This simple beef curry gets its wallop of flavor from kroeung, a catchall word encompassing a large variety of herb and spice pastes that form the basis for many Cambodian dishes. At Malis restaurant in Phnom Penh, the cooks wrap each serving of curry and rice in a beautifully folded lotus leaf, but feel free to skip that step, as it’s only for presentation.
Featured in: The New Tastes of Old Siem Reap
Curried Beef Stew with Fried Shallots and Peanuts
This simple beef curry gets its wallop of flavor from kroeung, a catchall word encompassing a large variety of Cambodian herb and spice pastes.
1 hour, 30 minutes
1⁄2 cup vegetable oil
1 shallot, thinly sliced crosswise
1 cup Khmer yellow curry paste
2 lb. boneless beef chuck, cut into 2-inch pieces
3 cups unsweetened coconut milk
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cooked white rice, for serving
Lotus leaves, for serving (optional)
1⁄4 cup roughly chopped roasted peanuts
In a small saucepan, bring the oil and shallot to a simmer over medium heat, and cook, stirring, until the shallot is golden brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, lift the shallot from the oil and drain on paper towels. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the oil and discard the rest.
In a large saucepan, heat the reserved oil over medium. Add the curry paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant and beginning to caramelize, about 2 minutes. Stir in the beef and coconut milk and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally to keep anything from burning on the bottom of the pan, until the beef is tender and the sauce has reduced and thickened, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and season the curry with salt and pepper. Serve the curry over cooked rice in a lotus leaf, if you like, or in a large bowl. Garnish with the fried shallot and peanuts.