As we discussed when we made Crispy Tofu Pad Thai, fish sauce brands can vary a lot in their salty intensity so any recipe that uses it should be adjusted to taste. It’s not written this way below because the dressing should be all you need for flavor, but I usually toss my cucumber slices with a splash of rice vinegar, a splash of toasted sesame oil, and two pinches of salt because certain small people in my family seem more inclined to eat them this way. 1 pound of green beans is probably a bit much for most people; they’re a family favorite here so I tend to overdo it.
Place steak in a sealable freezer bag. Pour in about 1/3 of this mixture and press all of the air out of the bag so it stays on the meat. Place steak in the fridge for about an hour and up to a day. I am usually in a rush, and just marinate it for as long as I am prepping everything else.
Slowly whisk 3 tablespoons oil into remaining marinade; this is now your dressing. Adjust flavors, again, to taste. Set aside until needed.
Prepare other salad ingredients: Bring a medium pot of salted water to boil. For regular sized green beans, cook them for 2.5 minutes; for haricot vert (skinny green beans), cook them for 2 minutes, then scoop out with a slotted spoon and drop into a bowl of ice water to cool, then drain and transfer to a bowl.
I use the water again to cook the noodles according to package directions; mine say to remove the boiling water from the heat, add the noodles, and let them soak for 5 minutes, until softened. Drain, place in bowl, and set aside until needed. If they get sticky, you can run cold water over them, or toss them with a splash of oil.
To grill steak: Get your grill really hot and lightly coat grates with oil. Remove steak from marinade and cook for about 3 1/2 minutes, and up to 5 minutes, per side, depending on thickness. Season both sides with salt and pepper as you grill. (I did 4 minutes per side in the thinnish flank steaks shown, and they were too medium for our tastes, but your mileage may vary.) Remove Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing very thin and putting on a serving plate.
To serve: Place cherry tomatoes, cucumbers (see Note), and herbs each in their own bowl with a spoon for serving. I like to put out extra sliced bird’s eye chili on the side, splashing a little rice or plain vinegar on it for extra kick. Put out your noodles, steak, and salad dressing too. A tiny ladle (I have one like this) is ideal for the dressing, because mine always separates, and this allows people to stir a bit before spooning it over.
To eat! We like to start with a small pile of noodles, followed by a few slices of steak, big spoonfuls of each vegetable, a few chilis, and a ladle of the dressing, followed by the herbs (don’t skimp; they’re perfect here). Repeat as needed.