Grilled Ribbons of Thai-Style Steak

The following recipe is from Scripps Networks' "Great Taste" event of May 4, 2002.
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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 19 min
  • Prep: 1 hr
  • Inactive: 4 min
  • Cook: 15 min
  • Yield: 8 to 10 appetizer servings
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1 flank steak (about 2 pounds), very cold (See Cook's Note.)

1/2 cup Thai Red Curry Paste, recipe follows

3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk

1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon Southeast Asian fish sauce

1 teaspoon ground turmeric (optional)

Spray oil

Peanut Sauce, recipe follows

Thai Red Curry Paste

8 dried red chiles, like arbol, stemmed and seeded

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

2 teaspoons cumin seeds

1 teaspoon white peppercorns

1/4 cup packed roughly chopped coriander leaves, stems, and roots (cilantro)

2 tablespoons Southeast Asian fish sauce

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 medium fresh red chiles, stemmed and chopped

5 cloves garlic

3 shallots

2 fresh lemongrass stalks (about 6 ounces), trimmed and thinly sliced

1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, like soy, peanut, or corn

Peanut Sauce

2 tablespoons coconut cream skimmed from the top of canned coconut milk

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Thai Red Curry Paste, see above

1 cup chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium canned

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk

1/4 cup chunky peanut butter

1 tablespoon Southeast Asian fish sauce

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice, or more to taste


Special equipment:
Bamboo skewers soaked in warm water for 10 minutes
  1. Using a sharp knife, slice the steak, against the grain and on angle, into thin strips about an inch wide.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the paste, coconut milk, sugar, fish sauce, and turmeric, if using. Add the beef, mix well, and set aside at room temperature to marinate for at least 1 hour.
  3. Preheat an outdoor grill.
  4. Thread the beef onto skewers, then lightly spray them with oil. Working in batches grill the beef, over high heat until just cooked through, about 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer the beef skewers to a serving platter and serve with the peanut sauce.

Thai Red Curry Paste

Yield: about 1 1/2 cups
  1. Toast the dried chiles in a small dry skillet over medium-high heat until smoky and fragrant. Transfer to a medium bowl, cover with hot water, and set aside until softened, about 10 minutes. Drain and roughly chop the chiles.
  2. Toast the coriander, cumin seeds, and peppercorns in the skillet over medium-high heat until toasted and fragrant. Transfer to a bowl and let cool slightly. Grind the spices in a spice mill (clean coffee grinder).
  3. In a food processor, combine the chiles, ground spices, and all of the ingredients, except for the oil, and puree into a paste. Gradually add the oil with the machine running, and puree until smooth. Store the paste in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Peanut Sauce

Yield: about 1 cup
  1. Stir-fry the coconut cream in a small saucepan over medium heat, until the oil separates and sizzles, about 2 minutes. Add the curry paste and stir-fry until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  2. Whisk in the broth, coconut milk, peanut butter, and fish sauce. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Transfer the sauce to a serving bowl and cool to room temperature. Whisk in the lime juice just before serving.

Cook’s Note

Slicing meat thin can be tricky. The meat will be much easier to slice if it is chilled in the freezer until firm.