Satisfy Your Cravings with Delicious Neua Nam Tok Recipe

Welcome to my humble kitchen! Today, I am thrilled to share with you one of my all-time favorite dishes – Neua Nam Tok, also known as Vietnamese Grilled Beef Salad.

This dish is a perfect combination of tender and juicy grilled beef cutlets paired with a spicy and tangy dressing made from fresh lime juice, fish sauce, chili peppers, and palm sugar. It is then tossed with a scrumptious mix of fresh cilantro leaves, mint leaves, shallots, and toasted rice powder. The result? A wild explosion of flavors that will transport your taste buds straight to the vibrant streets of Vietnam.

But what makes this recipe truly special is its versatility. You can either savor it as an appetizer, mix it into a steaming bowl of sticky rice for a hearty lunch or dinner option or even pair it with a cool beer for a casual weekend get-together. It’s the perfect choice for those hot summer days when you crave something light, fresh and bursting with flavor.

The best part? It’s super easy to make! With just a few simple ingredients and minimal effort, you can whip up an authentic Thai-style grilled beef salad in no time.

So put on your apron, grab your chef’s knife, and let’s embark on this culinary adventure together! Get ready to unleash your inner foodie and impress your family and friends with this delicious Neua Nam Tok recipe.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Neua Nam Tok (Vietnamese Grilled Beef Salad)
Neua Nam Tok (Vietnamese Grilled Beef Salad)

Are you tired of the same old boring salads for lunch? Do you want to spice up your summer menu with something different, bold and flavorful? Look no further than this delicious Neua Nam Tok, also known as Thai Grilled Beef Salad.

This salad will awaken your taste buds and bring life to your mouth. It is a perfect combination of fresh, crisp lettuce, juicy grilled beef slices, and a spicy dressing made with fish sauce, fresh lime juice, hot chili peppers, and toasted rice powder. The herbs, including fresh cilantro and mint leaves, add a burst of fragrant flavors to the salad.

What makes this recipe truly special is the unique blend of ingredients used in the dressing. Nam pla (fish sauce) provides a savory umami flavor that perfectly balances the sweet sugar and tart lime juice. The hot red pepper flakes or fresh chili peppers bring heat to the dish while the toasted rice powder adds an earthy texture. This combination of flavors creates a dance in your mouth that will have you craving more!

Not only is this recipe delicious, but it is also healthy! With fresh greens and lean beef, this salad is packed with vitamins and protein. And for those on a gluten-free or low-carb diet, this salad recipe is perfect as it does not include any wheat-based products.

So why not give it a try? Neua Nam Tok is an easy-to-make recipe that will impress your family or friends at any summer gathering. It’s versatile enough to be served as either an appetizer or main course. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to enjoy this authentic Thai dish from the comfort of your own home!

Ingredient List

 Grilled to perfection!
Grilled to perfection!

Here’s everything you will need to make this Neua Nam Tok recipe. Don’t worry, the ingredients are easy to find in your local Asian grocery store.

For the Salad:

  • 1 pound grilled steak, thinly sliced into pieces
  • 1/4 cup of fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup of nam pla (fish sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons of palm sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of hot red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup of chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup of chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup of sliced peeled cucumber
  • 3 cups of torn green leaf lettuce

For the Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons of toasted rice powder
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped shallots
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh chili peppers
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons of nam pla (fish sauce)

Optional: Sticky rice and pork (Moo Nam Tok) or chicken can be added as a side dish.

The Recipe How-To

 Tangy flavors in every bite!
Tangy flavors in every bite!

Now, let’s get started with the recipe how-to. This Vietnamese grilled beef salad may look intimidating, but it’s all about the preparation. Trust me; you’ll want to take your time following these steps for mouth-watering results.


  • 1 lb steak (sirloin or flank)
  • 2-3 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar
  • 1 tsp hot red pepper flakes
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp toasted rice powder
  • Handful of fresh mint leaves
  • Handful of fresh cilantro leaves


  1. Prepare the steak: Preheat the grill to high heat. Season the steak with salt and black pepper on both sides.
  2. Grill the steak: Grill the steak for about 5 minutes per side or until it reaches your desired doneness (135°F for medium-rare). Then, remove from heat and allow it to rest for about 10 minutes before thinly slicing.
  3. Make the dressing: In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the lime juice, fish sauce, palm sugar, hot red pepper flakes, and toasted rice powder.
  4. Combine: In a large mixing bowl, add thinly sliced shallots, minced garlic cloves, fresh mint leaves and cilantro leaves.
  5. Mix: Toss in the thinly sliced grilled steak into the mixing bowl with the fresh herbs and dressing until well combined.
  6. Serve & Enjoy: Serve immediately with steamed sticky rice or green leaf lettuce cups with additional fresh herbs and chili peppers if desired.

