Smoke-Grilled Tri-Tips with Jeow Som Dipping Sauce
2020 F&W Best New Chef Donny Sirisavath of Khao Noodle Shop in Dallas shared this recipe, a nod to his Laotian heritage and Texas upbringing, when his parents grilled brisket over hardwood coals for family gatherings. Here, thick and meaty tri-tip steaks get seared on the hot zone of the grill and then slowly smoke-grilled until medium-rare. Let them rest, and then thinly slice them against the grain and serve with Sirisavath's jeow som, a fiery, fish sauce–flavored dipping sauce. A quick soak in beer tenderizes thick tri-tip steaks, and a marinade of garlic, lemongrass, cilantro, and fish sauce builds big flavor. Sirisavath loves using oak or mesquite wood here, placed at the center of the grill, alongside the lit coals, where they smolder and add a rich aroma.