Thai Beef Curry (4)


The word curry is used as a blanket term for spicy food when, in reality, there are many differences in ingredients and flavors. Indian curries tend to use blends of dry spices as a basis for their taste, whereas in Thailand a paste is used. There are many other countries that have curried dishes as part of their diet – the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, South Africa to name a few.
Red curry paste, as opposed to green or the harder to find and creamier yellow, is used in this recipe and the finished dish is fairly mild with the coconut milk offsetting some of the heat. This Thai Beef Curry is quickly prepared and there are lots of nice juices to soak up the rice, quinoa, noodles or whatever you wish to serve with it.

8 oz. flat iron steak – thinly sliced
1 shallot – thinly sliced and separated
1 red pepper – thinly sliced
2 large cloves of garlic – grated
4 oz. frozen peas
1 can of lite coconut milk
2 tbsp. Thai red curry paste
2 tbsp. peanut butter
1 tbsp. fish sauce
Juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp. cilantro – finely chopped, plus more for garnish

Prepare the first 4 ingredients on a chopping board.
In a mixing bowl pour in the coconut milk and whisk it together with the curry paste, peanut butter and fish sauce, then pour into a frying pan and bring to a boil.
When boiling add the steak, shallot, red pepper and garlic to the curry sauce, turn down to a simmer,let ingredients cook for about 7 minutes then add the peas, lime juice and cilantro and cook for a further 3 minutes or until meat is cooked through.
Sprinkle with a little cilantro for garnish and serve.


Jo’s Thai Beef (4)


A mild dish inspired by Thai flavors. Because the flank steak is cut into thin strips it doesn’t take long to cook.

1 tbsp. olive oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 medium onion – chopped

2 large cloves of garlic – grated

1 x 13.66 fl. oz. can of lite coconut milk

2 tbsp. Thai Red Curry Paste

4 tsp. Thai fish sauce

2 tbsp. crunchy peanut butter

1 tsp. Five Spice powder

8 oz. flank steak – cut into thin strips

1 red pepper – diced

4 oz. broccoli florets

1 cup of peas

1 cup of beef broth
Heat seasoned oil in a cast iron casserole dish and when sizzling add the onion and let soften and brown a little bit, then add the garlic.

In a small mixing bowl mix together a little coconut milk, the red curry paste, fish sauce, peanut butter and five spice powder and set aside.

Add the flank steak to the casserole dish and quickly sear.

Toss in the red pepper, broccoli florets and peas.

Add the sauce mixture, rest of the coconut milk and the beef broth.

Stir well, bring to a boil and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes depending on size of the flank steak strips

Jo’s Pad Thai (serves 4)

Jo’s Pad Thai (serves 4)

My Pad Thai may not be truly authentic but it tastes good. Chopping takes a little time and would be a great thing to do with another person – husband, son or daughter or a friend (I often cook with a friend of mine when she makes dinner). The added ingredient here is my newly discovered Tamarind Paste – Neera’s Tamarind Paste, found in Whole Foods; a different brand can be found in Waitrose in the UK. I used a gluten-free soy sauce, but it does contain soy, so may not be appropriate for some of you. On top of that I added fish sauce, lime juice, ginger and extra virgin olive oil. I purposely only used one chicken breast as am trying to reduce the amount of meat we eat and increase the veg. Ideal pan is a skillet with a glass lid. Cooking time is around 15 minutes.

A 1 inch piece of ginger – peeled and finely grated

1 tbsp. fish sauce

1 tbsp. gluten-free soy sauce

1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice

1 tsp. tamarind paste (not concentrate) – dissolved in 1 tbsp. of hot water

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Place all of the above in a bowl and mix together.

1/2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 large bunch of scallions/spring onions – finely sliced

2 large garlic cloves – finely chopped

1 chicken breast – finely sliced and cut into small pieces (so they cook quickly)

1/2 a red pepper – cut into fine strips

1 large carrot – cut into matchsticks

4 oz. thin French green beans – cut in two

4 good size broccoli florets – cut into smaller florets

4 oz. baby bella mushrooms – sliced

Heat oil in skillet and when sizzling add scallions/spring onions and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes.

Add chicken and sear.

Add all veg. and pour over the sauce.

Cook for 10 minutes or until chicken pieces are cooked through.

Thai Coleslaw (serves 4)

Thai Coleslaw (serves 4)

The dressing on the coleslaw is full of the Thai flavors I love so much. The dressing could also double as a dip or for as satay sauce for chicken or beef. I added celery and chopped unsalted peanuts to the coleslaw mix of cabbage, carrots and scallions/spring onions and I think it might be nice if chunks of chicken or strips of beef were added too. You may find you have more than enough dressing so you could use it for other things – I guarantee it won’t last long!

1/2 a small cabbage – finely shredded
2 large carrots – grated or shredded in food processor
1 bunch of scallions – finely chopped
2 sticks of celery – chopped
Handful or 2 of unsalted peanuts – roughly chopped

3 tbsp. smooth peanut butter
1 tbsp. water (add more at end if necessary)
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 tbsp. gluten-free soy sauce
1 tbsp. Thai fish sauce
1 inch of ginger – freshly grated
1 large clove of garlic – finely chopped

Place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together.

Thai Celery and Fennel Salad (serves 4)

Thai Celery and Fennel Salad (serves 4)

The Thai ingredients are freshly squeezed lime juice and Fish Sauce (Thai Kitchen brand). The salad is very light and crunchy. It would easily transport to a picnic or would be a nice and unusual addition to take as a pot luck dish to someone’s party/BBQ, etc.

6 oz celery – diced
6 oz fennel – chopped into small pieces
1 bunch of scallions/spring onions – finely chopped
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lime
2 tsp. fish sauce

Place all veg. in a large bowl.
Put dressing ingredients in a screw top jar and shake hard so they mix together well.
Pour dressing over veg. and mix well.
Leave to stand for 1/2 hour or so before serving so flavors can develop

Thai Chicken Soup with Baby Spinach and Lemongrass (serves 4)

Thai Chicken Soup with Baby Spinach and Lemongrass (serves 4)

Man (woman) cannot live by bread alone (especially if gluten intolerant!) but I could live by soup alone. This soup has a depth of Thai flavors without being too spicy. It is worth going the extra mile to find lemongrass as you can’t get the same taste from mere lemon juice. I minced the lemongrass in a food processor and added some of the soup liquid to make it easier to mince (lemongrass can be quite tough). To prepare the lemongrass, take off the outer layer and top and tail the stalk, then thinly slice (I looked up how to prepare lemongrass on the Internet). I used a mixture of Thai Green Curry Paste and curry powder for the spices.  You could also serve this with rice as a main course and maybe thicken the soup a bit first.

3 1/2 cups of low sodium chicken broth

1 x can lite coconut milk

3/4 cup chopped scallions/spring onions

1 tbsp. curry powder

1 1/2 tbsp. Thai Green Curry Paste

4 stalks lemongrass – minced

1 tbsp. fresh ginger – finely grated

4 x chicken thighs – fat removed

6 oz baby spinach

Juice of 1 1/2 limes

Chopped cilantro for sprinkling on top of soup


Place chicken broth, coconut milk, chopped scallions, curry powder, Thai Green Curry paste, grated ginger and chicken thighs in a cast iron casserole dish and bring to a boil.

Turn heat down and simmer for 25 minutes.

Remove chicken and cut into small pieces.

Add spinach to casserole dish and let it cook for a couple of minutes.

Add lime juice.

Add back the chopped chicken.

Serve imediately with chopped cilantro sprinkled on top of the soup.