Neua Naam Tok Recipe

A Northern Thai steak salad to serve on its own or as part of a meal.


2 1/2 grams of lemongrass (tender parts), thinly sliced to about 1 tsp
2 black peppercorns
Scant 4 oz. flank steak, butterflied if necessary to 1/2″ thickness
1 1/2 tsp Thai thin soy sauce

1 1/2 tbsp lime juice (preferably from Key limes or spiked with a small squeeze of Meyer lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
1 tbsp beef stock (purchased or homemade, see below) or water
1 tsp Phrik Phon Khua (toasted chile powder)
2 large stalks of thinly sliced lemongrass (tender parts only), about 2 tbsp

1 oz. peeled small shallots, preferably Asian, or very small red onions halved lengthwise and thinly sliced with the grain (about 1/4 c lightly packed)
1/4 cup small mint leaves, lightly packed
1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro (thin stems and leaves), lightly packed
1 heaping tsp Khao Khua (toasted-sticky rice powder), plus a few pinches for finishing


Step 1: Marinate the steak. Combine the lemongrass and the peppercorns in a granite mortar and pound to a coarse paste, about 15 seconds. Scrape it into a bowl with the steak, add the soy sauce and use your hands to massage the steak until it’s well coated with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.

Step 2: Cook the steak. Prepare a grill, preferably charcoal, to cook with medium heat. Or preheat a lightly oiled grill pan or heavy skillet over medium heat.

Step 3: Grill the steak, flipping once, until well browned and lightly charred on both sides and just barely pink inside, 6 to 8 minutes total. Transfer the steak to a cutting board, let it rest for about 5 minutes, then cut it against the grain into slices that are somewhere between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick.

Step 4: Make the dressing. Combine the lime juice, fish sauce, beef stock, sugar, chile powder and the 14 grams of lemongrass in a medium pan, set it over medium heat, and heat the mixture just until it’s warm to the touch, 15 seconds or so. Turn off the heat.

Step 5: Assemble the salad. Add the steak slices to the pan along with the shallots, mint, cilantro and rice powder, toss well, and transfer the salad to a plate in a low heap, pulling most of the herbs toward the top. Sprinkle on another pinch or two of rice powder, and serve.

See more recipes from Pok Pok.

Excerpted from Pok Pok by Andy Ricker (2013 Ten Speed Press).