My Thai: Thai Beef Jerky

Leela Punyaratabandhu

This fried sun-dried beef (or "one/single sunlight beef," if you want to be ultra-literal) is found on the menus of only a handful of Thai restaurants in the U.S. brave enough to serve things with which most American diners are not familiar. If you live near one of those restaurants, by all means order a plate of this on your next visit along with a bamboo basket of warm sticky rice. If you don't, make it at home.

Although fried sun-dried beef is often called Thai "beef jerky," know that it's not exactly like the American beef jerky that you find in the snack aisle at the supermarket. Thai beef jerky is only briefly dehydrated in the sun (hence "single sunlight beef") and some of moisture is still left in the beef, making it easier to chew than its American counterpart.

This is great as a beer snack, an appetizer, or a main dish (I highly recommend pairing this with sticky rice and Thai dried chili dipping sauce).

Here's a recipe for Thai beef jerky made in the style of Lers Ros* restaurant in San Francisco.

Pronounced lert (say it in the non-rhotic way) rot (say "rote" but reducing the length of the vowel by half).