Best-Ever Thai 'Weeping Tiger' Beef

Best-Ever Thai 'Weeping Tiger' Beef

The Spruce / Christine Ma

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 2 to 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
339 Calories
20g Fat
10g Carbs
30g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 339
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20g 25%
Saturated Fat 7g 36%
Cholesterol 103mg 34%
Sodium 3496mg 152%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 30g
Vitamin C 22mg 110%
Calcium 53mg 4%
Iron 3mg 14%
Potassium 606mg 13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

In Thailand, this dish is known as "Weeping Tiger Beef," or "Crying Tiger Beef." There are various stories to back up the name, one that the chiles in the sauce made a tiger weep; the other is that a tiger cried when a hunter killed and took away his cow.

The recipe calls for sirloin or your favorite cut of beef which is marinated in a simple marinade, then quickly broiled to medium-rare and sliced up, leaving it extremely tender and full of flavor. It is then served with a delicious side sauce that simply pops with flavor (great with either salad or rice or both).

This version of the recipe is cooked in the oven, but if weather permits, you can grill the meat outside on your barbecue just like they do in Thailand. Enjoy!


For the Marinade:

  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 2 teaspoons sugar

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander 

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the Sauce:

  • 6 tablespoons fish sauce

  • 5 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 2 teaspoons sugar

  • 1 to 2 bird's eye chile peppers, dried and ground, or 1 to 2 teaspoon dried chile flakes

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped tomato

  • 1 handful fresh cilantro leaves and stems, chopped, plus additional whole cilantro leaves, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Best-Ever Thai 'Weeping Tiger' Beef ingredients

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  2. Stir marinade ingredients together in a small bowl.

    Stir marinade ingredients together in a small bowl

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  3. Place steaks in a shallow dish or resealable plastic bag. Pour marinade over the steaks. Turn the steaks several times to ensure they are covered with the marinade. Place in the refrigerator for 15 to 30 minutes.

    beef and marinade in a bowl

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  4. While steak is marinating, make the accompanying sauce. Place all sauce ingredients together in a bowl and stir. Taste-test for a balance of spicy, sour, and sweet. Add more fish sauce if you'd like it saltier, or more sugar if too sour for your taste. Set aside.

    Place all sauce ingredients together in a bowl

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  5. Preheat oven to "broil" setting ("high" if you have a choice between high and low). Place oven rack on the second-to-highest rung. Take steak out of the refrigerator and place either on a broiling pan, or on a regular baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

    beef on a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  6. Broil steak approximately 3 to 5 minutes, then turn and boil another 3 to 5 minutes on the other side, depending on thickness. For this recipe, the steak should still be pink in the middle, medium-rare to medium. The same goes if you are grilling instead of broiling.

    broiled beef on a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  7. Remove steak from oven and slice as thinly as you can. Place on a plate together with the accompanying sauce and a little fresh cilantro sprinkled over.

    Best-Ever Thai 'Weeping Tiger' Beef

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

Glass Bakeware Warning

Do not use glass bakeware when broiling or when a recipe calls to add liquid to a hot pan, as glass may explode. Even if it states oven-safe or heat-resistant, tempered glass products can, and do, break occasionally.