Steak with Nahm Jim Jeaw Recipe

You'll want to use this sauce on everything.
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Servings: 4
Prep time: 25 minutes
Total time: 4 hours and 30 minutes


for the toasted rice powder:
1 cup|250 grams glutinous rice, cut into 2-inch pieces
3 stalks lemongrass, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 (2-inch) piece galangal, cut into 2-inch pieces
8 kaffir lime leaves, cut into 2-inch pieces
4 pandan leaves, cut into 2-inch pieces

for the Nahm Jim Jeaw:
5 tablespoons palm sugar
3 tablespoons fish sauce, preferably Red Boat
10 cherry tomatoes
10 unpeeled garlic cloves
6 small shallots, skin-on
5 fresh birds eye chilies
5 pieces cilantro roots
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
4 tablespoons toasted rice powder, plus more to serve
7 tablespoons fresh lime juice
½ teaspoon chili powder


for the steak:
2 pounds|1 kilogram sirloin steak
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil

to serve:
cooked sticky rice
chopped fresh herbs, like cilantro, scallions, and makrut lime leaves


  1. Make the toasted rice powder: Heat the oven to 250°F. Place the glutinous rice, lemongrass, galangal, makrut, and pandan leaves on a sheet tray. Toast for 5 hours, until dry. Cool, then transfer to a blender and purée until a coarse sand texture. Set aside.
  2. Make the nahm jim jeaw: Heat the palm sugar in a small saucepan over medium until it melts, 10 minutes. Add the fish sauce and remove from the heat. Cool the fish sauce caramel completely.
  3. Light a grill. Grill the tomatoes, garlic, shallots, and chilies until extremely charred and soft, 8 minutes for the tomatoes, 9 minutes for the garlic, 13 to 14 minutes for the shallots, and 6 minutes for the chilies. You may need to place a bowl over the vegetables to help steam them while they grill, especially the shallots. Peel the skin from the garlic and shallots, discarding it, then transfer the garlic and shallots to a bowl with the tomatoes and chilies.
  4. Meanwhile, in a mortar and pestle, pound the coriander root until smashed, then, in order of firmness, add the garlic, shallot, and birdseye chilli and pound to a rough paste. Add the tomatoes, the fish sauce caramel, and the oyster sauce and mix until dissolved. Mix in the rice powder, plus the lime juice and chilli powder. Set the nahm jim jeaw aside.
  5. Cook the steak: Season the steak all over with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Add the steak and cook, flipping once, until cooked to desired doneness. Transfer to a cutting board to rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with the nahm jim jeaw and steamed sticky rice. Garnish with the herbs and sprinkle with more of the rice powder.

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