“Pork is not like salmon, which has a deep flavor,” Ming Tsai says. “Pork has a neutral flavor, so it takes to this sauce well and really soaks it in.”
Rub steaks with 1 cup sambal and let marinate at least 4 hours. Prepare a hot clean grill, wiped with grape-seed or canola oil. Season steaks (lightly if brined) and grill both sides, about 6 to 8 minutes per side for medium. Let rest 5 minutes before slicing.
Meanwhile, wash rice in cold tap water, 3 or 4 times, until water runs clear. Place in a rice cooker or set in a saucepan on the stove. Add 1 tablespoon sambal and mix thoroughly. Season lightly with salt and pepper, then fill with water to the first digit of your index finger as it touches the surface of the rice. Cook rice as directed on package (45 minutes for rice cooker).
To serve, divide rice among four plates and top with sliced steak. Garnish each serving with 1 tablespoon sambal.
In a nonreactive saucepan or wok over low heat, add oil, shallots, jalapeno peppers, and Kaffir lime leaves. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add lime juice, rice vinegar, and sugar, then bring slowly to a simmer. Reduce by half, about 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat and add salt. Transfer to a food processor and pulse a few times. Allow sambal to come to room temperature. It may be kept, refrigerated, up to 2 weeks.
Total time: 1 hour; active time: 30 minutes
Yield: 5 cups