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Thai spicy grilled beef (or mutton) salad (Neua nam toke)

Thai cuisine is well known for grilled meats, whether it be the satay-style skewers with a lovely dipping sauce, or steaks and larger cuts.

I love a salad with a large piece of meat rather than the traditional potatoes and other carbohydrate sides. I find the fresh greens bring out the flavours of the meat better and it is a much healthier option. This is the perfect salad for me.

The name of this dish translates to "beef with dripping liquid", a name that is very apt for how this dish is prepared. The steaks are grilled or broiled and then dunked in a flavourful dressing that adds lots of moisture and a bang of the traditional Thai flavours to the meat, The accompanying salad is also drenched in the dressing to liven it up. This is a very simple dish, one that needs great cuts of meat and the freshest of greens.

This was the first cookbook I bought by Naomi Daguid, and was immediately transported to wonderful meals at small tables across Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. A wonderful collection of recipes in a beautiful, coffee-table cookbook, mine stays in the kitchen! There are tons of recipes to explore, and lots of anecdotes and stories to tie the cuisine to the land and culture. One of my favorite cookbooks!

For more wonderful recipes from this cookbook, click here.


1 lb sirloin steak or mutton steaks, cut about 3/4 inch thick

Salt, to taste

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Drizzle olive oil

For the marinade:

1 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup chicken or mutton stock

3 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon roasted rice flour (see note)

4 cup scallions, thinly sliced

1/3 cup shallots, thinly sliced

3-4 Thai chillies, minced

1/2 cup mint, roughly torn

For the salad:

1 head (about 4 cups) of Napa cabbage, or a mix of Napa cabbage, cabbage and lettuce

6-8 yard-long, or green beans, lightly blanched

2 cucumbers, peeled and sliced into half moons

2-3 scallions, thinly sliced

Marinate the steak with salt, pepper and olive oil. Allow marination in the fridge for at least 2 hours. I like to start the marination in the morning if I am having these steaks for dinner.

Mix all the pepper, stock, lime juice, fish sauce, and sugar in a small bowl and set aside.

Toss the vegetables for the salad and set them in the fridge.

You can cook the steaks on the grill for about 3-4 minutes a side. Alternatively, you can broil the steaks in the top of the oven for 5-6 minutes a side.

Keep a large platter mounded with the salad ready.

While the meat is grilling on the second side, bring the stock to a boil. When the meat is ready, add the roasted rice flour and whisk well to dissolve into the marinade. Add the meat to the marinade and coat it with the sauce. Repeat with all the steaks dipping them for 30 seconds each and place on the large platter with the salad.

Mix the shallots, scallions, chillies, and mint into the dressing. Pour the dressing over the salad and meat. Serve at once.

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