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Crying Tiger (Spicy Thai-Style Grilled Steak)

Lunar Food
Courtesy Kristen Teig
Cook Time:
10 mins
Prep Time:
30 mins

Chef notes

Made with thinly sliced flank steak that gets seared and then slightly chilled, this dish is bright, herbaceous and super spicy (so spicy it makes a tiger cry!). The tart funk of the nuoc cham is a great flavor enhancer for the meat and peppers. It only takes about 40 minutes to prepare and make, but sure you allot for the overnight red curry marinade. The nuoc cham sauce can be made and stored overnight as well. 

Swap option: Swap chicken or firm tofu if you don't have flank steak or want to make the dish vegetarian.

Technique tip: Slice meat against grain for maximum tenderness. Tear fresh herbs by hand for best flavor and the most natural look.

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Nuoc Cham
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 fresh Thai bird chili, sliced thin
  • 1 small garlic clove, peeled and finely minced
Steak dish
  • 1 pound flank steak
  • 1/2 cup jarred Thai red curry paste
  • 1 medium red bell pepper
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper
  • 1 medium green bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup Nuoc Cham
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, torn (about 1/4 bunch)
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, torn (about 1/2 bunch)
  • 1/2 cup Thai basil leaves, torn (about 1/4 bunch)
  • 2 fresh Thai bird chilis, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons Khao Koor (toasted rice powder)
Fulfilled by



Rub the steak all over with the red curry paste and let it marinate overnight.


 In a medium bowl, whisk all the ingredients for the Nuoc Cham together until well incorporated and set aside (makes 1/2 cup).


Using a chef’s knife, stem and thinly slice all of the bell peppers.


Heat a heavy skillet on the stove over high heat with the vegetable oil.


Sear the steak for 4 to 5 minutes on each side and let it rest for 20 minutes. Chill the steak in the
refrigerator until it is cool to the touch, about 30 minutes.


Slice the steak as thinly as possible against the grain for maximum tenderness.


In a large bowl, toss the steak and peppers with the Nuoc Cham, salt and pepper.


Add the torn cilantro, mint and Thai basil leaves add them into the salad. Add the chilis and toss well.


Divide the salad evenly among 3 or 4 serving plates and sprinkle with the Khao Khor.