Recipe courtesy of Ching-He Huang
Episode: Thai Rock
Crying Tiger Flat Iron Steak
1 hr 50 min
45 min
2 servings
1 hr 50 min
45 min
2 servings


  • 2 tablespoons Thai soy sauce (see Cook's Note)
  • 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce 
  • 1 tablespoon palm sugar 
  • Juice of 1 lime 
  • Two 6- to 8-ounce flatiron steaks 
  • Sticky rice, for serving 
Roasted Chili Oil and Toasted Rice Powder:
  • 1 cup soy or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup dry-roasted red chile peppers (any variety works), crumbled 
  • 1/2 cup long-grain white or jasmine rice 
Crying Tiger Sauce:
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce 
  • 1 tablespoon palm sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind paste 
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped cilantro stems
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped lemongrass
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped shallot
  • 1 tablespoon roasted chile oil


Marinate the steak: Combine the soy sauce, fish sauce, palm sugar and lime juice in a small bowl, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Place the steaks in a glass baking dish and pour over the marinade, turning to coat. Set the steaks aside at room temperature to marinate for 30 to 45 minutes, turning occasionally.

Make the roasted chili oil and toasted rice powder: Add the oil and chiles to a small saucepan set over low heat and heat until the oil is warm (the oil should be warm like bathwater; if the oil gets too hot, the chiles will burn). Turn off the heat and let the chiles steep in the hot oil for 30 minutes. Discard the chiles. The chile oil can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

Toast the rice in a dry skillet over medium heat by tossing it constantly until it is opaque and just starting to brown in spots, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder and pulverize into a fine powder. The rice powder can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 year.

Make the crying tiger sauce: Whisk the lime juice, fish sauce, palm sugar, cilantro stems, lemongrass, shallot, tamarind paste, 1 tablespoon of the roasted chile oil and 1/2 teaspoon of the toasted rice powder together until the sugar dissolves and set aside.

Grill the steak: Preheat a charcoal or gas grill or grill pan to high heat. Grill the steaks for 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare, then transfer to a cutting board and tent with foil to rest for 5 minutes. Slice the steaks crosswise and against the grain into thin strips. Serve with sticky rice and the crying tiger sauce.

Cook's Note

Thai soy sauce is a thin, strong-flavored soy sauce; Chinese soy sauce is an acceptable substitute.

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