The Thai name for this dish, "seua rong hai", literally translates to ‘crying tiger’ – the hot dipping sauce is supposed to bring tears to your eyes. Don’t be too scared, however; it’s actually not that hot. The ground toasted rice added to this sauce gives it a wonderful texture.






Skill level

Average: 3.2 (317 votes)


  • 300 g sirloin steak
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp fish sauce

Crying tiger sauce

  • ½ tsp uncooked white rice
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp minced shallot
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp shredded coriander leaves

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Standing time 1 hour

Resting time 5 minutes

Rub the steak with the soy sauce and fish sauce and let stand at room temperature for about an hour.

In a dry frypan, roast the rice by tossing constantly for 2–3 minutes over medium heat, until it is opaque and just starting to brown in spots. Grind to a rough powder in a mortar and pestle. Combine the powder with the remaining sauce ingredients, stirring well to dissolve the sugar, and set aside.

Grill the steak under very high heat, or fry in a heavy frypan, until cooked to your liking. Set aside in a warm place to rest for about half the time it took to cook. Slice the steak thinly and serve on a warmed plate with the sauce in a bowl on the side for dipping. 


• If you like it really spicy, add two minced bird’s-eye chillies to the sauce for an extra kick. Also, don’t limit yourself to beef. This is a great dipping sauce for all kinds of grilled meats.