I went a little Nam Tok/Nahm Tok/Nahm Dtok mad last week. After a while it felt like the ladies at Target Thai were having a little chuckle at me when we’d turn up again for dinner and I’d ask for another one. As cheap and delicious as theirs is ($10), I thought this obsession couldn’t continue without having a go at it myself. There are so many versions about the place, I started looking online, then consulted this Thai Food book from David Thompson and decided to base mine around that. For men looking for an easy night in the kitchen that won’t go much further than grilling a piece of meat, this requires little other than a bit of chopping and mixing some liquids, and perhaps doing some rice in the microwave. If your lady friend has a grateful appetite like Mrs P, she’ll love this one.
150 – 200g beef rump
4 red shallots, thinly sliced
1 handful of coriander
1 tablespoon ground toasted rice (which is just rice toasted like you would toast pinenuts or pumpkin seeds in a dry frying pan then ground in a mortar and pestle)
1 spring onion, thinly sliced
1/2 a carrot, thinly sliced (or use one of those peelers with teeth that will pull out thin strips like mine does)
pinch of white sugar
3 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons fish sauce
large pinch of chilli powder or more (I went for more) to taste
Mix all the dressing elements together. Put them all in a bowl or glass together, use a spoon, and you’re done. Easy right? Give it a little taste test. If it tastes hot and limey and a little unpleasantly sour, to the point where you’re a little unsure whether I’ve played some kind of practical joke on you with this post, then it’s perfect.
Grill the meat. As you can see in these photos we like our beef pretty rare, but cook yours how you like. Give it some resting time while you chop up the rest of the ingredients. Put the meat, vegetables and the herbs in a bowl. Pour over the dressing then sprinkle with the toasted rice. Usually when I get this from a restaurant they give it to me with some rice, and I quite like it that way too.
The flavours all come together wonderfully. They’re strong and fresh, and the heat settles in the stomach and purrs like a bundled up and contented cat. At least that’s what the spice does for me. I’ve once again gone mad, but at least when I turn up for some more this time tomorrow, I’ll just be greeted by me having a little chuckle at myself.