Stir fried beef and green bean curry

In the mood for something spicy and Thai flavoured and wanting to make use of the many tins of red curry paste I bought without being quite sure why, I decided to use the curry paste as the flavour base for a kick ass stir fry, minus coconut milk or cream to sooth the fire. I stupidly used the whole tin because apparently I was in some kind of let’s-live-dangerously mood, and while it was at the absolute limit of how much heat I can handle, I’d probably rate it at about medium to hot.

I had intended to add some fried firm tofu but forgot to buy it, and I added some mushrooms because I had too many in the fridge and love mushrooms in everything but consider them optional. Throwing in some Thai basil right at the end just gave the whole dish an amazing fragrant lift, and some steamed rice is always good.

To be honest it was so spicy but so good I just kept shovelling it in because I knew once I stopped I wouldn’t be able to keep going.

I’d suggest you start with one heaped tablespoon of curry paste if you like it mild with a bit of heat, or go hell for leather like I did if you like it hot. Tofu instead of beef {as well as no fish sauce} will make it vegan and I’d fry or even bake the {firm} tofu pieces first to dry it out a bit and have it soak up the sauce better.

what you need

  • 400 g beef eye fillet, sliced thinly on the diagonal so you get thin wide strips
  • one tin or jar of red curry paste, how much you use will depend on your personal heat tolerance {I used Maesri brand}
  • one tspn each of garlic and ginger paste {or minced}
  • 500 g green or snake beans, topped and tailed
  • 200 ml boiling water
  • juice of one lime
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • some fresh Thai basil leaves, whole
  • steamed rice to serve

what to do

  • Heat your wok until smoking, add a little oil, and brown the beef slices. Do this in batches so as to not overcrowd the wok and stew the beef, and do it quickly. Each batch should only need a couple of minutes. Remove beef as it’s browned and set aside.
  • Add some oil to the wok and fry the curry paste for a few minutes until fragrant and starting to change colour, then add the garlic, ginger, and beans. Stir fry for about five minutes or until the beans have just softened slightly. Add just enough water to dilute the curry paste a little and make a sauce, you may not need it all.
  • Add the lime juice, sugar, and fish sauce, stir through, and return the beef to the wok. Stir everything through so the beef is well coated and remove from the heat {or turn the wok off if it’s an electric version like mine}. Scatter the fresh basil over the top and serve with steamed rice.

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