35 Reviews

We love this salad at our local Thai restaurant (that has lines out the door) and this recipe is as good if not better. We made with rib eye. It is awesome. Don't need to change a thing

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Mary O. September 08, 2015

This salad is called Num Tok on Thai menus. It means ?Waterfall? and can also describe a meat soup, but most typically refers to the meat salad. The salad is also enjoyed by the Lao people. I will be making this tonight. I?m glad I ran across this recipe because I was trying to figure out what to do with this sirloin tip steak I?ve had in the freezer. I can?t believe this wasn?t the first thing I thought of, I?ve been making Num Tok for at least 6 years now. This is a great basic recipe although I offer these few suggestions to folks who are trying this for the first time. 1-Unless you are fond of bland food (I mean no offence, A LOT of people eat bland food because they can?t handle powerful flavors and spices and the salt paranoia of late has people making tragically unsalted dishes) I recommend seasoning the meat. At least salt and pepper, and if you are grilling, don?t oil the meat, oil the grill grate. (Just my opinion, oil lets too much of the spice fall off when grilling. Kitchenmaniac has no seasoning in this recipe, so if you go that route, oiling the meat is just fine.) A nice perforating of the meat with a fork or better yet a culinary needler, also called a tenderizer and a few hours in a marinade that is similar or just like the sauce in this recipe will amp this recipe up nicely. 2-The Kaffir and mint leaves are a bit out of the usual. No problem using them but I can?t stand Kaffir lime leaf for some reason except a little bit in a red curry paste and a touch in a Tom Yum Goong soup. This mint in this recipe would be replaced with Thai basil more traditionally in my experience. Use the mint for mojitos! 3-Grilling the chilies a little bit will alter their flavor in a good way. Do this ahead of time and pop them in the fridge to make them cool. If you really like Thai level heat, mince one or two (depending on the punishment you deserve) Thai hot peppers in to the dressing (Also often called bird?s eye chilies). They are nuclear like habaneros but like habaneros are to Mexican food they have a distinct flavor only a Thai hot can give. Almost any variety of vegetable would be good with this salad. Broccoli and cauliflower would be a bit weird I think but I would use tomato, cucumber, julienned or shredded carrot, shredded or finely cut cabbage or baby bok choy?even fresh squash like yellow or zucchini thinly cut or julienned if I had on hand. May be a step out of traditional, but delicious. 4-The dressing is straight up the mother?s milk of Thai style sauces and can be used for dipping Thai summer rolls in, instead of or along with the typical peanut sauce typically served with summer rolls, but add a little water for use as a dip to soften it a bit. Also, I tend to not use as much sugar. Thai restaurants sweeten dishes for the America palette just like Chinese places do. They don?t really eat everything so sweet and they do not sprinkle peanuts over everything. Play around with the balance of ingredients for the sauce and you?ll get it just right for you. You may like sweet, but not me?not for dinner at least. This recipe is pretty much straight down the line what you will read all over and is tried and true though. Props to KitchenManiac for not sprinkling peanuts all over this salad. Peanuts, contrary to a lot of people?s thinking does not make dishes ?Thai?. There are a few Thai dishes peanuts are called for?a FEW. This is not one of them. 5-Finally, it is traditional to sprinkle a little ground roasted rice on this salad. Roast uncooked rice in a pan or toaster oven just until they begin to turn yellowish/light brown then finely grind in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. Make a batch and it keeps for a very long time on the spice shelf/rack. The texture this adds is something you?ll be sorry you have missed all this time?for most people at least?your mileage may vary. I LOVE NUM TOK! If you can?t tell by now.

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Kennifira Malcom Shabaz X June 06, 2015

Excellent! I made extra batch of the dressing and let the cooked meat (I used flank steak) marinate in it for a few hours. I didn't use very many of the red peppers, only used one. Also, I tossed the salad with sesame oil first so the dressing would have something to stick to. There was chili pepper flakes on the side so people could add heat if they liked.

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leannestock February 02, 2014

This was great. Used leftover prime rib. Also couldn't find Kefir leaves so used lime zest instead.

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Charmie777 January 14, 2012

Loved it! Thanks for sharing. By changing the salad ingredients around and alternating marinated fish, chicken, meat and seafood around we have had this 3 times in as many weeks and Ive not gotten bored with it visually or taste wise. Will mark this as a fav!

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kiwicookie September 20, 2011


For greens I had cucumber, red onion, mint leaves. Simple! Instead of the red chilies I added some Thai peppers I had on hand... My mouth was on fire! I love the simplicity and perfection of the dressing. I stir fried the beef in sesame oil and some white onions. It was heavenly! Definitely a keeper. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

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lycheeaddiction March 08, 2011

This is such a good, fresh-tasting salad. The only thing I leave out is the cilantro, due to personal preference. Also, I can't get fresh red chiles here and have to buy dried, which are quite hot. What I do is slice a couple up and put them in the dressing about a 1/2 hour before I toss the salad, and remove them just prior to adding the dressing - plenty of heat, and no hot peppers to bite into.

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evelyn/athens July 19, 2010

Thank you, I really enjoyed it a lot. Fantastic salad that I'll use again and again.

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Faux Cordon Bleu December 16, 2009

Fantastic dish! I marinated by beef strips in soy and some sesame oil for an hour or so before hand and followed the recipe exactly otherwise. Yummy! Everyone asked what the sauce was and couldn't believe how simple it was.

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good_lily September 18, 2009
My O My.. Best Thai Beef Salad Ever!