This 20 minute Light and Easy Thai red curry beef dinner is a perfect alternative to a take-out. With the simple ingredients in no time, you will have a fragrant exotic dinner on your table.
There is no particular story behind this 20 minute Light and Easy Thai red curry beef dinner. I just happened to have a nice fresh steak and one red bell pepper that I didn’t know where to use. The wheel started turning, and I decided to make an imitation of an Indian and Thai curry beef dish but with much less and simpler ingredient list. In about 20 minutes the aromatic, one of the fastest Indian-ish red curry beef dinner was on the table. I was so happy with the result and thrilled how easy it was to make, how exotic it turned out without any weird ingredients and decided to share it with you.
Every time the specific cuisine or a food trend is getting hot and popular means you will end up with the whole bunch of useless one-time bottles of something. I’m an organizational freak and having tons of opened jars of different sauces, pastes or spices is driving me crazy. One day, I just did a pantry cleaning and tossed away every single bottle that I opened and used once. I hate throwing away stuff, but that was a good lesson. I don’t even want to think how much money I tossed in the trash that day 😒.
There is something hypnotizing when you go to a specialty store or international aisle. Out of nowhere, you think you may need this, and this, and this. And here you are standing at the register with the basket full of stuff you don’t even know how to pronounce or where to use them. Does this sound familiar at all?
Every time I’m in such stores or aisle before putting anything in my cart I’m asking myself a series of questions now.
- How often will I use it?
- Do I know what it is?
- Do I like and often cook recipes from this cuisine?
- Can I substitute this thing with something I have at home?
- Have I ever tried dishes with this thing and liked it?
If it passes the test, then I’m ready to buy it. Just follow this rule, and you will be in a safe zone.
I also created myself a list of “safe to buy items” from different cuisines. Thai red curry paste is one of them. I particularly like having it because I can use it in Indian, Thai, Vietnamese and many more recipes. You can also use it in any dish. For example, add it to an omelet, marinades, sauces, etc. This Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste is what I buy all the time. If you feel adventurous, you can make your own red curry paste at home. Never done it but it is on my “have to make someday list.” I believe this easy red curry paste recipe is a good option. If you make it, please let me know how it turns out. Or if you have a good recipe for it, please share it in the comment section. I would appreciate it.
The spicy level of this Thai red curry beef dinner is very mild. You can adjust it to your liking. If you have kids, then omit the red pepper flakes to make it a kid’s friendly dinner. You can always add pepper flakes to your plate. I have a different spicy level than my husband, and I always add extra heat to my plate.
There is something exotic in a combination of rich coconut milk, spicy curry paste and tanginess of limes. Such a simple combination creates the burst of flavors in your mouth. And it always seems like the coconut milk calms down the spiciness of curry paste and creates this delicate mouthwatering sauce.
I’m delighted with my experiment and aside from how flavorful, exotic and light this turned out the best part how little time and effort it takes. Rice cooks longer than this Thai red curry beef dinner. It is about the same amount of time than choosing take out, ordering and picking it up. The whole dinner will be ready in about half an hour. And it is probably a healthier alternative to the take-out option you were thinking 😉
If you had a busy day and there is a fresh and juicy steak at your grocery store, then don’t think twice and make this 20 minute Light and Easy Thai red curry beef dinner.
Tips and Tricks for the Thai red curry beef dinner:
- I used basil in this recipe, although I think cilantro may look good here as well.
- For homemade version try this easy red curry paste recipe. I found it much easier to buy. This Thai red curry paste is my favorite.
- The chicken thighs or breast will be a perfect alternative to beef. I’m very eager to try it with the chicken.
Yields: 2-4 servings
15 minPrep Time
15 minCook Time
30 minTotal Time
- 1 pound sirloin steak, thinly sliced
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoon canola oil, divided
- 1 large red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 medium white onion, sliced
- 1 small garlic glove, minced
- 1 (13.5 ounces) can light coconut milk
- 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- ¼-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Juice of 1 lime
- A handful (about ¾ cup) of fresh basil, torn
- 2 cups cooked rice
1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season sliced steak with salt. Add 1 tablespoon oil to a skillet and fry meat until browned on both sides, about 2 minutes. Remove cooked meat to a plate.
2. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to a skillet. Add red bell pepper and onion. Cook until tender and has browned edges, about 5 minutes. Add minced garlic and stir everything together about 1 minute.
3. Add coconut milk, Thai red curry paste, sugar and red pepper flakes. Stir until everything comes together. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium and return cooked meat to a skillet. Let it cook for 4 minutes.
4. Remove pan from heat. Add lime juice, basil and adjust seasoning to your liking (salt and pepper).
5. Serve warm over the cooked rice and top with the fresh basil.
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