This recipe is from Mark Wiens’ Thai Foodie” blog. He does a great, detailed job of describing and photographing his recipes. I have made a few changes but this is Mark’s recipe and photos. – Jughandle
Nam tok is the Thai word for waterfall, and neau means beef. Together the literal translation is Thai waterfall beef, or beef waterfall.
The beef in this recipe is best when marinated and then grilled over a charcoal or wood fire.
For this recipe you can use any type of meat you want, but in Thailand you will be offered, either beef or pork.
Black Pepper For The Marinate
The marinate for the meat, is a simple combination of black pepper and soy sauce. Mark uses whole fresh peppercorns, for their pungent flavor. Mark crushes and grinds them coarsely in a Stone Mortar, to release all their aroma and flavor.
Toss the beef in a mixing bowl with the ground black pepper and the light soy sauce. Allow to marinate for about an hour. A longer marinate is not necessary because most of the flavor in this recipe comes from the dressing mixture.
You should grill your beef to about medium rare or medium, depending on your preference. About 8 minutes on each side
Slice The Meat And Mix
Rest it for about 5 minutes before slicing it.
After the meat has cooled a bit, slice it against the grain into bite sized strips, then put it in a bowl.
Add the rest of the salad ingredients, mix everything, and it’s ready for the plate.
Sticky Rice Powder Toasted sticky rice powder, is extremely important in this Thai waterfall salad recipe.
Lime juice for sourness, paired with fish sauce for saltiness, is the main dressing combination for this Thai waterfall salad recipe.
Just like all Thai dishes, make sure you do some taste-testing as you mix everything together. You want the beef to be sour, just salty enough, and spice to your liking.
Spice To Your Taste
Dry chili flakes, are another essential ingredient in many Thai salads, and you wouldn’t want to skip it in this nam tok recipe.
You can add as much as you like, but nam tok is intended to be spicy. The heat gives a nice balanced to the flavor.
Try using whole Thai dried chillies. To get the most flavor quickly dry roast them in a hot pan for a few seconds so they crisp up and then blend them.
Finally, sliced shallots, cilantro, green onions, and fresh mint leaves, give nam tok a wonderful herbal and refreshing touch.
Plate The Dish
After you mix all the ingredients together with the sliced beef, and the flavor is balanced to your liking, you can dish the Thai beef salad onto a plate.
Mix any extra juice from the grilled beef into the salad, or you can just add in a spoon of water.
Nam Tok Neua Recipe
For the meat marinade:
- 1 Tbsp Black Pepper Corns freshly ground
- 1.5 Tbsp light soy sauce
For 1 plate of nam tok:
- 1/2 lb beef or pork grilled and sliced
- 1 Tbsp khao khua toasted sticky rice powder
- 2 Tbsp fish sauce Thai
- 1 pinch sugar optional
- 2 Tbsp chili flakes you can grind Thai dry chilies
- 1-1/2 Tbsp lime juice juice of 1 lime
- 5 fresh shallots small chopped
- 1 fresh green onion chopped
- 1 bunch cilantro small handful
- 1 bunch mint leaves small handful to garnish
For the grilled beef:
- Take the beef, or any type of meat you're using, and marinate it in the ground black pepper and soy sauce for about 1 hour.
- Grill the beef on high heat for around 8 minutes on each side (depending on how thick it is), until the meat is medium rare or medium.
- Once the beef is finished, set it on a plate to rest for about 5 - 10 minutes, collecting all the meat juice.
- Slice the beef against the grain into thin bite sized strips.
For the nam tok salad:
- Note: I marinated and grilled just over 1-lb of beef, but for this proceeding salad recipe, I only used 1/2-lb per dish of the cooked beef.
- Peel the shallots and finely slice them, dice the green onions, and pluck a handful of mint leaves.
- In a mixing bowl, add 1/2-lb beef, chili flakes, lime juice, shallots, green onions, and mint leaves. Doesn't matter which order, just toss everything together.
- Mix all the ingredients fully, and then taste test. The meat should be sour, salty and spicy to taste, with a freshness from the herbs.
- Add more lime juice or fish sauce as needed.