A delicious Burmese curry that you can adapt to your taste. If you can’t take chiles, reduce the quantity or, if you love spiciness, increase the number of pepper; you can also add some crushed dried chiles as well. This recipe can be served with steamed rice, but I love Chinese vermicelli rice noodles.—Ching-He Huang
For the paste
4 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
2 red chiles, seeded and chopped
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 handful chopped fresh cilantro
1 handful chopped Thai basil leaves
For the beef
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 shallots, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon shrimp paste
12 1/2 ounce sirloin steak, cubed
1 1/4 cups coconut milk
1 lemongrass stalk, chopped
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons fish sauce (nam pla)
Make the paste
1. Blend all the paste ingredients together.
Make the beef
1 Heat a wok over high heat, add the oil and stir fry the shallots with the shrimp paste for less than 1 minute. Add the paste ingredients and stir fry for 1 minute. Add the steak and stir fry for 2 minutes until browned on all sides.
2. Stir in the coconut milk. (For a thinner sauce, you could also add a little chicken stock at this stage. For a creamier curry, you could add some coconut cream.) Add the lemongrass, the brown sugar, ground coriander and fish sauce. Bring to the boil and sprinkle with a handful of chopped fresh cilantro and Thai basil leaves.
3. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook the vermicelli rice noodles according to the packet instructions, drain and place in 2 serving bowls. Ladle curry over the noodles and serve immediately.
Recipe © 2006 by Ching-He Huang. All rights reserved.