Nam tok – Thai waterfall beef

August 10, 2016 by Peter Westfield

Prep time: 15  Minutes      Cook Time: 15  Minutes

Serves: 4 People                  Difficulty: Easy

Nam tok (น้ำตก) is the Thai word for waterfall, and neau (เนื้อ) means beef. Together the literal translation is Thai waterfall beef, or beef waterfall.

The beef in this recipe is first marinated and then it is grilled over hot charcoal.

As the recipe and story goes, once the beef begins to hiss from the sizzling juices, the beef should then be removed from the grill, and it’s ready to be sliced and prepared into the salad. The waterfall sizzling sound is how you know the beef is cooked and ready to be eaten.

Myth or fact, I’m not sure, but I think it’s a pretty cool explanation!
For the marinade:

  • 500 grams beef (or pork)
  • 1 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 1.5 tbsp light soy sauce

To make 1 plate of beef salad:

  • 250 grams beef (I grilled 500 grams, but only used 250 grams for this recipe below)
  • 1 tbsp khao khua (recipe here)
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • pinch of sugar (this is optional)
  • 1 tbsp dry chili flakes
  • 1.5 tbsp lime juice (or more to taste)
  • 5 small shallots
  • 1 green onion stem
    mint to garnish

For the grilled beef:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Once the beef is finished, set it on a plate to rest for about 5 – 10 minutes, collecting all the meat juice.
  4. Slice the beef against the grain into thin bite sized strips.

For the nam tok salad:

  1. Peel the shallots and finely slice them, dice the green onions, and pluck a handful of mint leaves.
  2. In a mixing bowl, add 250 grams of the grilled sliced beef, and add the khao khua, fish sauce, sugar, chili flakes, lime juice, shallots, green onions, and mint leaves. Doesn’t matter which order, just toss everything together.
  3. 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.






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