This is a traditional Thai red curry made with a subtle blend of hot, salty, sweet and sour flavors that are guaranteed to get the taste buds tingling. You can make your own curry paste from scratch, however to save time I recommend you buy a good-quality pre-made Thai curry paste. Most grocery stores carry red curry paste these days although we have discovered that if we drive 20 minutes to the nearest Asian grocery store in Hamilton we can pick up a large container for nextto nothing!
I love red curry and Thai curries in general–be it green curry, Panang curry, massaman curry, yellow curry, or red curry. There are many red curry recipes, each with slightly different ingredients, for example: potatoes, bamboo shoots, winter squash, pumpkins, Thai egg plants, etc. Chicken is commonly used for red curry, but there are pork red curry and beef red curry. Regardless of the meat of choice and side ingredients used, red curry is invariably satisfying.
Thai red curry is traditionally richer compared to Malaysian curry and Indian curries. Infused with lots of coconut milk, spice paste, and flavored with palm sugar plus fish sauce–two secret ingredients of Thai recipes–red curry goes extremely well with soft and aromatic jasmine rice.
I decided to make this recipe to help use up the extra beef tenderloin from our Valentine's Day dinner. In only a few minutes, tender meat is cooked in a creamy-spicy sauce. Fresh herbs and lime juice are added just before serving to bring the flavors to life. Tenderloin is as tender as the name implies, and only a small amount is used here. However, it can be replaced with more economical top sirloin if you slice the meat very thinly to offset its chewiness. You can also try this recipe with shrimp or cubes of fish.
Thai-style Beef and Broccoli Curry
3/4 lb. (375 g) broccoli florets (1 1/2-inch/4-cm florets)
2 Tbs. water
1 Tbs. vegetable oil
3/4 lb. (375 g) beef tenderloin, trimmed and cut across the grain into thin slices
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 large shallots, sliced
3 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
1 Tbs. Thai red curry paste
1 can (14 fl. oz./430 ml) coconut milk, stirred thoroughly
1 Tbs. firmly packed brown sugar (we used the more traditional palm sugar)
1 Tbs. Asian fish sauce
Steamed brown jasmine or basmati rice for serving
1/2 cup (1/2 oz./15 g) slivered fresh basil (we used Thai basil)
Lime wedges for serving
Put the broccoli and water in a microwavable bowl. Cover and cook in the microwave on high until the broccoli is just crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes.
In a large nonstick fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Season the beef lightly with salt and pepper. Working in batches, add the beef (do not crowd the pan) and cook, turning once, until just browned, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to a plate.
Add the shallots and ginger to the pan and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the curry paste and stir for 2 minutes. Add the coconut milk, brown sugar and fish sauce and simmer, stirring up the browned bits, until the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Add the broccoli and beef and simmer until heated through.
Fluff the rice with a fork and divide among 4 warmed bowls. Top with the beef-broccoli mixture. Sprinkle with the basil and serve immediately with lime wedges to squeeze over the top. Serves 4.