Fresh Thai green curry is the way to go for this standard Thai dish. Green curry can be purchased in any Asian or international market, but the recipe below gives it a fresh taste that makes a big difference in the quality of this dish. Other ingredients can be purchased in Asian markets as well. Easy-to-find substitutions have been added in some cases.
Thai curries are normally served as either a one-meal dish, or with steamed rice and other accompaniments.
Beef With Green Curry Sauce
1 pound boneless beef top round, sliced into thin 2-inch by 1/4-inch strips
6 tablespoons coconut cream
3 tablespoons coconut milk
3 tablespoons Thai green curry paste (recipe below)
1/2 cup Japanese eggplant, cut into diagonal slices
4 fresh red Thai finger-like chiles (or 8 red serrano chiles), julienned lengthwise
1/2 cup fresh basil, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated or light brown sugar
Bring a large saucepan of water to a rapid boil. Then place all the beef strips in the pan and boil until the surface is covered with foam (about 5 minutes). Drain and set the beef aside.
Heat the coconut cream in a wok, over medium heat, until it begins to separate, or about 1 minute. Then add the green curry paste and stir until well blended, or about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the beef to the wok and cook, stirring, for about 4 minutes. Add the coconut milk and eggplant and cook over medium heat, covered, until the eggplant is tender, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes. Stir in the red chiles, basil, fish sauce, and sugar. Cook uncovered for another 1 to 2 minutes until the basil begins to wilt. This beef with Thai green curry sauce recipe makes 4 servings.
Green Curry Paste
This paste is one of the staples of Thai cooking, and is the basis of many dishes in the Thai cuisine. Again, Asian markets will have all of these ingredients.
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seed
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 large garlic cloves
25 fresh green bird’s-eye chiles, or 6 fresh jalapenos
25 fresh green Thai chiles, or 10 serrano chiles
1 half-inch cube fresh ginger, peeled
1 teaspoon shrimp paste
1/2 cup fresh cilantro stems, chopped
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
1 stalk lemongrass, tough outer skin removed, and tender parts chopped
4 shallots, chopped
1/2 teaspoon green peppercorns
Dry-roast (no fat) the coriander and cumin in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat for 2 minutes, stirring continuously. Cool and transfer to a spice mill or grinder and grind until fine.
Place all the ingredients in a food processor and run the machine until there are no bits of ingredients visible, and it is a smooth puree. Scrape the puree into a jar with a tight-fitting lid and store in the refrigerator. This green curry paste keeps for about a month.