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Resetting the Table: Thai Thanksgiving with Kris Yenbamroong

Recipe | November 22, 2020

Photo by Tanveer Badal

Thai Thanksgiving with Kris Yenbamroong

Westholme’s sizzling documentary series Resetting the Table launched with Los Angeles chef Kris Yenbamroong’s unconventional, intimate Thanksgiving.

Resetting the Table is a series of videos, recipes, photography and stories, joining groundbreaking chefs in great food cities as they reshape traditions for challenging times. In Kris Yenbamroong’s Thai Thanksgiving, the Night Market chef doesn’t just give us recipes, he shares insights into the food philosophy that underpins his freewheeling, flavour-forward cooking style.



“Tradition is grounding,” he says. “It informs what I do but at the same time I’m never beholden to orthodoxies. All I really care about is that it’s delicious.” The central dish in his menu is a Thai steak salad, built around Westholme sirloin brushed with a soy glaze so it chars and caramelises on the grill. The steak is then sliced, tossed with plenty of greens and herbs, and a dressing with fish sauce, coconut sugar, lime juice and chilli. It works for Thanksgiving, sure, but it’s a brilliant dish to share on any day of the year.

We love seeing Kris’s appreciation for our wagyu, and his creative approach to cooking it. “It’s all about letting the inherent qualities and flavours shine through,” says Kris. “Great steak, great herbs, great dressing, great company. It’s all about hitting that balance.”

Westholme Wagyu Thai Steak Salad

Photo by Tanveer Badal

My version of a Thai beef salad is freeform and flexible, more of a technique than a recipe fixed in stone. The basis is this quick, simple glaze made with two sauces that help achieve a really good char on the wagyu when you cook it over high heat. The sliced meat is tossed with a dressing of fish sauce, coconut sugar, lime and chilli and it’s piled over a bed of greens. There’s no dogma here – it’s just a lovely way to use this really beautiful wagyu.

Serves 8
Time 45 minutes



For the rice powder
1 cup jasmine rice
1 cup lemongrass, finely sliced
3 tbsp fresh galangal, finely minced

For the wagyu and marinade
1.5 kg (3 lb 4 oz) Westholme sirloin *
1 cup black soy sauce *
1 cup Golden mountain seasoning sauce *
½ cup coconut sugar *

For the wagyu salad dressing
3 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp coconut sugar, shaved *
3 tbsp lime juice
¼ tbsp Thai dried chili powder
4 long (Thai) red chillies, thinly sliced *

For the garnish vegetables
1 head cos (romaine) lettuce, roughly chopped
1 stalk lemongrass, white part only, thinly sliced
1 bunch coriander (cilantro), well washed and roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 shallots (green onions / spring onions), sliced on an angle
2 cups mixed salad greens


Rice powder

  1. This can be made ahead of time. Toast ingredients in a large pan until they are evenly toasted to a light brown colour and rice can easily be crumbled with your fingers.

  1. Cool down and grind to a fine powder in a mortar and pestle or food processor. Store in a sealed container in a cool place.

Wagyu marinade

  1. If using a sirloin flap, use a sharp knife to trim fat from surface of wagyu. Cut wagyu into portions, around a hand span in width, and use a knife to butterfly open the thicker parts so that each portion is around 1.5cm (½ in) thickness. If using other cuts of beef, butterfly them to a similar thickness.

  1. Add sauces and sugar into a bowl and mix well.

  1. Stir wagyu through the marinade and allow to sit for just 2-3 minutes.

  1. Heat grill to very hot and cook the wagyu, turning frequently, until the outside is nicely charred and caramelised.

  1. Remove from heat, allow to cool for a minute, then slice against the grain of the meat into bite-sized slices. Set aside.

Wagyu salad dressing

  1. Mix ingredients in a bowl,  adding Thai chilli powder little by little and tasting to reach desired level of spice.

Garnish vegetables 

  1. In a large bowl, add the cooked, sliced wagyu, sliced lettuce, lemongrass, coriander (cilantro), garlic, shallots (spring onion / green onion), and the dressing. Mix well.

  1. Arrange mixed greens on a platter or in a large serving bowl. Top with wagyu salad.

  1. Sprinkle with rice powder to add fragrance and texture.


  • Kris uses the sirloin flap, which is great for grilling. You can use regular sirloin, cut thinly. Rump steak also works beautifully in this dish. Allow about 100-150 grams (3.5-5.3 oz) for each person.
  • Black soy sauce is a Thai-style dark soy. Other dark soy sauce can be used in its place.
  • Golden Mountain seasoning sauce is a Thai sauce comprised mostly of fermented soybeans; Maggi seasoning can be used in its place.
  • Coconut sugar can be purchased granulated or in blocks, when it’s often called jaggery. If using block sugar, shave it before use in this recipe.
  • Long or Thai red chillies vary in intensity; choose the variety that suits your desired spice level.

Coconut Rice

Photo by Tanveer Badal

Sweet, sticky coconut rice is an essential on my festive table. The rice is soaked, steamed, then mixed with sweetened coconut milk to create a fragrant, creamy accompaniment for Thai dishes.



4 cups sticky rice
800 grams (27 oz), approx. coconut milk
2 tbsp coconut sugar, shaved *
1½ tbsp salt


  1. Soak the sticky rice in water for at least 4 hours prior to cooking.

  1. Line a steamer with cheesecloth (or use a new, clean rinsed kitchen cloth). Drain the sticky rice and tip it over the cheesecloth in the steamer. Steam the rice for 25-30 min or until the rice granules are evenly tender in texture. Keep rice warm.

  1. Place coconut milk, coconut sugar and salt in a saucepan and heat over low heat, stirring often, until ingredients are well mixed.

  1. Place warm sticky rice in a large bowl and slowly add in the warm coconut milk mixture, mixing well with a paddle. A ratio of 1 part sticky rice to 1.5 parts coconut milk, mixed while all ingredients are hot, will result in fragrant, creamy coconut rice


  • Coconut sugar can be purchased granulated or in blocks, when it’s often called jaggery. If using block sugar, shave it before use in this recipe.

Nam prik num

Photo by Tanveer Badal

Nam prik is the key Thai dipping sauce and there are countless versions. When we add grilled eggplant (num), it becomes a thicker puree with beautiful, balanced flavours from the grill, the chillies and fresh herbs.



2 long (Chinese) eggplant
2 large green (Anaheim) chilli peppers
2 eschallots (shallots / small onions), unpeeled and halved
3 cloves garlic
3 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp coconut sugar, shaved *
1 bunch coriander (cilantro), leaves roughly chopped


  1. On a hot grill, cook the eggplant, chilli and eschallots until they are tender.

  1. In a mortar, add the garlic, fish sauce and coconut sugar and pound them into a paste.

  1. Once the eggplant, chilli and shallot are cooked, peel skins from vegetables and scoop flesh into the mortar with the garlic paste. Use pestle to mix all the ingredients until the roasted vegetables are mixed but still have visible chunks or strings of fibre.

  1. Add coriander (cilantro) and mix gently to keep the chunks intact.


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