California Steak Salad with Sweet/Spicy Asian Vinaigrette

California Steak Salad with Sweet/Spicy Asian Vinaigrette

I don’t know why this Steak Salad is called “California” Steak salad, but I bet those “California cows” aren’t too happy about that turn of events! I think it’s because of the avocado in the salad. Regardless of how happy this particular cow (Sorry cow, but not sorry!) was, this salad is a gorgeous summery salad and absolutely delish!

I used to be a little stumped about leftover steak. It always seemed to mock me from the fridge. I could just hear it in my head, sayin’ “I’ll never be as good as the first time around!” Reheating steak can overcook it & dry it out, so a salad is an ideal way to serve it, cold from the fridge. And it took some time before I could wrap my mind around a steak salad. That probably had a lot to do with my age group – I grew up in the heyday of iceberg lettuce and there’s not much appealing about iceberg and steak unless maybe it’s in a nice, soft taco and the iceberg is the garnish.

About California Steak Salad with Sweet/Spicy Asian Vinaigrette:

But lucky us, we live in the world of today, and have just about anything we can want from the world of foods! And since the steak I was working with was leftover from my Teriyaki Marinaded Steak I served the other day, a lean towards the Asian side seemed the way to go. I promised on that post yet another way to use up leftover steak, and when you try this, you’ll hope for leftover steak! Maybe even plan for it. Maybe even hoard a little steak away, just so you can have this salad.

The salad, itself, is very simple and straightforward. Just a few ingredients, but each one shines. It’s the Teriyaki Steak and the Sweet/Spicy Asian Vinaigrette that really makes this salad, and it goes especially with the peppery arugula I used as a green. The salad is filled out with tomatoes and avocado and strewn with thinly sliced red onion. Then just for a little interest, it’s sprinkled with healthy almonds.

The Sweet/Spicy Vinaigrette does have a bit of personality, but adjust that up or down by adding a little more or a little less of the Chili sauce. It makes a bit more than you’ll need for the salad. I think that’s ok; it will keep well in the fridge and you’ll want it again and again. 🙂 And maybe even again!

California Steak Salad with Sweet/Spicy Asian Vinaigrette

California Steak Salad with Sweet/Spicy Asian Vinaigrette

Making California Steak Salad with Sweet/Spicy Asian Vinaigrette:

There’s nothing to making this salad. It’s just assembly. Slice your steak thinly across the grain. Arrange the ingredients, drizzle with the easy peasy dressing and you’re done!

This salad is light and filling all at the same time. It’s absolutely perfect for a hot hot hot summer day when you don’t feel like eating, let alone cooking! You could round it out a little with some toasted or grilled baguette slices.

Sweet/Spicy Asian Vinaigrette

Sweet/Spicy Asian Vinaigrette

Saving Money on California Steak Salad with Sweet/Spicy Asian Vinaigrette:

When steak is on the menu, it’s usually not one of the cheapest of meals but there are ways to get the most bang for your buck. First of all, watch for sales, especially around holidays and during the summer. The week prior to a big holiday, especially one when steak might be served, such as New Year’s, Valentines, Memorial Day, Father’s Day & the Fourth of July along with Memorial Day is a very competitive time for the grocer. They’re likely to have several steaks on sale, at various price points. Watch your buyer’s club, too. You never know when a fantastic deal will come up.

The other way to make steak more reasonable is to buy one larger steak (or two depending on your family) cook it and slice it across the grain and serve it yourself to the fam, a few slices each. Serve it with lots of sides, as I did with the Teriyaki Marinaded Steak to stretch it. And reserve a little for a second comeback like this California Steak Salad with Sweet/Spicy Asian Vinaigrette. It’s a great way to take a pricier item and average that cost between two meals.

I have a rule of thumb on steak. If you have a stellar steak, a rich, buttery, aged, delicious (and probably really pricey) steak, do as little as possible to it. A little salt, a little pepper, grill or broil it to perfection and you’re done. Mic drop. If you have a cheap cut or some old generic sale priced grocery store steak, give it as much help as you can, with marinades, rubs and so on.

