Sunday, December 15, 2013

Thai Spicy Beef (Nuer Phad Phed)

I’m not too familiar with Thai food, but I’m always looking for recipes that are quick and do-able on a weeknight, and stir fries like this certainly fit the bill. This recipe comes from the book Simply Thai Cooking. It should be noted that “20 basil leaves” is a rule of thumb the book uses, so it doesn’t need to be exact at all. I didn’t have any Thai basil (I actually had some bi-colored basil growing in the summer that would’ve subbed well) so I used regular basil.

Thai Spicy Beef (Nuer Phad Phed) (Serves 2)
10 oz. Flank steak, trimmed of excess fat
¼ medium green pepper
¼ medium red bell pepper (plus some extra for garnish)
Snap peas (enough for 2 servings, so like a big handful)
Canola/vegetable oil
1 teaspoon chopped garlic (1 clove)
2 tablespoons red curry paste
5 tablespoons coconut milk
2 lime leaves, torn into thirds (I substituted lime zest and a bay leaf)
½ cup bamboo shoot strips
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
20 fresh Thai basil leaves

Cut the beef into pieces that are ¼” thick, 1” wide and 2” long. Dice the peppers. Set aside some strips of the peppers for garnish. Get the rest of the ingredients ready as the cooking goes quickly and you’ll be too busy stirring to prep ingredients, open cans, etc.

Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add vegetable or canola oil (the original recipe calls for 5 tablespoons, I used something in the neighborhood of 2.5-3 tablespoons) and heat until it’s just about to smoke. Add the curry paste and garlic, stirring and frying for 45 seconds, then add the coconut milk and lime leaves. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until thick and bubbly.

Add the beef, the bamboo shoot strips, the snap peas and the peppers all together. Stir fry for 1 minute. Add the fish sauce and sugar and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes, until the peppers are softened. Add ¾ of the basil and cook for 45 additional seconds.

Serve over rice, and garnish with remaining basil and pepper strips.


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