Bob Hart’s Crying Tiger Rib
CRYING TIGER RIB-EYE
There are few more seductive cuisines on the planet than Thai. And a very special field of Thai cooking called “crying tiger” provides us with this week’s dazzling approach to grilling a gloriously spicy steak.
In fact, make it two large, dry-aged rib-eye steaks, each about 600g, and follow my usual preparation routine — notably the advance salting which involves removing the steaks from the fridge 4 hours before you intend to cook them, salting them generously, and returning them, uncovered, to the fridge for two hours.
Now as you may have noticed, I observe a number of rules when I cook on a barbecue. But the important thing about rules, of course, is knowing when to break them. For example, I seldom use marinades because they are usually unhelpful, and make a mess of a clean, hot grill. But this dish is special, so, just this once…
Make a marinade for your brace of steaks by combining 1 tbs dark soy, 1 tbs oyster sauce, 1 tbs raw sugar and 1 tbs rape canola oil. Mix well, brush on the steaks when you remove them from the fridge two hours before cooking, and leave them to marinate at room temperature.
Now, make a chilli dipping sauce: to the juice of 4 large limes, add 1⁄2 cup fish sauce, 1 tbs raw sugar, 2 tbs chopped coriander leaves, 2 tbs chopped spring onions (white and green parts) and four small, red, hot chillies, also thinly sliced, and with seeds and pith removed if you are of a nervous disposition. Combine well. And finally, drop half a dozen halved cherry or baby plum tomatoes into this sauce.
Cook the marinated rib-eyes — using the classic steak-grilling technique we have discussed so often — by placing the steaks on a blistering hot grill (220-240C), gas or charcoal, at an angle of 45 degrees to the hot, clean grill bars. Drop the lid, cook for 3 minutes, and flip. Cover and cook for another 3 minutes and flip again, this time moving the steak through 90 degrees. Flip again after another three minutes, and that’s it. Rest the steaks, loosely tented in foil, for at least 6 minutes and slice them, parallel to their bones, and serve those gloriously pink slices of beef, drizzled with the dripping sauce, on some hot, steamed coconut rice.