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Thinly sliced steak next to a bowl of nam jim jaew and lettuce.

Simple Crying Tiger Steak with Nam Jim Jaew Dipping Sauce

Learn to cook incredible Thai beef in less than 20 minutes! Impress your guests (and yourself!) with juicy, tender Crying Tiger Steak and spicy Thai dipping sauce (Nam Jim Jaew).
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Thai
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Marinating Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 side servings
Calories 304kcal
Cost $20-30


For the Crying Tiger Steak:

For the Nam Jim Jaew Dipping Sauce:

  • 1 tbsp palm sugar sub brown sugar or raw sugar
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp crushed chilli flakes sub cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp toasted rice powder
  • 1 shallot small, chopped
  • 4 tbsp coriander / cilantro roughly chopped, using leaves, stems and roots
  • 2-4 tbsp water or extra lime juice or fish sauce


For the Crying Tiger Steak:

  • In a large plate or wide bowl add the soy sauce, oyster sauce, 1 tbsp of vegetable oil, garlic and palm sugar. Mix until combined.
    2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp oyster sauce, 1 tbsp vegetable oil, 1 tsp garlic, 1 tsp palm sugar
  • Place the steaks in the marinade and coat well on both sides. Use a fork to pierce over each side, to help the marinade soak in further. Season with salt and pepper, then cover and marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes (or overnight if marinating in advance).
    600 g sirloin steak, Salt and pepper
  • Heat a cast iron pan (or cook over charcoal if you can) on high heat and coat with 1 tbsp of vegetable oil. Once hot, add in your marinated steaks and cook each side for 3-4 minutes for medium or 2-3 minutes for medium-rare. Seal the edges for 10-20 seconds each. You can flip the steaks more than once, whatever suits your style of cooking.
    1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Transfer steaks onto a large plate. Cover with aluminium foil and rest for 10 minutes.
  • Once rested, use a large, sharp knife to slice into thin strips. Serve with your fresh Nam Jim Jaew dipping sauce and enjoy!

For the Nam Jim Jaew Dipping Sauce:

  • In a small bowl, add in the palm sugar, lime juice, fish sauce, toasted rice powder and crushed chilli powder. Mix until well combined.
    1 tbsp palm sugar, 2 tbsp lime juice, 2 tbsp fish sauce, 2 tsp toasted rice powder, 1 tbsp crushed chilli flakes
  • Next pop in the chopped shallot and coriander/cilantro, stirring through slightly before topping up with water.
    1 shallot, 4 tbsp coriander / cilantro, 2-4 tbsp water



  • Skip the Marinade - Rub in olive oil and salt instead to save on marinating time.
  • Cook over Charcoal - For a more authentic taste, cook the steak straight over charcoal and infuse them with a smoky flavour alongside the marinade.
  • Dipping Sauce - If you’re pressed for time or can’t get fresh coriander or shallots, try it with Vietnamese nuoc mam cham (homemade or bottled). Or for a completely different flavour, try it with go for a sweet and savoury Japanese BBQ sauce (such as okonomiyaki sauce or takoyaki sauce).
  • Amp Up the Heat - Add more or less chilli flakes to suit your taste. Or add finely sliced bird’s eye chillies (small Thai red chillies) for an extra spicy kick!
  • Make it into a Salad - Add lettuce leaves, chopped tomato and extra coriander or mint, then spoon the dipping sauce over the top. Toss and serve!


Calories: 304kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 92mg | Sodium: 1460mg | Potassium: 635mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 625IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 3mg