One of the things I always miss most about living in the city is my regular Hillstone dates with girlfriends. Yes, Hillstone. I also miss all of our small favorite restaurants but Hillstone will always have a place in my heart. I have many a memory of meeting friends there for dirty martinis and a hodgepodge of spinach artichoke dip, yellowtail sashimi salad, and french fries after work… And my go-to dinner order: their steak & noodle salad.
This article about everyone’s love affair with Hillstone is one of my favorite Bon Appetit reads ever. According to the author, even David Chang is. fan of their French dip. But the best part is that Bon App got ahold of eight of the restaurant chain’s most popular recipes. Next on my personal list is their deviled eggs. And I don’t care if that makes me a grandma. I love deviled eggs… especially from Hillstone!
But back to the salad. It has always been a favorite of mine because it’s piled high with tons of greens and herbs, packed with umami flavor and spice, and has enough protein to fill you up. That said, the recipe isn’t quick. There are a lot of steps which isn’t my usual style of cooking. But I gave it a shot (twice now!) anyway and man was it worth it.
While my salad isn’t formed in a perfect pyramid like Hillstone’s is, the flavor was on point. Maybe because it’s been over a year since I’ve visited the restaurant but I’m telling you, the taste was very very similar to the real deal.
The key for me was doing a lot in advance. I marinated the steak all day and made the dressing in the morning too. I also prepped all the herbs and veggies so when dinnertime came around I just had to cook the ramen and steak and assemble it all.
Hillstone Steak Salad Recipe
Serves 3-4. Originally found via Bon Appetit with minor tweaks noted below. Note that the steak needs to marinate for at least 6 hours so keep that in mind when preparing the meal.
– 1 ½-inch piece ginger, peeled, finely chopped (I always keep a jar of pre-minced ginger in my fridge and used this to save time)
– ¼ cup soy sauce or tamari
– 3 tablespoons raw sugar or light brown sugar
– 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
– 1 tablespoon fish sauce
– ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
– ½ teaspoon garlic powder
– ¼ cup olive oil
– 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
– ¾ pound filet mignon steaks, 1 inch thick
– 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
– 1/4 cup hot chili paste (I didn’t have this so I used red pepper flakes)
– 1/4 cup peanut oil or vegetable oil
– 2 tablespoons fish sauce
– 2 tablespoons sugar
– 1 tablespoon honey
– 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
– Salt (optional)
– 2 oz dried ramen or lo mein noodles
– 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
– 1 large mango, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
– 1/2 bunch arugula, stems removed, leaves torn
– 1/2 bunch watercress, tough stems removed
– 2 medium carrots, finely shredded on a mandoline or a box grater
– 2 scallions, chopped
– 2 cups finely shredded cabbage
– 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
– 1 avocado, cut into 1-inch pieces
– 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 (skipped because Anel is allergic to coconut)
– 1/4 cup chopped salted, roasted peanuts, plus more for serving
– Lime wedges (for serving)
Step 1: Whisk ginger, soy sauce, raw 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 out air, and turn steak to coat. Chill at least 6 hours and up to 12 hours.
Step 2: Prepare a grill for medium-high heat. Or heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. I didn’t have either option so I used a regular pan and it was fine! Remove steaks from marinade and pat dry. Season lightly with salt. Grill, turning every 2 minutes until lightly charred all over and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of each steak registers 120° for medium-rare, 8–10 minutes total. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest at least 10 minutes before cutting into 1″ pieces.
Do ahead: Steak can be cooked 1 day ahead. Let cool; cover and chill. Cut just before serving.
Step 3: 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.
Do Ahead: Dressing can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.
Step 4: 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. Season with salt if desired. Add steak, avocado, cilantro, basil, mint, coconut flakes, and ¼ cup peanuts. Gently toss just to combine.
Step 5: Divide salad among plates, piling as high as possible. Top with additional peanuts and serve with lime wedges for squeezing over.
Step 6: Enjoy the fruits of your labor!