· ½ cup sweet white rice or regular short-grain or other white rice· ¼ cup fresh lime juice· 2 Tbsp. fish sauce· 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes· ½ tsp. sugar· Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper· 1 lb. top sirloin steak, New York strip steak, or other nicely marbled cut of beef, sliced ¼" thick· 1 Tbsp. fish sauce· 2 tsp. sugar· 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil, plus more for grate or skillet· Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper· 1 lb. small and medium tomatoes, halved· 1 large shallot, thinly sliced· 2 scallions, thinly sliced· 2 lemongrass stalks, tops trimmed, tough outer layers removed, very thinly sliced· 2 long hot chiles, thinly sliced· 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced· 2 cups cilantro leaves with tender stems· 2 cups mint leaves· 1 lb. cucumbers, thinly sliced, plus more for serving· Lime wedges (for serving)· A spice mill or mortar and pestle
Step 1Dressing and rice powder: Place rice in a medium skillet and set over medium heat. Cook, tossing often, until golden brown and deeply nutty–smelling, 12–15 minutes. Let cool, then finely grind in a spice mill or mortar and pestle; set aside.Step 2Meanwhile, stir lime juice, fish sauce, red pepper flakes, and sugar in a small bowl until sugar dissolves. Season with salt and black pepper.Step 3Do ahead: You can toast and grind the rice a few days in advance (as Suntaranon does). If the smokiness and aroma have faded at all, just toss it in briefly hot skillet to refresh.Step 4Beef and salad: Place beef in a large bowl and add fish sauce, sugar, and 2 Tbsp. oil. Let sit at room temperature 1 hour, or cover and chill up to 1 day ahead.Step 5Prepare a grill for medium-high heat or heat a large skillet over medium-high. Oil grate or lightly coat skillet with oil. Season beef with salt and black pepper and grill until browned underneath, about 2 minutes. Turn over and grill on other side just until lightly browned (meat should still be slightly pink in the center), about 45 seconds.Step 6Toss tomatoes, shallot, scallions, lemongrass, chiles, garlic, cilantro, mint, 1 lb. cucumbers, and 1 tsp. rice powder in a medium bowl to combine. Drizzle half of dressing over and toss to coat. Taste and season with salt and black pepper.Step 7Add beef to salad. Drizzle with more dressing as desired and top with more cucumber slices and 1 tsp. rice powder (save remaining rice powder in an airtight container at room temperature for another use). Serve with lime wedges for squeezing over.