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Thai Beef Red Curry

User Rating 3 Star Rating (2 Reviews)


Thai beef red curry
Don Bayley/E+/Getty Images
This Thai beef curry recipe can made with beef, lamb or even bison. Because the curry sauce is made from scratch, it's always fresh-tasting and healthy. It's also a surprisingly simple curry to put together, and very flexible, too. One option is to add your choice of vegetables - instead of potatoes, eggplant works well in this curry, as does okra. And for those who like their beef tender, there is a tip at the bottom of the recipe that will help you achieve very tender results. Hope you enjoy it!

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: Serves 4-6 (with rice)


  • 2 sirloin beef or bison steaks (6 to 8 oz. each) OR equivalent, cut into thin strips or small bite-size chunks
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 3 lime leaves OR substitute bay leaf
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick or 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 cup diced tomato
  • 1-2 medium potatoes
  • 1/2 tsp. whole cumin seed
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 stalk fresh lemongrass, finely sliced, OR 2-3 Tbsp. frozen prepared lemongrass
  • 1 thumb-size piece galangal OR fresh ginger, sliced
  • 3 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1+1/2 tsp. shrimp paste
  • 2 Tbsp. ketchup, OR 2 Tbsp. tomato paste/puree + 1/4 tsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. ground coriander
  • 3 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. dark soy sauce
  • 1-2 fresh red chilies, minced, OR 1/2 to 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 2/3 can coconut milk (reserve remaining 1/3 for later)


  1. Combine all 'Curry Sauce' ingredients together in a food processor or blender, and process until well blended. Set aside.
  2. Warm a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add oil and swirl around to coat, then add onion and garlic. Stir-fry 1 minute, then add the beef and stir-fry 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add prepared curry sauce, lime leaves, and cinnamon stick. Stir well and bring to a gentle boil (if it's too thick, add 2-4 Tbsp. water or stock).
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low, so curry is gently simmering. Cover and simmer 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add potatoes and whole cumin seed and continue simmering until potatoes are soft enough to pierce with a fork (about 10 minutes). Finally, add the tomatoes and simmer until everything is well cooked (5-7 more minutes).
  5. Reduce heat to low and add the last 1/3 can coconut milk, stirring to incorporate. Taste-test the curry. If not salty or flavorful enough, add a little more fish sauce. If you'd like it sweeter, add a little more sugar, or add more chili if you'd like it spicier. If too salty or too sweet, add a squeeze of lime or lemon juice.
  6. Serve with plain Thai jasmine rice and enjoy!

For More Tender Beef: My husband likes the beef on the chewy side, whereas I like mine very tender. If you're a fan of tender, here's an extra step that's well worth the effort: Instead of slicing the beef, place the whole piece(s) in a pot and cover with beef or chicken stock. Bring to a boil and simmer 20 minutes to half-an-hour. Then slice it up (I use kitchen scissors for this) into chunks and start the recipe (as written above) from here. The beef will turn out much more tender this way. I also pour a little of the cooking stock into the curry for extra flavor. Hope you enjoy it!

Other Vegetables that Work Well in this Curry: eggplant chopped into bite-size chunks, green beans, and okra.

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 1 out of 5
Inacurate in nearly every particular., Member Scroge65

I choose this recipe for prep and cook time. Both were vastly understated. The prep time of 58 minutes vs the stated 20 might a result of my ineptitude but the stated cook time of 20 minutes is nonsense. The listed cooking operations are; Warm wok, add oil, fry 1 min,add beef fry 2 min, add misc, bring to boil, simmer 8 min, add misc, cook 10 min, add stuff, cook 7 min. The listed cooking times add up to 28 minutes and this does not count operations like ""bring to a boil"" or ""reduce to simmer, or heat oil, etc. And by the way 10 minutes is not enough time to cook the potatoes till soft as called for so add another 5-8 minutes.

8 out of 14 people found this helpful.

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