1 lb top round steak, cut into strips measuring approximately 4 x 1/2″ wide and 1/4″ thick*
2 T fish sauce
1 T dark or light soy sauce
2 t sugar
1/2 t ground white (or black) pepper
vegetable oil for frying
Heat the oven to 120° F and set a rack in the middle of it. Spread out the beef strips on a large cookie sheet and let them dry out in the oven for 1 hour. Turn the beef strips over and let them dry for another hour. You know the beef strips are ready when their surface is dry to the touch while the texture is still somewhat soft and elastic. When that happens, remove the beef strips from the oven or the drying basket and place them in a mixing bowl. Meanwhile, heat up some vegetable oil in a deep-fryer or a 8 – 12″ frying pan with a raise edge on medium heat. You only need just enough vegetable oil to come up to about 2″ from the bottom of the pan. Line a platter with a piece of paper towel and keep it nearby. Add fish sauce, soy sauce, pepper and sugar to the beef strip bowl and toss; make sure that all of the beef strips are evenly coated with the seasoning sauce. Test the oil by sticking a wooden skewer or chopstick into the oil, making sure the tip of the wooden skewer touches the bottom of the pan. If you see tiny bubbles rising from the point where the wooden skewer touches the pan, the oil is ready. Shake excess seasoning off of the beef strips and fry them in two batches. Be sure to stir the beef strips around to ensure even cooking. On medium heat, the beef only needs to be in the oil for less than a min. You’ll see that the beef will brown up and develop a nice, glossy coating. When that happens, transfer them to the paper towel-lined platter. Serve the fried sun dried beef with jaew dipping sauce. Note: Make sure that the grain of the beef runs perpendicular to the length of the strips; otherwise, it would be difficult for you not only to bite a piece off a strip but also to chew it. The version of jaew served at Lers Ros has one part lime juice, one part fish sauce, some toasted rice powder (I would say about 1 T for every 1/2 c fish sauce-lime juice mix), just a tad of sugar to round out the flavor, some chopped cilantro and sliced shallots or red onions. No galangal is added.