This Vietnamese grilled beef salad recipe is perfect for a summer day. The meaty flavor of grilled beef combined with the fresh herbs and spicy dressing make this salad an ideal choice for those who seek a light and refreshing meal.

Substitutions and Variations

 Savor the taste of Vietnam!
Savor the taste of Vietnam!

Are you feeling adventurous and want to switch up the flavors of this Neua Nam Tok recipe? No problem! Here are some substitutions and variations that you can try:

– Protein: Instead of beef, you can use pork to make a delicious Moo Nam Tok salad. You can also swap in chicken or tofu for a vegetarian option.

– Spice: If you prefer a milder flavor, you can reduce the amount of fresh chili peppers or hot red pepper flakes. On the other hand, if you want to add extra heat, try using Thai bird’s eye chilies or adding sriracha sauce.

– Greens: Don’t have green leaf lettuce on hand? No worries! You can use any type of sturdy salad greens such as kale or spinach. You can also add in other vegetables like shredded carrots or sliced bell peppers for added crunch and color.

– Dressing: If you’re not a fan of fish sauce or nam pla, you can replace it with soy sauce or tamari for a vegetarian option. Alternatively, you can swap out palm sugar with honey or brown sugar. You could even experiment with the herbs used in the dressing by using basil instead of mint or adding in some lemongrass for a more tangy flavor.

– Toppings: Customize your Neua Nam Tok by adding chopped peanuts, toasted sesame seeds, or crispy fried shallots on top. You could also sprinkle some toasted rice powder (also known as khao khua) over your final dish for an authentic Thai touch.

There are so many ways to make this recipe your own, so don’t be afraid to get creative and try out different substitutions and variations to find your perfect bowl of Neua Nam Tok!

Serving and Pairing

 A salad that's a complete meal!
A salad that’s a complete meal!

This beef salad is a wonderful dish to serve on a hot summer day when you crave something refreshing and light but still hearty enough to be satisfying. The combination of grilled beef, fresh herbs, and spicy dressing is the perfect way to cool down after being out in the sun all day.

The best way to serve this beef salad is to pile it high on top of a bed of crisp, fresh green leaf lettuce or cucumber slices. I also love adding some sliced shallots or diced cucumbers for some extra crunch. A sprinkle of toasted rice powder adds texture and complexity to the dish.

When it comes to pairing this salad, I recommend serving it with sticky rice, which is a staple in Thai cuisine. The chewy texture pairs perfectly with the tender grilled beef and spicy dressing. Another great option is pairing it with some steamed jasmine rice or even some noodles if you prefer.

As for drinks, I love serving this salad alongside an ice-cold beer, preferably a light lager or pilsner that won’t overpower the flavors in the dish. If you’re looking for something non-alcoholic, try serving it with a refreshing glass of iced tea or maybe even a fruity lemonade.

Overall, this neua nam tok salad recipe is perfect for any summertime dinner party or barbecue gathering with friends and family. With its bright flavors and bold spices, it’s sure to please everyone at the table.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Tender beef with fresh herbs!
Tender beef with fresh herbs!

If you are looking for a salad that can be made ahead of time, neua nam tok is the perfect choice. You can even prepare the beef and dressing a day ahead, and store them in separate containers in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to meld.

When it comes to storing this salad, always keep it covered in a sealed container in the fridge to keep it as fresh as possible. The leftover salad can last up to 3-4 days in the fridge, but make sure to remove any wilted greens before eating.

If you have leftover grilled beef, you can also use it as a topping for your favorite dishes, such as tacos or quesadillas. To reheat the beef, simply use a microwave or oven until warmed through.

For a refreshing twist on leftovers, try serving cold neua nam tok salad over warm rice or noodles. The contrast of textures and temperatures will surprise and delight your taste buds.

Whether you’re making this Vietnamese grilled beef salad ahead of time for meal prep or just want to repurpose leftovers, it’s sure to be a versatile addition to your culinary repertoire.

Tips for Perfect Results

 A recipe that's sure to impress!
A recipe that’s sure to impress!

The key to any successful dish is the attention to detail, and Neua Nam Tok is no exception. To help you achieve perfect results every time, here are some tips to keep in mind:

1. Choose the right cut of beef

When it comes to making grilled beef salad or neua nam tok, selecting the right type of meat can make all the difference. Certain cuts of beef tend to be more tender than others, such as ribeye or sirloin. Look for leaner and more marbled cuts for a great balance of texture and taste.

2. Get your grill hot

To achieve that beautiful, smoky flavor in your beef, it’s essential to get your grill nice and hot before cooking. You want to sear the meat quickly to lock in the juices, so aim for a temperature of at least 400-450°F on your grill.

