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Nam Tok Neua Recipe – Mark Wiens

by jughandle

This Nam Tok Neua 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.


Thai ingredients
The Ingredients
Thai grilled beefBeef

The Protein

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.

Thai waterfall beef recipe
Thai beef salad recipe

You should grill your beef to about medium rare or medium, depending on your preference.  About 8 minutes on each side

Thai beef salad
Sliced Into Strips

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.

Thai rice powder
Toasted Sticky Rice Powder

Sticky Rice Powder Toasted sticky rice powder, is extremely important in this Thai waterfall salad recipe.

Thai limes
Limes Are Essential For The Dressing

The Dressing

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.

nam tok recipe

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.

Thai street food recipes
Fresh Mint

Finally, sliced shallots, cilantro, green onions, and fresh mint leaves, give nam tok  a wonderful herbal and refreshing touch.

Thai dishes

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.

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5 from 1 vote
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Nam Tok Neua Recipe

Thai nam tok neau translates to beef waterfall salad, and is a popular Thai dish of grilled meat.   Sliced into bite sized pieces, and dressed in fish sauce, lime juice, chili flakes, and lots of herbs, it is fantastic. Nam tok is an Isaan (northeastern Thai) dish, and is typically eaten with a spread of other dishes and accompanied by sticky rice. Watch the full video of the recipe by Mark Wiens www.eatingthaifood.com
Course Dinner, Main Course
Keywords Thai Beef Salad
Protein Beef, pork
Cooking Method Grilling
Hot/Cold Dish Hot
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 1 plate
Author Mark Wiens

What You Will Need:

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.



Note: I marinated and grilled 500 grams of beef, but for this proceeding salad recipe, I only used 250 grams of the cooked beef. Nam tok neua is a delicious Thai dish and wonderful and flavorful way to eat beef steak or pork. This recipe is pretty easy to make, just marinate and grill the beef, slice it, and mix it with the dressing ingredients. This dish is often eaten with sticky rice in Thailand. Enjoy!


Nutrition Facts
Nam Tok Neua Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 689 Calories from Fat 432
% Daily Value*
Fat 48g74%
Saturated Fat 17g106%
Cholesterol 161mg54%
Sodium 4756mg207%
Potassium 1259mg36%
Carbohydrates 20g7%
Fiber 8g33%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 47g94%
Vitamin A 5510IU110%
Vitamin C 5.7mg7%
Calcium 153mg15%
Iron 9.3mg52%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Recipe Video

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