If you’re buying, arugula can be pricey and you might be tempted by a spring mix that includes it. If your grocery has bins where you can pick and choose, you’ll likely pay a lot less than you would for any bagged option. I grew arugula this year – just a few plants are keeping us in style – it grows like a weed and grows fast, so you can seed at just about anytime as long as it’s not too close to freezing. I just trim off what we need and the plant regrows. Gotta love that! The only trick is to remove any blossoms – generally, once a plant blooms it thinks it’s “done” for the season. (And those are some of our tomatoes, too, btw!)

California Steak Salad with Sweet/Spicy Asian Vinaigrette

California Steak Salad with a Sweet/Spicy Asian Vinaigrette

California Steak Salad with Sweet/Spicy Asian Vinaigrette

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon any Asian style Chili sauce
  • 1 large clove garlic, quartered
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

In a blender, process vinegar, lime juice, cilantro, chili sauce, garlic, salt and pepper. With blender running, add honey, mix. Drizzle in oil, slowly with the blender still running.

California Steak Salad:

  • 1/4 red onion, cut into thin slices
  • 2 – 3 medium tomatoes, sliced into wedges, or an equal amount of other tomatoes
  • about five ounces baby arugula or other greens
  • 1 ripe peeled avocado, sliced
  • 4 to 6 ounces of Teriyaki Marinated Steak, thinly sliced against the grain
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds

Divide all ingredients between four plates. Drizzle with Vinaigrette. Serve.

Everything in this simple California Steak Salad with Sweet/Spicy Asian Vinaigrette is fantastic, but it's the Asian vinaigrette that steals the show! #SteakSalad #CaliforniaSteakSalad #AsianSteakSalad #LeftoverSteak #MainDishSalad


Today, of course, I’ll be linking to our very own Throwback Thursday Link Party, hosted by Quinn of Dad What’s for Dinner, Meaghan of 4 Sons are Us, Alli of Tornadough, Carlee from Cooking with Carlee and Moi! That’s right – me!

Click over to our latest Throwback Thursday post for links to their blogs and social media, rules and more info or, as always, to see all the links or add your own, click on the little blue frog, below.

And, as I do almost every Friday, I’ll be linking up to Angie’s Fiesta Friday Number 130! Many of my fave bloggers hang out there every weekend and this week’s co-hosts are  Judi @ cookingwithauntjuju and Petra @ Food Eat Love. This week I’m visiting Saucy Saturdays and linking up! It’s always a fun line up of bloggers and linkers.

 Chance Update:

Just a quick update on my new pup, Chance…who has turned out to be quite the rascal. Yep, that’s toilet paper all over the bathroom floor!


19 thoughts on “California Steak Salad with Sweet/Spicy Asian Vinaigrette

  1. A steak salad is a great way of stretching a bit of good quality meat to feed several meal or make a meal out of some leftover steak.

    Neutering is supposed to be good for them … the cone of shame will keep him away from those stitches and it’s cute too. Ah yes, the TP storm. Is it cause they’re bored at home in their own?

    • I think the tp was just because it was there – pups like to explore with their mouths and if something fantastic happens, like it shreds and flies about, it’s very exciting for them. In this case he’d had a little accident and I put him in the bathroom to clean him up and I closed the door while I grabbed his pup towel from the next room – literally 30 seconds or less it took me.

  2. I was all ready for a story about why this salad was called “California”. I’m happy with the avocado answer 🙂 I love a good steak and a salad but I like them separate. Maybe your version would be better than one I had in a restaurant. Thanks for partying with us…

    • Thanks so much for hosting! I feel pretty much the same way you do about steak and salad – I did like this one, probably because it was made to MY tastes, if ya know what I mean.

      I think the steak was the star here and the other ingredients were very simple so it wasn’t a total mix up or a clash of a whole bunch of stuff with conflicting tastes and textures…

  3. Good morning, another beautiful little delicious salad from you and I so envy you for being able to grow your own salad and tomatoes – our tremendous heat here does not give me a chance, so no no Arugula at all but at least tomatoes are “imported” from the hills in our neighbouring State 😃. Enjoy your Sunday, Ciao Carina

    • I can believe it. We put in 8 plants and lost four because they just turned crispy in the heat. Two are stunted…it’s been super hot here! But two are going strong! 🙂 I’m mourning for the two heirloom varieties we lost…

    • He was neutered right before I picked him up (he came from a humane society) but at first he didn’t have the “reach” to get to the stitches! He’s grown so much! And he got the tp in the bathroom…the first of many things to come, I’m sure! 🙂

Hearing from you makes my day! Comment below.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.