Nam dok is basically a dish for rowdy drinking sessions. It’s made by women who get fed up with their men bringing friends home in the evenings, and yet would rather their men were boozing at home than making mischief elsewhere. It’s made to keep them home and keep them from falling over. Many Thai women get past this and leave, which makes Thai men really good cooks as they have to prepare these dishes themselves. As an accompaniment to beer and whisky people will often order nam dok, larb, barbequed chicken, and pad kee mao – no rice. ‘Civilised’ people will eat Nam Dok with sticky rice and a selection of raw green vegetables, such as long beans and various types of lettuce, cabbage and dark leaves, all eaten with fingers.
To make Nam Dok, you will need:
Beef – any type of steak – fillet, topside, sirloin, or even lamb
2 Tbsp toasted ground rice
Ground dried chillis – up to 1 Tbsp
1 small onion
2 spring onions
Good handful of mint
1 tsp salt
1-2 Tbsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp raw sugar
To prepare, start by toasting the rice in a dry pan until brown then grinding in a food processor or pestle and mortar. Set aside.
Halve and slice the onion, slice the spring onions finely, remove the mint leaves from the stem. Place in a mixing bowl.
In a small dish, mix the juice of a lemon, the salt, fish sauce and sugar, and adjust the taste. It should be salty, sour and slightly sweet.
Now barbeque, grill, or pan fry the steak to your liking. When done, cut into thin strips.
Place the steak, ground rice and dressing into the mixing bowl with the vegetables and mix well, allowing all the ingredients to come together. Lastly add the chilli to your taste, and spoon the mixture onto a serving dish.