa and ranch dressing on this type of salad.
A variety of fruits, herbs, and vegetables also can be added to a salad with steak. For example, many people add mango, pineapple, or oranges to their salads. Some people prefer the heartiness of potatoes, green beans, and artichokes. Other people add sprigs of rosemary, oregano, or thyme as well. In addition, greens can range from iceberg lettuce to spinach to watercress to arugula.
Steak is an excellent source of protein, and if a trim cut is consumed, it can be an excellent source of iron as well. The majority of the health benefits of the steak salad, however, come from the variety of fruits and vegetables that are used. Most provide a wide range of vitamins and minerals and can create a brightly colored meal.