Naam Tok Nuea (Isaan Grilled Beef Salad)

3 Tbsp lime juice
3 Tbsp fish sauce
1 pinch of sugar
1 tsp chili powder
5 oz (150 g) beef tenderloin
2 shallots , sliced finely lengthwise
1 spring onion , sliced finely in rings
1 stalk of lemongrass , hard bottom end cut off, outer leaves removed, white part sliced very finely in rings (optional)
1 handful of mint leaves
Toasted sticky rice/sweet rice/glutinous rice

Preheat a small to medium skillet on high heat without any oil. Once hot, put in one handful of sticky rice and use a wooden spoon to move it around and let it toast until golden brown.
You can even smell the nuttiness. Set aside to let it cool down a little bit. Put the toasted rice into a food processor and process into fine powder and let it cool and store in an air-tight container. You can do this a night before if you prefer.

Mix the lime juice with fish sauce, sugar and chili powder. Balance well; this dressing should taste spicy, sour and salty.

Grill the meat, preferably on a wood charcoal grill for that authentic flavor if you can. If not, don’t sweat it just grill it they way you normally would using outdoor grill or using grill pan. Grill it to the doneness you like.

Once you finish grilling, cover with aluminum foil and let the beef rest for a while before you slice it. Slice the beef into bite-size. Don’t waste the meat juice, save as much as you can. Combine beef and juice with shallot, spring onion, lemongrass when using, and fresh herbs. Finish with dressing and toasted rice powder.

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