3. Let the beef marinate

Marinating your beef is essential for adding that depth of flavor that makes neua nam tok so irresistible. Take the time to let it rest in a mixture of lime juice, fish sauce, chili peppers, shallots, garlic, and palm sugar for at least 30 minutes before grilling.

4. Use fresh herbs

Fresh cilantro and mint leaves are crucial ingredients that add brightness and freshness to this dish. Be sure to use them generously in your recipe! If possible, pick them from your home herb garden just before cooking for optimal freshness.

5. Toast some rice powder

Toasting glutinous rice powder adds a unique flavor and texture to neua nam tok’s recipe. Place uncooked glutinous rice into a dry saucepan over low heat and continuously stir until lightly toasted and fragrant (about 10-12 minutes). Then grind them into fine powder using a food processor or mortar.

6. Don’t forget about balance

While neua nam tok has spicy notes at its core, it’s essential to balance the dish’s heat with sugar, lime juice, and fish sauce to achieve a well-rounded flavor profile. Don’t hesitate to make small adjustments as you go to find the perfect balance for your tastes.

By following these tips, you can confidently create a delicious and authentic neua nam tok at home that will have your family and friends coming back for more.


Are you looking for answers to some common questions related to Neua Nam Tok? Look no further, because in this section, I will be answering frequently asked questions regarding the recipe. From ingredient substitutions to storage tips and nutritional information, I’ve got you covered. Read on to learn more!

Does Nam Tok mean grilled beef salad?

The term “Nam tok” is derived from the words “falling water” or “waterfall,” which gives an idea of what this dish is all about. It’s a type of steak that is sometimes referred to as “waterfall salad,” which is an allusion to the meat juices that drip down the grill as it’s being cooked. So, grilling the meat is the key element in preparing this dish.

How many calories are in a Vietnamese beef salad?

This hearty and savory Vietnamese Beef Vermicelli Salad recipe serves one and boasts a total carb count of 16g, with a net carb count of 13g. Loaded with 19g of healthy fats and a whopping 42g of protein, this delicious meal contributes to a total calorie count of 385.

How many calories are in Thai waterfall beef?

The nutrition breakdown of the dish reveals that each serving contains 222 calories, with 10% of the recommended daily value coming from 7.8g of total fat. Additionally, the meal contains 22% of the recommended daily intake of cholesterol, as indicated by the provided chart. The information presented serves as a helpful guide for anyone interested in monitoring their nutritional intake while enjoying this Vietnamese-Asian inspired cuisine.

Bottom Line


In conclusion, if you’re looking for a delicious and refreshing salad that’s easy to make and packed with flavor, neua nam tok (Vietnamese grilled beef salad) is the perfect dish for you. With its unique blend of marinated grilled beef, fresh herbs, chili peppers, and tangy dressing, this salad will take your taste buds on a culinary adventure that they won’t soon forget.

Whether you are trying it as an authentic Thai dish or experimenting with Vietnamese cuisine, this beef salad recipe is all about creating a wonderful burst of flavor in every bite. You can expect to savor the flavors of tangy lime juice, spicy chilies, and savory fish sauce with each mouthful that will leave your palate wanting more.

If you’re looking for an easy-to-make and refreshing summer meal that’s healthy and packed with flavor, then neua nam tok (Vietnamese grilled beef salad) should definitely be on your list. Try it out today and experience the waterfall of flavors that this dish has to offer!

Neua Nam Tok (Vietnamese Grilled Beef Salad)

Neua Nam Tok (Vietnamese Grilled Beef Salad) Recipe

From The Best Recipes in The World by Mark Bittman. Cook time does not include time to heat grill or preheat broiler. This can be an appetizer or a main dish if served with rice.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Appetizer/Salad
Cuisine Vietnamese
Calories 488.7 kcal


  • 1 1/2 lbs steak, about 1 inch thick (strip cut works best)
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup nam pla
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 2 small fresh chili peppers, preferably Thai that have been steamed and seeded and minced or 2 teaspoons hot red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 cups green leaf lettuce (or combination of green and red lettuces)
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, cut in half lengthwise, and sliced
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves


  • Preheat a grill or broiler. Sprinkle the steak with salt and pepper, then grill for about 4 minutes per side or until medium-rare. Remove from the heat and let rest for about 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, whisk together the nam pla, lime juice, farlic, shallots, chiles, and sugar. Cut the steak into 1/4 inch slices and immediately toss the steak with the dressing.
  • Place the lettuce, cucumber, mint, and cilantro on a plate and top with the steak and dressing. Serve immediately.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 392gCalories: 488.7kcalCarbohydrates: 13.8gProtein: 34.5gFat: 32.9gSaturated Fat: 12.9gCholesterol: 115.7mgSodium: 1536.8mgFiber: 2.5gSugar: 6g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Asian, Easy, Meat, Vietnamese
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