March 24, 2011
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This thick, rich beef curry originated in the south western part of Thailand adjacent to the northern Malaysian state of Penang hence its name which translates as Penang Beef. Although it is a Thai dish it is much like an Indian curry. Authentic Phanaeng curry paste is made from roasted spices in the Indian manner but many Thais use red curry paste instead. And it contains peanuts unlike any other Thai curry except Mussaman, or Muslim, curry, also from the south of the country. But the fish sauce is thoroughly Thai. Traditionally this curry is served with salted duck eggs, a Thai specialty. I have omitted them because I have none on hand (and it takes two weeks to make them). The dish does not contain any vegetables so serve it with steamed cabbage or green beans and, of course, plenty of jasmine rice. I adapted this recipe from templeofthai.com.
By the way, if you can not see the peanuts in the photo it is not your eyes; I forgot to put them in until after I took it.
- ½ pound sirloin tip, thinly sliced
- 1½ cups thick coconut milk
- 3 Tbsp. red curry paste
- 1 Tbsp. palm sugar
- 3 Tbsp. Thai fish sauce
- 1 Tbsp. shredded kaffir lime leaves
- ¼ cup fresh Thai basil leaves, roughly chopped
- 2 or 3 red chilies, seeded and sliced
- ¼ cup roasted ground peanuts (optional)
Put half of the thick coconut milk into a wok and fry stirring continuously, until the coconut oil begins to separate out, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the curry paste and fry for 2 minutes.
Add the meat to the wok and stir fry until lightly browned. Add the rest of the thick coconut milk and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 5 minutes or until the meat is done. Sprinkle in the sugar and stir until it dissolves then add the fish sauce. Mix in the kaffir lime leaves, half of the basil, and the peanuts. Continue to cook for another minute or so until everything is warmed through.
Serve garnished with the sliced red chilies and remaining basil leaves.