Nam Tok Neua (Thai Waterfall Beef Salad)

If you’re Hmong, you’ll notice very quickly that this dish is similar to laab. I’m not exactly sure what the difference between the two is but I read it somewhere that the difference is whether the meat is sliced or ground. Does anyone know? To my non-Hmong friends, laab is a popular Thai dish that has been adapted into the Hmong culture. I like this nam tok neua dish or Thai waterfall beef salad a little more than laab because the sliced steak offers you something more to chew on. This recipe calls for simple ingredients you should be able to find at your local asian store. Ready to give this a try?



One of the very unique things about this dish is the toasted sticky rice powder. This is the key ingredient that gives this dish its traditional taste. I’ve always used the store-bought powder to make this, but after learning how to make it myself, I personally think making your own tastes so much more fresh and authentic!

To learn how to make the toasted sticky rice powder, click ‘HERE‘.


I used a frying pan to pan-fry the steak. Season it with a little salt and pepper on each side before cooking. Don’t worry about it not tasting “salty enough” because the real flavor comes from the rest of the ingredients, which compliment each other well. If you’re like me and you like yours to be a little spicy, add some Thai red chili peppers. If you don’t have any, you can substitute dry pepper flakes for Thai red chili peppers.


Sam loves nam tok neua! He prefers a lot more lime in his. I had my first nam tok neua experience while on our honeymoon vacation. I wish I could recall what the restaurant was called but it was located somewhere in the heart of Los Angeles. It was a small, family owned restaurant and very beautifully decorated. The candles and dimmed lighting helped the night to feel romantic and the food was impressively delicious. Mmm… πŸ™‚ Our favorite things to get at any Thai restaurant is the nam tok neua, chicken panang curry and pad thai. We definitely hope to go back and find this restaurant again.

What do you enjoy about this beef salad?

Nam Tok Neua (Thai Waterfall Beef Salad)
Serves 4
Enjoy this Thai waterfall beef salad served with sticky rice!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
6 min
Total Time
21 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
6 min
Total Time
21 min
  1. 2 lbs of steak
  2. 3 tablespoons of toasted sticky rice powder
  3. 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  4. 2 lemon grass roots, finely chopped
  5. 1 cup of mint leaves
  6. 4 tablespoons of fish sauce
  7. 5 tablespoons of lime juice
  8. salt
  9. black pepper
  10. thai chili red peppers or red chili flakes, optional
  11. 1 tablespoon of olive oil for cooking
  1. Season your steak with a little salt and pepper on each side.
  2. Into a frying pan, add the olive oil and cook your steak to your desired doneness. Once cooked, transfer it onto a cutting board. Let it cool for 5 minutes before slicing them into thin strips.
  3. Transfer the steak strips into a bowl and mix in the toasted sticky rice powder, shallots, lemon grass and mint leaves altogether.
  4. Add your squid sauce and lime juice. Mix again.
  5. Add in your thai chili red peppers or red chili flakes if you choose to.
  1. Toasted sticky rice powder recipe can be accessed in the above content.
  2. Yields: 1 dish

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