Thai Lemongrass Chicken, Pork or Beef (Crying Tiger)


  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (Tiparos brand, 740 mg sodium per tablespoon)
  • ½ tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 4 tablespoons brown (or white) sugar
  • Juice of one small lime (or half lemon)
  • 3-4 good sized cloves of garlic smashed real good, and don’t worry about the paper—throw it in too.
  • Chilies, smashed (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil (vegetable or canola)
  • 1 tablespoon murin or white wine or ½ tablespoon bourbon or vodka (optional)
  • 1-2 pounds chicken, pork or beef
Mix all the ingredients except the oil, alcohol and meat in a ziplock bag until the sugar has dissolved. Taste it and note the balance of sweet, salt and sour for future reference. Add the oil and alcohol and mix well. The marinade is ready.
Marinated pork ready for the grill

If using large chicken breast, cut it in half across the plane so you have two “steaks” and pound them to 3/8 – 1/2 inch thickness. For smaller breast and boneless chicken thighs (which are probably the best and what they use in Thailand) just pound them down to 3/8 – 1/2 inch thickness. Marinade chicken for 1 – 2 hours.
My favorite pork cut for this are country style ribs (actually pieces of pork shoulder) that I pound down to about a half inch thick. If I am using pork loin, I cut it across the plane (with the grain) about ¾ to 1 inch slices and pound it down to one half inch. Any cut will work, just cut in one inch pieces and pound to 1/2 inch. I wouldn’t use tenderloin. Marinade pork 2 – 3 hours.
For beef, flank steak, skirt steak or hanger steak are perfect. No pounding. Just chuck it straight into the marinade for 2-4 hours. If you make this with these cuts, the dish becomes “Crying Tiger Steak” and not lemongrass beef. To grill, if you have a gas grill, fire up all burners as high as you can get and preheat covered for 30 minutes. For charcoal, get your coals going and when they’re ready don’t spread them all out. Make a pile about 4-5 coals high.Take your meat out of the marinade and straight to the hot grill. For pork, chicken and skirt steak, cook as hot and fast as you can flipping frequently and basting with canola oil each flip until done. You actually want flame up. For flank steak you’ll probably need less heat and cook it a little longer. Let the meat rest before slicing and serving with sticky rice and nam jim jeaw recipe here.

Note on fish sauce. All my recipes are written using Tiparos brand fish sauce. This is important because salinity in different brands vary wildly. The other brand I use when I can’t find Tiparos is Squid brand (no squid in it). Squid brand is twice as salty as Tiparos. So if using that, I cut the fish sauce in half and add back the lost amount in water. For a different brand, check the sodium on the nutritional label and do some math. Tiparos is 740 mg per tablespoon. Do not buy a brand called “Tips”. This is a rip-off brand and I hear it’s disgusting.
Crying Tiger Beef (Sua Rong Hi)

About Joe Graff

President and co-owner of DC based design studio, icon werx, inc. Lived in Thailand for 8+ years (2003-2011). Rheumatoid arthritis and quintuple joint replacement patient.
This entry was posted in Beef, Chicken, Main Dish, Pork, Thai. Bookmark the permalink.

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