Crying Tiger Buttered Steak

We all love butter-basted steak. But have you ever had crying tiger butter-basted steak?! Crying tiger is traditionally a Thai dish of grilled beef with a spicy, tangy dipping sauce but in the most delicious twist, I’ve turned that sauce into a herby, punchy, fragrant butter. This butter is used both to baste the steak and then again to serve. A must-try for your next steak night.

20 minutes plus cooling
10 minutes

2 x 200g (7 oz) rib eye/rib fillet steaks (or any other steak cut you prefer)

1 tbsp vegetable oil

blanched green beans, to serve

mashed potato, to serve


Crying tiger butter

2 tsp raw glutinous rice (also known as sticky rice)

1 tbsp tamarind concentrate

3 tbsp fish sauce

1 tbsp lime juice

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp chilli flakes

1 small red shallot, sliced into fine wedges

2 tsp finely chopped coriander (cilantro)

250g (9 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature

  • Step 1

    Take the steaks out of the fridge an hour before you want to cook them. Season generously with salt and allow to sit at room temperature for an hour.

  • Step 2

    For the crying tiger butter, toast the rice in a dry frying pan over high heat until golden brown and fragrant (it should smell like popcorn). Use a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder to grind to a fine powder. In a bowl, combine the tamarind, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, chilli flakes and toasted rice powder. Mix until well combined. Then stir through the shallot and coriander. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and mix until well combined. Transfer the butter to a sheet of cling film and wrap up tightly into a log shape. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes or until firm.

  • Step 3

    Heat a large heavy-based frying pan (I prefer carbon steel) over high heat. When the pan is hot, add the oil. Pat dry the steaks with paper towel before adding them into the pan. Allow to sear for 2 minutes on the first side. Then flip and sear for another 2 minutes.

  • Step 4

    Lower the heat to medium and add 2 thick slices (about 1 cm each) of the crying tiger butter. Baste the steaks with the butter for a further 1 minute each side. Transfer the steaks to a plate and rest for 5 minutes.

  • Step 5

    Slice and serve with mashed potato, green beans, little dollops of extra cold butter and any remaining juices/warm butter from the pan.

  • Notes

    You’ll have more butter than you need for this recipe. Store in the freezer for up to 1 month. You can cut slices from the frozen block and use them as you need.

Hey Foodie. So glad you're here. Let's hav some fun making delicious food. Hey Foodie. So glad you're here. Let's hav some fun making delicious food.

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