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Crying Tiger Beef & Rice Noodle Salad Bowl

Crying Tiger Beef & Rice Noodle Salad Bowl

  • Author: Irena Macri
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 3-4 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: Thai
  • Diet: Gluten Free


This is a delicious and healthy Thai rice noodle salad with tender sliced beef and crying tiger sauce that makes the best salad dressing.  Featuring grilled beef, fresh herbs, veggies, and chewy rice noodles – get ready for an explosion of flavours and textures!



100 grams. / 4oz thin rice noodles (like vermicelli)

2 medium beef steaks of choice (I used Rib Eye, sirloin or rump will work well too)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Olive oil or coconut oil for cooking

1 cup coriander leaves (cilantro)

1 cup sliced cucumber

2 cups shredded lettuce

1-2 cups shredded cabbage

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup shredded carrots

1/4 cup fried shallots for garnish (optional)

Crying Tiger Sauce

2 tablespoons grated palm sugar (about 4-5 teaspoons, see notes)

3 tablespoons hot water

1/4 cup fresh lime juice (2 juicy limes)

1/4 cup fish sauce

0.5-1 long red chilli, diced finely (depending on heat, see notes below)

1 spring onion, finely diced (scallions)

1 clove of garlic, finely diced or minced

1/3 cup chopped coriander/cilantro (leaves and stems)


Cook the rice noodles as per the packet instructions, then rinse in cold water, strain and leave in the sieve.

Prepare the crying tiger salad dressing. Add the palm sugar and hot water to a mixing bowl or jug. Whisk to dissolve. Juice the limes and add to a mixing bowl together with fish sauce and the remaining ingredients. Mix and taste for salt, sour and sweet flavour ratios. You may need to add more salt with fish sauce or more sweetness with palm sugar. Add a little bit of each flavour at a time to get a perfect balance. Set aside.

Season the steaks with salt and a little ground cumin. Heat 1-2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the steaks and cook for 4 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan and rest for 2 minutes. Then, slice into strips and set aside.

Prepare the remaining salad ingredients. Arrange the rice noodle salad bowls. Start with the rice noodle base and arrange the vegetables on the sides. Place a few slices of grilled beef over the top and garnish with fresh coriander (as little or as much as you like). Drizzle the meat with a couple of teaspoons of the crying tiger sauce and use extra to dress the noodles and vegetables, about 1-2 tablespoons.

You can also mix everything in one large bowl and serve it for everyone to help themselves.


A note on chilli: I used a long red chilli, called banana chilli, which isn’t too hot however you can get an occasional rough pepper that is quite spicy. I recommend that whatever chilli you use, taste it first to see how spicy it is. If it’s quite hot, chop and add a little at a time. You can remove the seeds to make the red bits less spicy. It’s easier to add the spice than to remove it.

Palm sugar usually comes in solid blocks or circles and can be grated or shaved off with a knife. It’s quite fine but is compact and will dissolve in a little bit of hot water that is used as a base for the sauce.

Rice noodles – I am using thin rice noodles here but any kind of rice noodles would work here.

Make-ahead tips – Prepare all the ingredients, the dressing sauce, grilled beef and the noodles. Put together the salad in Tupperware containers but keep the crying tiger sauce in a separate container. The salad will keep for up to 2 days in the fridge, after which the vegetables will not be as fresh.

Low-carb/grain-free version – try making this salad with low-carb shirataki noodle or konjak noodles.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 359
  • Sugar: 9.4 g
  • Sodium: 1838.6 mg
  • Fat: 12.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 36.8 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 27.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 70 mg

Keywords: Rice Noodles, Beef Salad, Beef Steak, Thai, Vietnamese, Thai Dressing, Crying Tiger, Vietnamese recipes, gluten-free, healthy

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