• Thai beef salad with sticky rice powder (Nam tok) (Andrew Dorn)Source: Andrew Dorn

These chargrilled beef skewers are perfect for a quick dinner. The balance of sweet, salty, smoky and sour is all soaked up by roasted rice powder (khao khua).






Skill level

Average: 3.2 (21 votes)


  • 600 g beef sirloin
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, white part only, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • ½ tsp freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 carrots, julienned
  • 1 telegraph cucumber, julienned
  • 4 spring onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • handful bean sprouts
  • 1 bunch Thai basil
  • 1 bunch coriander
  • 1 bunch round mint
  • 50 g (¼ cup) Thai sticky rice


  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 long red chilli, finely chopped
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 makrut (makrut) lime leaves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp caster sugar

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.


Marinating time:  30 minutes


1. Thinly slice the beef against the grain, keeping the fat on. Place the soy sauce, lemongrass, fish sauce, pepper and sugar in a mixing bowl and mix until well combined. Add the meat and allow to marinate for 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, place the raw sticky rice in a dry frying pan over medium heat. Cook, shaking the pan frequently until the rice is light golden. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, grind into a coarse powder.

3. For the dressing, place all the ingredients in a small jar and shake to combine well. Adjust if necessary- it should be a balance of salty, sour and sweet.

4. Thread the meat onto metal skewers, reserving any marinade. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side or until cooked to your liking. Brush with any reserved marinade while grilling.

5. To serve, arrange all the salad ingredients and herbs on a platter. Add the beef skewers and sprinkle all over with the ground roasted rice. Serve with the dressing on the side for dipping.


Diana Chan and guests explore the flavours of Asia from her Melbourne home in the second series of Asia Unplated.