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Crying Tiger Beef & Rice Noodle Salad Bowl

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Crying Tiger Beef Rice Noodle Salad: a delicious Thai-Vietnamese fusion dish featuring grilled beef, fresh herbs, veggies, and chewy rice noodles. Get ready for an explosion of flavours and textures! This recipe is gluten-free, healthy, and nutritious.


Crying Tiger Beef Rice Noodle Salad

Crying Tiger Beef Rice Noodle Salad Bowls

This rice noodle salad bowl recipe is a delightful fusion of Thai and Vietnamese cuisine that will make your taste buds roar with joy. It combines the crying tiger beef with Asian rice noodle salad and features lots of aromatic herbs and crunchy vegetables.

The star of this dish is the crying tiger sauce, which is normally served in a dish called crying tiger beef (see more below). Here, I am using the sauce to flavour the grilled beef steak and also as a dressing for the rice noodles.

This Thai rice noodle bowl is fresh, light and bursting with flavours and aromas that will transport you to the bustling streets of Bangkok and Hanoi. So grab your chopsticks and get ready to enjoy this fun and delicious dish!

Rice Noodle Salad Bowls With Crying Tiger Beef & Sauce

Crying Tiger Sauce

Crying Tiger Sauce is a popular Thai dipping sauce that is often served with grilled meat dishes. Legend has it that the dish gets its name from the spicy marinade that is so hot, it makes tigers cry. But don’t worry, you can adjust the spice level to your liking and my recipe isn’t too hot.

The sauce is made from a combination of chilli peppers, garlic, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and other seasonings, and can vary in spiciness depending on the amount and type of chilli used. Some variations of the sauce also include ingredients like oyster sauce, tamarind, and coriander.

Crying Tiger Sauce Recipe

The key to a great crying tiger sauce (or any Thai dressing) is balancing that sour, salty and sweet flavour combo. This sauce dressing is about 50:50 fish sauce to lime juice. The sugar (ideally, palm sugar) is then added to bring the sweetness and you need to get the right balance. The flavour should be primarily tangy but with salt and sweetness being of similar proportions.

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I suggest starting with my amounts but then tasting it and adjusting by adding small amounts of whichever flavour you want to increase.

Many crying tiger sauce recipes call for a little bit of toasted rice powder, which acts as a thickening agent and adds that toasted nutty rice flavour. I don’t use it in my recipe simply because I never have it on hand and I think it works fine without it.

A little hot water is used to dissolve the sugar but also to dilute the sauce so it’s a little less intense. Don’t skip it!

Crying Tiger Sauce can be served alongside grilled beef, pork, or chicken, or used as a dipping sauce for other types of meat or vegetables. It’s a great way to add some spicy, tangy flavour to your favourite dishes. It will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge in an airtight container or closed jar.

How To Make Crying Tiger Beef Rice Noodle Bowls

The full recipe card with ingredients and a nutritional breakdown are below. Here are some step-by-step photos to guide you along.

Step 1. Cook the rice noodles as per the packet instructions, then rinse in cold water, strain and leave in the sieve.

Step 2. Prepare the crying tiger salad dressing. Add the palm sugar and hot water to a mixing bowl or jug. Whisk to dissolve. Juice the limes and add to a mixing bowl together with fish sauce and the remaining ingredients. Mix and taste for salt, sour and sweet flavour ratios. You may need to add more salt with fish sauce or more sweetness with palm sugar. Add a little bit of each flavour at a time to get a perfect balance. Set aside.

A note on chilli: I used a long red chilli, called banana chilli, which isn’t too hot however you can get an occasional rough pepper that is quite spicy. I recommend that whatever chilli you use, taste it first to see how spicy it is. If it’s quite hot, chop and add a little at a time. You can remove the seeds to make the red bits less spicy. It’s easier to add the spice than to remove it.

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Step 3. Season the steaks with salt and a little ground cumin. Heat 1-2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the steaks and cook for 4 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan and rest for 2 minutes. Then, slice into strips and set aside.

Step 4. Prepare the remaining salad ingredients.

Step 5. Arrange the rice noodle salad bowls. Start with the rice noodle base and arrange the vegetables on the sides. Place a few slices of grilled beef over the top and garnish with fresh coriander (as little or as much as you like). Drizzle the meat with a couple of teaspoons of the crying tiger sauce and use extra to dress the noodles and vegetables, about 1-2 tablespoons.

Finish with fried shallots for extra crunch and lovely onion flavour.

Crying Tiger Rice Noodle Salad Bowls

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Full Recipe 

Find the full list of ingredients, instructions, and a nutritional breakdown below. If you have questions or cook this recipe, please let me know in the comments, and make sure to rate this recipe so it’s easy for others to find.

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Description

This is a delicious and healthy Thai rice noodle salad with tender sliced beef and crying tiger sauce that makes the best salad dressing.  Featuring grilled beef, fresh herbs, veggies, and chewy rice noodles – get ready for an explosion of flavours and textures!



Cook the rice noodles as per the packet instructions, then rinse in cold water, strain and leave in the sieve.

Prepare the crying tiger salad dressing. Add the palm sugar and hot water to a mixing bowl or jug. Whisk to dissolve. Juice the limes and add to a mixing bowl together with fish sauce and the remaining ingredients. Mix and taste for salt, sour and sweet flavour ratios. You may need to add more salt with fish sauce or more sweetness with palm sugar. Add a little bit of each flavour at a time to get a perfect balance. Set aside.

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Season the steaks with salt and a little ground cumin. Heat 1-2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the steaks and cook for 4 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan and rest for 2 minutes. Then, slice into strips and set aside.

Prepare the remaining salad ingredients. Arrange the rice noodle salad bowls. Start with the rice noodle base and arrange the vegetables on the sides. Place a few slices of grilled beef over the top and garnish with fresh coriander (as little or as much as you like). Drizzle the meat with a couple of teaspoons of the crying tiger sauce and use extra to dress the noodles and vegetables, about 1-2 tablespoons.

You can also mix everything in one large bowl and serve it for everyone to help themselves.


Notes

A note on chilli: I used a long red chilli, called banana chilli, which isn’t too hot however you can get an occasional rough pepper that is quite spicy. I recommend that whatever chilli you use, taste it first to see how spicy it is. If it’s quite hot, chop and add a little at a time. You can remove the seeds to make the red bits less spicy. It’s easier to add the spice than to remove it.

Palm sugar usually comes in solid blocks or circles and can be grated or shaved off with a knife. It’s quite fine but is compact and will dissolve in a little bit of hot water that is used as a base for the sauce.

Rice noodles – I am using thin rice noodles here but any kind of rice noodles would work here.

Make-ahead tips – Prepare all the ingredients, the dressing sauce, grilled beef and the noodles. Put together the salad in Tupperware containers but keep the crying tiger sauce in a separate container. The salad will keep for up to 2 days in the fridge, after which the vegetables will not be as fresh.

Low-carb/grain-free version – try making this salad with low-carb shirataki noodle or konjak noodles.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 359
  • Sugar: 9.4 g
  • Sodium: 1838.6 mg
  • Fat: 12.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 36.8 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 27.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 70 mg

Keywords: Rice Noodles, Beef Salad, Beef Steak, Thai, Vietnamese, Thai Dressing, Crying Tiger, Vietnamese recipes, gluten-free, healthy


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