I’ve kept this as authentic as possible whilst making it easy to make.
I’ve been teaching Thai cookery for a few years now and absolutely love the subtle, well-balanced flavours that Thai food offers whilst punching you taste buds hard with a chili kick. I’ve backpacked around Thailand and loved the interesting street food the country has to offer everything from bags of crispy spring rolls to caramelized locus on sticks.
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 can coconut milk / 400 ml
450 g good quality beef (I recommend – rump steak) – stripped
6 – 8 lime leaves – shredded
1 level teaspoon light brown sugar
1 – 2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 lime – juiced
Penang Paste (you can make fresh or buy from an Asian supermarket)
1 teaspoon each of coriander seeds and cumin seeds – dry fry
4 – 5 dried large red chillis – soaked in boiling water for 15 mins.
1/2 onion – chopped
2 inch fresh ginger – chopped
2 fresh lemon grass – chopped
2 cloves garlic – crushed or chopped
1 tablespoon fresh coriander roots and stem
2 generous tablespoons roasted peanuts (or 1 level tablespoons smooth peanut butter)
1 level teaspoon shrimp paste
1 heaped teaspoon tomato puree (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt or a good pinch
Garnish (all optional)
2 – 3 lime leaves – finely shredded
1 tablespoon coriander leaf – chopped
1 fresh red chilli – finely sliced
To make the paste simply process all the ingredients together to form a paste or use a pestal and morter by first crushing the seeds and then adding everything one by one until smoothly pounded.
Heat the oil in a frying pan.
Add a third of the coconut milk, when it sizzles and starts to bubble – add all the paste.
Cook on a high heat, stirring all the time and cooking out the flavours in the paste, as it starts to boil down and dry, add a few more tablespoons of coconut milk – until all the coconut milk has gone or until the oil starts to appear (the mix should not be too to dry so that it sticks or burns but not to saucy either).
Add the beef, still cooking on high and stirring all the time until the meat has browned.
Add the lime leaves, sugar, fish sauce and lime and cook for a few minutes more until the beef is cooked but still tender.
Serve with a sprinkling of shredded lime leaves, chopped coriander leaf or Thai basil.
Perfect served with plain Thai Jasmine rice.