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Easy Thai-Inspired Steak Curry

This easy Steak Curry recipe features tender beef in a luscious coconut curry sauce and plenty of fresh vegetables for a Thai-inspired main dish. 

Bowl of beef curry with brown rice and more beef curry in the background.

Thai curry recipes are a staple in my household, and this all new steak curry has been our latest favorite addition. 

Authentic Thai flavors envelop tender beef with fresh vegetables for a complete meal. This easy comfort food only takes about 45 minutes (or less!) to prepare from start to finish!

For this reason, you can whip up this curry in a hurry on any busy weeknight and have dinner on the table lickety split.

In addition to my Crock Pot Thai Chicken Curry, this easy beef curry recipe will surely remain on constant rotation.

There are many ways you can adapt the recipe to fit your tastes and dietary needs! Be sure to read through the whole post and recipe card to take full advantage of all the options. 

Let’s discuss the simple ingredients for steak curry! You can find all of them at most grocery stores. 

Ingredients for Thai Steak Curry:

Steak: The main ingredient! What is the best kind of steak to use for steak curry? My personal favorite is New York strip steak because it contains a decent amount of fat without being too fatty. This results in tender steak with little bits of lovely crispy fat.

Avocado Oil: Used to sear the steak and cook the vegetables, we need a quality high temperature cooking oil. I like using avocado oil over olive oil because it has a high smoke point and neutral flavor. 

Vegetables: Yellow onion, bell peppers, zucchini, carrots, fresh ginger, and fresh garlic cloves. These are the vegetables I typically use in all of my curry recipes, and I often add broccoli as well.

The onion, garlic, and ginger are all crucial to generating the iconic Thai curry flavor, so be sure you don’t skip these! Otherwise, feel free to add your favorite vegetables.

Full-Fat Canned Coconut Milk: Thai curries are so creamy and luscious thanks to full-fat canned coconut milk.

Be sure to use the full-fat kind that comes in a can versus trying to swap it out for a lighter coconut milk.

This ensures you’ll end up with silky smooth sauce for the best flavor and texture.

Fish Sauce: One of the all-star curry ingredients that brings umami flavor and richness to the sauce.

If you don’t typically cook with fish sauce, you can skip it. You can also replace the fish sauce with soy sauce if you’d like. 

Thai Curry Paste: While some people prefer making their own curry paste using various chiles and aromatics, I find store-bought curry paste makes a delicious curry and saves a great deal of time.

I use Thai red curry paste for this steak curry recipe, but you can use yellow or green if you’d prefer.

Thai Basil: Bringing bright, vibrant fresh flavor to the curry, fresh basil adds delicious flavor! Fresh Thai basil is sometimes difficult to find at a supermarket, so if you have access to Asian grocery stores, you may be able to find it there.

You can also use regular basil, but Thai basil produces the most authentic flavor. 

Large skillet of Thai beef curry.

There are many ways you can customize Thai curries to your own personal taste. Here are some ideas.

Recipe Customizations:

  • Use any kind of Thai curry paste you enjoy here! Thai red curry paste, yellow curry paste, green curry paste and Panang curry paste are all great options. Note that the spice level of curry paste varies between brands so be sure to pick one whose spice level you’re going for. You can also use curry powder if you’d prefer.
  • Swap out the vegetables for your favorites. Bok choy, potatoes such as Yukon gold potatoes or sweet potatoes, and cauliflower are all great options.
  • Be sure to pick a type of steak you thoroughly enjoy! My top recommendations are sirloin steak, New York strip steak, filet mignon, or boneless ribeye steak. Select a cut of beef that is known for being tender for the best results. 
  • To reduce the amount of fat in the curry sauce, use one can of full-fat coconut milk and one can of light coconut milk or one cup of beef stock. You can use one can of coconut milk total for less sauce.
  • If you aren’t in a hurry, you can cook the coconut milk, curry paste, ginger, and garlic over low heat for 1 hour to make very flavorful sauce!
  • The recipe as written is a mild version of curry, unless you use a spicy curry paste. For mild curry, prepare the recipe as written and for spicy curry, add cayenne pepper or red Thai chilis to taste. 
  • For sweet curry, similar to authentic Thai restaurant curry, you can add 2 tablespoons of sugar or pure maple syrup to the sauce.

As previously mentioned, this is a Thai style curry recipe using ingredients that are customary to Thai food.

For Indian beef curry, you would use a different spice mix such as garam masala. In addition, Japanese beef curry uses different spices and a Japanese curry roux.

Now that we’ve covered the basic ingredients list, let’s make this delicious Thai-inspired main dish!

How to Make Steak Curry:

Heat one tablespoon of avocado oil in a large nonstick skillet on the stove top over high heat. I use a 12-inch skillet with a deep lip to hold a lot of volume.

If you don’t have a skillet this large, you can use a large thick-bottomed pot such as a Dutch oven or a wok. Allow the oil to heat up for a few minutes, until it is sizzling hot.

Transfer the strips of steak on the hot surface and arrange them in a single layer. 

Strips of steak browning in a skillet.

Brown the steak for a few minutes untouched, then give the strips a stir and continue browning until they reach your desired level of golden brown crisp on the outside.

There is no need to cook the steak through just yet. Transfer the seared steak to a plate and set aside while you prepare the rest of the recipe.

If need be, wipe out the skillet if there are lots of browned bits stuck to it and add the second tablespoon of avocado oil. Heat over medium-high heat.

Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to soften, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Onions cooking in a skillet.

Stir in the rest of the vegetables (chopped carrots, zucchini, bell pepper, garlic, and fresh ginger). Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes to allow the vegetables to soften slightly.

Sauteed vegetables in a skillet.

Pour the coconut milk into the skillet, along with the fish sauce and red curry paste and stir well. Bring the mixture to a full boil.

Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have reached your desired level of doneness (for me, this is about 8 minutes).

Vegetables cooking in red curry sauce in a skillet.

Once the veggies are cooked to your liking, add in the seared steak and stir well to incorporate. Continue cooking and stirring just until the steak is heated through.

Steak added on top of red curry sauce with vegetables, ready to be mixed in.

If you’d like, stir in some fresh Thai basil leaves.

Taste the curry and add sea salt and black pepper to your personal taste. You can also add more curry paste or a drizzle of lime juice or lemon juice.

Serve steak curry with steamed brown rice or white rice. Serve with cauliflower rice for a low carb dinner recipe. If you’re a fried rice lover, serve the beef curry with fried rice. 

Store leftover curry in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Crock Pot Beef Curry:

Want to make slow cooker beef curry? Simply follow the step to sear the beef, then transfer all of the ingredients to your crock pot. Cook on high heat for 4 to 5 hours. The cooking time depends on how soft or al dente you like your vegetables. 

Slow cooking beef recipes is the best way of ending up with tender beef. Lower heat for more time helps soften the muscle fibers of the steak and develops the flavors. For this reason, the extra time is the tradeoff for even more delicious curry.

Bowl of Thai beef curry and skillet of Thai curry with fresh Thai basil and limes to the side.

The next time you’re craving curry, whip up this quick and easy Thai beef curry recipe! 

One of my favorite parts about curry recipes is they taste even better the next day and the 2-3 days following preparation. For this reason, I enjoy making curry for meal prep since it saves so well.

Healthy recipes like this steak curry include everything I’m looking for in a meal. Plenty of protein, dietary fiber from the vegetables, complex carbs from a serving of brown rice, and fat.

Plus, the aromatic spices tantalize the taste buds so you’re getting so much more than a nutritious meal!

Curry lovers, also try these delicious recipes!

More Curry Recipes:

Beef + curry = all dreams coming true!

Large skillet of Thai beef curry.

Easy Steak Curry

Customize this easy Thai red steak curry to your heart's delight using different vegetables or curry paste! Serve it up with your choice of steamed rice or cauliflower rice for a delicious meal!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
4 Servings

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 pound NY Strip Steak, cut into strips*
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 (15-oz) cans full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 tsp fish sauce, optional
  • 4 Tbsp red curry paste**
  • 1 tsp sea salt, to taste
  • Thai basil leaves, optional

Instructions

  • Heat one tablespoon of avocado oil in a large nonstick skillet on the stove top over high heat. I use a 12-inch skillet with a deep lip to hold a lot of volume. If you don’t have a skillet this large, you can use a large thick-bottomed pot such as a Dutch oven or a wok. Allow the oil to heat up for a few minutes, until it is sizzling hot.
  • Transfer the strips of steak on the hot surface and arrange them in a single layer.
  • Brown the steak for a few minutes untouched, then give the strips a stir and continue browning until they reach your desired level of golden brown crisp on the outside. There is no need to cook the steak through just yet. Transfer the seared steak to a plate and set aside while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
  • If need be, wipe out the skillet if there are lots of browned bits stuck to it and add the second tablespoon of avocado oil. Heat over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to soften, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the rest of the vegetables (chopped carrots, zucchini, bell pepper, garlic, and fresh ginger). Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes to allow the vegetables to soften slightly.
  • Pour the coconut milk into the skillet, along with the fish sauce and red curry paste and stir well. Bring the mixture to a full boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have reached your desired level of doneness (for me, this is about 8 minutes).
  • Once the veggies are cooked to your liking, add in the seared steak and stir well to incorporate. Continue cooking and stirring just until the steak is heated through. If you’d like, stir in some fresh Thai basil leaves. Taste the curry and add sea salt and black pepper to your personal taste. You can also add more curry paste or a drizzle of lime juice or lemon juice.
  • Serve steak curry with steamed brown rice or white rice. Serve with cauliflower rice for a low carb dinner recipe. If you’re a fried rice lover, serve the beef curry with fried rice.

Notes

*You can use your favorite kind of steak here. Sirloin steak, boneless ribeye steak, and beef stew meat are all great options.
**Use your favorite Thai curry paste, including yellow curry paste, green curry paste, Panang curry paste, etc.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving (of 4)Calories: 906kcalCarbohydrates: 48gProtein: 39gFat: 65gSaturated Fat: 42gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 80mgSodium: 1151mgFiber: 7gSugar: 19g
Course: Beef Main Dishes, Main Dishes
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: beef curry, beef recipes, easy dinner recipe, gluten free recipes, red curry recipe, red Thai curry, steak curry, thai curry
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 906kcal
Author: Julia

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Recipe Rating




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Regina Harris

Wednesday 17th of April 2024

For the Beef Steak curry recipe,since I don't like the taste of coconut milk, would it work if I use heavy whipping cream in its place?

Carol

Friday 15th of March 2024

Awesome! Loved it! Thank you!

Julia

Sunday 17th of March 2024

Aww thanks, Carol! I'm happy you enjoyed the recipe! I appreciate you swinging back around to share your feedback! xo

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