Thursday, August 6

Red Curry with Beef & Bamboo Shoots

In Thailand, Curry is a staple dish and it is eaten on a daily basis in many families. A typical meal in my family would have at least rice and curry dish, then a vegetable stir-fry and other dishes would be included. Here, another curry dish among dozens of different types of curries (Gaeng) in Thailand I love to make is Red Curry (Gaeng Phed). Its flavor is in between Green Curry (which is pretty spicy), and Yellow Curry (which is quite mild).

The most favorite ingredients that go in the Red Curry are bamboo shoots and Thai eggplants. And then, Thai basil and Kaffir lime leaves are the types of fresh fragrant herbs that are used in the recipe. Don't you just love the smell of fresh Thai basil leaves? I would have a hard time living where they are not available!

This Red Curry recipe features beef but you could also prepared the dish with pork, chicken, shrimp, fish, or tofu. Red bell pepper strips would be a nice color to add in. It is so good with steamed jasmine rice, ... or with pasta for a fusion version!

You will need:
  • 1 can (4 oz.) Red Curry paste (I prefer Mae Sri brand)
  • 1 can (14 oz.) coconut milk (Chao Kao or Aroy-D brand)
  • 1-1 1/2 lbs. Chuck Eye steaks, cut into 1/3"-thick slices
  • 3-4 Kaffir Lime leaves, torn in half
  • 1 can bamboo shoot strips
  • 1 TBSP palm sugar
  • 2 TBSP Thai fish sauce (Nam Pla)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup loosely packed FRESH Thai basil leaves


  1. Fry Red Curry paste in 1/2 can of coconut milk, in a pot until fragrant, using medium-high heat. Keep stirring so it doesn't burn - until it is fragrant and becomes oily, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add beef slices and Kaffir Lime leave pieces. Stir until mixed well with curry sauce and beef is cooked.
  3. Add the rest of coconut milk and bamboo shoots. Then, add water then bring it to a boil.
  4. Lower the heat to medium low, and let it simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the beef is tender.
  5. Add palm sugar and fish sauce. Stir well. Adjust the flavor to your taste. The sauce shouldn't be runny, nor too thick.
  6. Finally, add Thai basil leaves, and turn the heat off right away. That way the leaves still maintain their bright green color. I also like to top it with some chiffonaded Kaffir Lime leaves. Serve with steamed rice.


  1. Looks very yummy! I love a good Thai red curry too. Hard for me to find Thai basil and kaffir lime leaves though. Wish I could grow them in my garden! Maybe the Thai basil...I should find some seeds for next spring's planting!

  2. made it tonight and am eating it now . i made a link on facebook my friends need to try this and come to the market and thank you because you rock.


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