massaman coconut curry with steak


Because sometimes, the giant crowded bowl of spicy, citrusy, meaty coconut curry is what everyone needs.

You know that feeling when you make a dish where you literally have to pause and unwillingly let out a, "Wow..." after the first taste? Well that's what happened with this massaman coconut curry with seared steak. As you can hopefully see from the picture, the dish smelled and looked so good that I didn't even have the patience to properly and artistically plate it.

Worth the (non) wait?

Oh, undoubtedly.

Will I be making this again soon?

Few things are guaranteed in life, but you can be sure that a repeat appearance of this dish one of them 😉

massaman coconut curry with steak


Serves 2-4

For the massaman curry paste

Note: As per usual, these are approximations Use your senses and adjust to what looks, smells and tastes right to you.

  • 1/2 Tbs coriander seeds
  • 1/2 Tbs cumin seeds
  • 1 Tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1/2 Tsp cloves
  • 1 Coriander root, chopped
  • 1 Lemongrass stalk, chopped
  • 1 Tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 Cup dried chilies 🌶
  • 1 Shallot, chopped
  • 2 Cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 inch piece galangal ginger, chopped
    Regular ginger can be used as a substitute too
  • A few pinches of salt

For the steak marinade

  • 1/2 Cup soy sauce
  • A few dashes of fish sauce
  • 1 Lime, juiced and zested
  • Ginger, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Dried chili flakes
  • Salt and pepper

For the coconut curry

  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • 1 Can coconut milk
  • 1 Tbs palm sugar 🌴
  • Kaffir lime leaf
  • Cinnamon stick
  • Fresh tomato, quartered
  • Beef stock
    (Homemade is always best 🤓)
  • Dried chili flakes
  • 1/2 Lime, juiced

To serve

  • Chopped cilantro
  • Crushed peanuts 🥜
  • Lime slices


For the massaman curry paste

  1. Soak the chilies in water to rehydrate them, about 10-30 minutes.
  2. Toast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and peppercorns in a dry pan over medium heat.
  3. Sauté the shallots and garlic in vegetable oil until just golden brown.
  4. Enthusiastically mash all ingredients together into a paste using a mortar and pestle (or if you don't have one, use a food processor).

For the coconut curry

  1. Marinate the meat in a mixture of salt, pepper, crushed garlic, ginger, dried chili flakes, fish sauce, soy sauce, lime juice, and lime zest. Set aside for 30 min to 2 hours.
  2. After marinating, heat pan over medium-high heat. Add vegetable oil. Place steaks into pan (test that the oil is hot enough by dipping the end of the steak in the oil). Add crushed garlic clove (skin in tact) to the pan. If the pan becomes too dry, add a bit of butter. Flip and baste steaks with the garlicky oil/butter as they cook. Remove and set aside to rest when finished.
  3. Drain excess oil from pan. Add a bit of fresh oil followed by the Massaman curry paste. Cook until fragrant.
  4. Next, add chopped onions, shallots, red pepper and sauté for ~5 min. Then add chopped garlic and ginger and fry until fragrant.
  5. Add a splash of fish sauce, rice wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, tamarind paste, and lime juice.
  6. Add a can of coconut milk to deglaze the pan, along with palm sugar, 1 kaffir lime leaf, 1 cinnamon stick, a quartered fresh tomato, and about 1-2 cups of beef stock.
  7. Allow to reduce, stirring occasionally and adding salt, pepper, dried chili flakes, and lime to taste.
  8. Once finished, serve the curry and sliced steaks with lime and cilantro rice (use a 50/50 water and broth mix when cooking to really make it flavorful 😉). Garnish with chopped cilantro, crushed peanuts, and a slice of lime.
  9. Devour while simultaneously patting yourself on the back for a job well done 😁