Cooking novices, we're about to let you in on a little secret:
It takes an exceptional level of incompetence to fuck up a good piece of beef.
The absolute worst thing you can do to a steak is to overcook it. But, barring that, a quality chunk of meat doesn't need fancy trappings. A little salt, a good sear, and you're done.
For his rib eye with nam jim, the steak preparation remains the same—season, sear, set aside to rest—but the secret's in the sauce.
The magical ingredient here is Thai soybean paste, a fermented condiment packed with salty, umami richness. It gets mashed up with cilantro roots (you know, the ones you always throw away), along with some ginger, garlic, and white peppercorns.
Yep, that's it.
It sounds too easy. It looks too easy. And we'd be damned if we didn't want to spread this sauce on everything, ourselves included.
But we'll try to save some for the steak.