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Beef Waterfall | Neua Nam Tok | เนื้อย่างน้ำตก

When Thai people say they want a salad, they generally don’t mean lettuce, carrots, and croutons in a creamy dressing.  Salads in Thailand are more commonly composed of raw vegetables, herbs, and meat in a light, refreshing dressing of chili and lime.  

Beef Waterfall is a pretty typical Thai salad, made with grilled steak sliced ever so thinly and mixed with fresh herbs, lime juice, chili flakes, and fish sauce.  It’s a great way to eat “salad”…. Of course, with the boyfriend growing up on salads like these, it took me a while to convince him that lettuce with croutons actually constitutes a salad too!    


Beef Waterfall | Neua Nam Tok | เนื้อย่างน้ำตก

Makes 3-4 servings

Beef Waterfall | Neua Nam Tok | เนื้อย่างน้ำตก


    Marinade Ingredients:
  • 4 teaspoons thin soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoons palm sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
  • 3 Thai chili peppers, cut into small pieces
  • juice from 2 medium limes
  • Salad Ingredients:
  • 1 pound beef
  • 1 Tablespoon fish sauce
  • juice from 2 medium limes
  • 2 shallots, sliced very thinly
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup mint, coarsely chopped
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons toasted rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon roasted chili flakes


  1. Mix marinade ingredients and marinate beef for several hours to overnight.
  2. Grill beef over medium high heat until it's done. Let rest for a few minutes and then slice against the grain of the meat into very thin slices.
  3. Combine the sliced beef with all of the other ingredients. Adjust the amount of herbs and spices to your tastes. The salad should be equally salty, sour, and hot. Serve with cabbage, cucumber, mint, and Thai basil.

9 comments… add one
  • Elizabeth February 25, 2017, 8:37 pm

    Hey Rachel, I have a question. I’ve always known Nam tok bf and Waterfall bf to be two different dishes. Nam tok being bf tossed in a lime sauce and served with sticky rice and cabbage and Waterfall bf (Crying tiger) being grilled bf with a sauce on the side and served over a bed of lettuce. I would love to learn the recipe for both! Thank you!

  • Rachel April 16, 2011, 10:31 pm

    Hi Justine – I’m so glad it worked out for you! It’s definitely one of my favorites… quick, easy, and delicious!

  • Justine April 13, 2011, 12:00 pm

    I just tried this recipe last night, with a few tiny alterations for taste and because I didn’t have any mint or basil, and holy crapola it tasted GREAT! It was supposed to be my dinner but my parents kept getting it from me. I used ribeye steak and only needed to marinate it for an hour or two because it is porous. The toasted rice really made the dish. Will be making it again tonight :)

  • blogbytina! April 1, 2011, 3:34 pm

    I would eat a salad like this everyday!

  • Rachel March 21, 2011, 6:23 pm

    Hi Mae! Toasted rice is really easy to make. You take uncooked white jasmine rice and toast it in a pan over medium heat until it turns light brown. Then crush it with a mortar and pestle or blender until you get a coarse powder (you want for it to retain some texture, but not crack your teeth when you eat it!). I’m working on a “Thai pantry” section that will have more information like this as well as recommended brands of sauces, etc, so stay tuned!

  • Mae March 21, 2011, 10:29 am

    Looks yummy! Would love to try it out sometime!
    What is toasted rice?

  • Rachel March 20, 2011, 11:42 pm

    Thanks so much for the kind comments, Paula! I used different types of steak each time I made it and they all turned out really well. I think I’ve used loin tri-tip, round, and skirt steaks so far. A lot of beef, I know :)

  • paula March 20, 2011, 11:04 pm

    hi Rachel, thanks for the recipe! What kind of steak did you use here? Ps good luck to you, I think you will be very successful with your Thai cooking blog:)

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