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Wood-fired rib-eye with jaew, butter lettuce and Asian herbs

"I am a huge fan of cooking over hardwood and charcoal so a wood grill is essential in my kitchen as is the barbecue at home," says Tikaram. "In this recipe, I'm cooking one of my favourite cuts - a dry-aged rib-eye steak with the bone in. The meat is flavoursome and tender, although you can cook whatever cut of beef you like. Jaew is a Thai dipping sauce, which is always on the table at any good Thai restaurant and in the homes of Thai families. The main ingredient of this jaew is dried chilli so it's hot, although teamed up with the beautiful beef, lettuce and herbs, it's the perfect heat, and complements the whole meal."

You'll need

600 gm dry-aged rib-eye steak, bone in, brought to room temperature 1 tsp vegetable oil 1 butter lettuce, leaves separated and washed ½ cup each (loosely packed) Vietnamese mint, coriander and Thai basil To serve: lime wedges and steamed jasmine or sticky rice   Jaew 10 gm (¼ cup) dried small Thai chillies 125 ml (½ cup) lime juice 60 ml (¼ cup) fish sauce 1 tsp white sugar 1 spring onion, thinly sliced 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander


  • 01
  • Light a wood-fired barbecue and let it burn down to ensure you have a nice even heat by the time you are ready to cook (1-1½ hours).
  • 02
  • For jaew, dry-roast chillies in a wok or frying pan over low heat until aromatic and roasted (2-3 minutes; this gives the jaew a beautiful smoky flavour, but be careful not to burn the chillies or they’ll turn bitter). Cool, then pound with a mortar and pestle or slightly crush in a spice grinder until crunchy (not to a fine powder). Combine 3 tsp crushed roasted chilli, or to taste, in a small bowl with remaining ingredients and mix well. You may need to balance the flavour with more fish sauce or sugar; it should taste hot, sour, salty and slightly sweet. Refrigerate until required.
  • 03
  • Lightly oil steak on both sides and season to taste with sea salt. Grill, turning once, until browned and cooked to your liking (5-7 minutes each side for medium-rare), then rest for 20 minutes. Slice beef off the bone, then cut slices across the grain and arrange on a serving plate. Serve with the lettuce leaves, herbs, lime wedges, jaew and rice.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 - 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 - 8 people

Drink Suggestion

A big red will go with this dish, though I prefer a light pinot noir.

Featured in

Nov 2015

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