Thai Beef Curry
Makes 4 – 6 servings
Such a delicious dish. Well worth the effort.
Scroll to the bottom for definitions, substitutions for gluten and soy-free and vegetarian options.
1- 1/2 lbs strip or flank steak sliced into 1/2″ x 2″ strips or sirloin tips
2 tablespoons either organic shoyu, gluten free tamari or coconut aminos (see notes below)
2 tablespoons either agave, maple or coconut syrup
2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce – optional (see notes below)
4 tablespoons oil: choose an organic oil – either coconut, sunflower, mild flavored olive or sesame
2 large shallots, quartered lengthwise and finely sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon finely grated ginger – use a microplane if you have one. If not mince.
2 teaspoons (or more) Thai Kitchen red curry paste
1 – 2 teaspoons Thai Kitchen chili paste
1 stalk lemongrass, outer husk peeled away and inner bit minced finely (scroll to the bottom to see how I cheat on this.)
1-1/2 cups either beef, chicken or No-Chicken Broth
zest of 1 lime
2 – 3 fresh limes, juiced
2 tablespoons agave, maple or coconut syrup – or to taste
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce (see below)
More vegetables that would be great in this dish, in addition or instead of these veggies, are listed at the bottom of this recipe.
1 red, yellow or orange pepper, quartered then sliced
1/2 bunch broccoli, stem peeled and sliced, top cut into florets, then blanched
1 small/medium yellow squash, quartered lengthwise then sliced in 1/4″ pieces
1 small/medium zucchini quartered lengthwise then sliced in 1/4″ pieces
Optional additions at the end:
Handful raw or roasted peanuts or cashews
Time to make the dish!
Mix shoyu (or shoyu substitute), sweetener of your choice and fish sauce if you’re using it together in a shallow baking pan.
Add the sliced steak, turn to coat with marinade allow to sit for at least one hour up to overnight.
Cut the veggies and blanch the broccoli
To blanch broccoli:
Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a stockpot. Salt is not needed.
Put the cut broccoli into the boiling water.
As soon as the pot starts to bubble remove the broccoli and drain in a colander.
Put to the side.
Make the sauce
Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a heavy saucepan using a medium-high heat.
When the oil is hot enough (but not smoking) sauté the shallots until they brown, stirring regularly.
Next add the ginger, garlic, curry paste, chili paste and lemongrass and cook for a few more moments.
Add the broth of your choice and simmer for up to 10 minutes.
Whisk in the lime zest and juice, sweetener (agave, maple or coconut syrup), and fish sauce if you’re using it.
Simmer for a few moments.
Keep warm with a lid on so it doesn’t evaporate as you finish up the dish.
Sear the steak
Heat 2 – 3 tablespoons oil of your choice in a 12″ heavy skillet.
Quickly pan sear the steak on both sides, just until the color changes.
Cook in batches if necessary so the steak doesn’t overcook.
Remove steak from the skillet and set aside.
Sauté the veggies
Add more oil to the pan and sauté the peppers, yellow squash and zucchini.
Stir quickly and regularly to keep the vegetables crunchy. The vegetables should be lightly cooked, crunchy but not raw.
Finish the dish
When veggies are ready add the seared steak and the sauce.
Toss in the blanched broccoli.
If using, garnish with cilantro and peanuts or cashews and serve.
What is shoyu? Soy sauce. The term is generally used for products using quality methods of production (but not always).
Gluten Free Tamari – not really tamari (real tamari isn’t shoyu but that’s for another blog post). And not all tamari is gluten free. If you are on a gluten free diet make sure to read the label and ingredients clearly.
Coconut Aminos – these can be used to replace shoyu in a soy free diet. Be aware that the coconut aminos have a sweetness to them and the amount of sweetener called for in a dish can be dramatically reduced and sometimes eliminated. Combine all ingredients in the sauce except for the sweetener, taste and then add sweetener a little at a time if you find you need some. Just remember, we’re not making dessert here.
Fish Sauce: From a sustainable viewpoint I’m not so sure fish sauce is a good thing. After reading about the destruction of Asian coastal areas due to fish production I avoid fish sauce.
However, many swear that fish sauce is essential to the flavor of Thai dishes so I leave that decision up to you.
If you’re leaving out the fish sauce add a little more shoyu or one of the substitutes.
Cheating on lemongrass: I’m sure this will horrify hard core foodies and chefs but I found an organic pulverized lemongrass in a tube at my local Whole Foods and I use it all the time.
Which broth to use:
Beef broth will make the dish richer and heartier.
Chicken stock will make a lighter sauce.
No-Chicken broth made by Imagine Foods. This is my go to vegetable broth. It doesn’t use tomatoes and is a great substitute for chicken broth if I’m making a vegetarian dish.
Vegetarian: Tofu, tempeh and seitan will all be great in here. Marinate them as described for the steak.
Other vegetables great in this dish:
Colorful and nutrient dense are my goals in stir fries and curries like this.
These vegetables are great as substitutions or additions to this dish.
Baby Bok Choi
Spinach or Baby Spinach
Sugar or Snap Peas
Mushrooms: Shiitake, Oyster or Maiitake
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