Nahm Jeem Rong Hai

Roughly translated means: “you’ll cry like a baby grilled steak”. If you’re afraid of flavor fear not – all of the heat is in the dipping sauce which you can moderate at meal time. Try it, please. 🙂 This does require some non-trivial prep and marinate time, but it’s one of my favorite Thai refinements. Steak can be cooked over a wood fire, charcoal grill, gas grill or on a stove top as desired. Goes great with rice, rice noodle or cous-cous (culinary faux paux, I know).


1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar (raw preferred)
3 tbsp kao kua
3-4 small green onions (minced)
1/4 cup crushed chili peppers


2 lbs lean steak (thinner is better, but whatever)
2 tbsp sugar (raw preferred)
1/2 Cup soy sauce or Kikkoman Less Sodium Teriyaki Sauce

Steak prep: In a large bowl dissolve the sugar in soy sauce (stir). Add steak, cover and let marinate for at least one hour (overnight is great too), tossing about 3/4 of the way through. Go make the sauce while you’re waiting.  When ready to cook, get your heat hot: if cooking on a stove, an iron grill plate or skillet is suggested as opposed to non-stick cookware. Until it sizzles a drip of water, it’s not hot enough. Add the beef using tongs (bamboo preferred) quickly and sear meat, cooking to desired doneness. Generally best to get a medium to medium-well, ~5-10 minutes. Cooking it fast and hot is the key to keeping the flavor locked in.  Skip down to serve.

Sauce prep: In a bowl, dissolve the sugar in the lime juice and soy sauce (stir). Stir in onions, kao kua and crushed chile.

Serve: Meat should be plated immediately, and cut into thin slices or bite-sized pieces. Sauce should be divided into small bowls or mini-cups for dipping. There might not seem like “enough”, but a little nahm jeem goes a long way.

Serves 6-8. Prep time is an active 20-30 minutes in the midst of a 1 hour marinade, and about 10 minutes to cook.

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