Sometimes, with a frequency roughly on a par with total solar eclipses, or the appearance of February the 29th, our local supermarket will surprise us.
Every now and then, to your complete and utter amazement, they will have every item on your shopping list in stock.
Yesterday was such a day. Spring onions? Check. A good start.
Thai basil? Check! Whoa, we’re on a roll here!
Everything on the list. Everything. No compromises, no fudges, no make-do-withs.
Hopefully, this was a good omen foretelling of a great meal to come.
Turns out it was, actually.
Thai Beef And Mushroom Curry
- 800g beef, cut across the grain into strips about the size of your little finger – see Notes
- 250g closed cap mushrooms, wiped, stalks trimmed, and quartered
- 165ml coconut milk
- 5 or 6 kaffir lime lives
- 2 tbsp Thai green curry paste – see Notes
- 4 spring onions (scallions), thinly sliced
- 3 tbsp almond butter
- juice of 2 limes
- a good handful of Thai basil leaves
- 2 tbsp fish sauce – see Notes
- 2 tsp coconut sugar
- Thai red curry powder
- finely chopped hazelnuts
- hot chilli flakes
- sesame seed oil
- Place the lime juice, fish sauce, and coconut sugar in a small bowl. Mix well, and set aside.
- Place the beef strips in a mixing bowl. Evenly coat them with about 2 tbsp of the Thai curry powder, and then set aside to dry marinate for about 15 minutes or so.
- Heat 4 tbsp of coconut oil in a non-stick wok over high heat. Stir fry the beef strips until they are just cooked, about 3 – 4 minutes or so. Remove from the wok, and set aside.
- Wipe the wok clean. Heat about 4 tbsp of coconut oil in the wok, now over medium heat.
- Add the spring onions. Stir fry for 2 minutes.
- Add the green curry paste. Stir fry for 2 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms, and stir fry for 5 minutes.
- Add the coconut milk, the kaffir lime leaves, the Thai basil leaves, and the almond butter. Stir well, and bring to a low simmer. Cover, and then simmer for about 5 minutes or so.
- Add the lemon juice, coconut sugar and fish sauce mixture. Stir well, and simmer for 1 minute.
- Return the beef strips to the wok, and cook until warmed through, a minute or so at most.
- Serve, garnished with finely chopped hazelnuts, hot chilli flakes, and a drizzle of sesame seed oil.
- The cut of beef – your call. Just make sure that it’s a cut suitable for quick, rapid frying rather than long, slow braising or stewing.
- To make the dish truly Paleo, get hold of fish sauce that contains fish, water, and salt. You’re probably best looking in an Asian store for genuine Thai fish sauce, although if you’re in Britain Tesco’s own fish sauce fits the bill. I currently use Thanh Ha Phu Quoc.
- Similarly, your green curry paste shouldn’t come full of sugar and other associated nasties. I currently use Mae Ploy brand, which contains green chilli, lemon grass, garlic, salt, galangal, shrimp paste (shrimp and salt), kaffir lime peel, coriander seed, pepper, cumin, and turmeric.