« Recipe for shrimp and black bean empanadas | Main | Market to Pantry #12: Borough Market, London, England »

Recipe for red curry beef with mushrooms, red bell pepper and cilantro {gluten-free}

Red curry beef

In football, when the quarterback lets loose and throws a pass all the way down the field, it's called a "hail Mary" pass. Sometimes, someone running at full speed manages to catch that pass and run it in for a touchdown. Most of the time, that doesn't happen, but in football, as in cooking, every now and then you just have to take a chance and hope it works out. This red curry beef was a bit of a hail Mary. I was limited to ingredients I had on hand, as this week's snow storm kept me stuck in the house. I began cooking the ground beef before I knew where the dish was going, and when I found some leftover sauce from a curried tofu dish in the refrigerator, I tossed it into the pan. Voila! Red curry beef so good I made a second batch to stash in the freezer. Serve it over rice, if you wish, but I liked it as more of a salad.

Red curry beef

Red curry beef with mushrooms, red bell pepper and cilantro

From the pantry, you'll need: ground beef, Thai red curry paste, coconut milk, fish sauce, lime, brown sugar.

Serves 4.


1 lb ground beef (93% lean)
1/2 tsp fresh lime juice
2 tsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp fish sauce (I use Three Crabs brand)
1 small bunch of scallions (6-8), thinly sliced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
4 large white mushrooms, sliced
A scant 1/4 cup Thai red curry paste (I use Mae Ploy brand)
6 oz coconut milk
2 tsp cilantro, roughly chopped


In a wok or deep frying pan set over medium heat, brown the beef, breaking it up with a spatula as it cooks. (Don't add any fat to the pan; the meat will render enough fat to cook.)

In a small bowl, mix together the lime juice, brown sugar and fish sauce, and set aside.

When the beef is browned, raise the heat to medium-high, and add the scallions, red bell pepper and mushrooms to the pan. Stir-fry for 2 minutes, until the pepper is just warmed through. Add the curry paste to the wok, and stir for 1 minute. Then, pour in the coconut milk, and stir to combine. Let the dish simmer for 1 minute, and pour in the fish sauce mixture. Stir for 1 minute.

Serve over rice or lettuce leaves. Garnish with cilantro, and serve hot or at room temperature.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Salmon choo chee
Green shrimp or fish curry
Red curry tofu with spinach and mushrooms
Thai chicken curry
Potato and broccoli samosas

Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Deborah Madison's pan-glazed tofu with Thai red curry sauce, from The Wednesday Chef
Thai red curry chicken, from Nook & Pantry
Basil chicken in coconut curry sauce, from Simply Recipes
Coconut milk corned beef and cabbage, from Food Wishes
Curry beef short ribs, from Culinary Adventures of a New Wife

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


What a beautiful photo, Lydia! This dish is right up my alley, with a wonderful balance of flavors.

This sounds really really tasty! Especially when you're snowed in.

A hail Mary pass for the kitchen---I love it! Sometimes, as you mentioned, those do turn out wonderful results. This dish in particular looks like pure comfort food, especially during a snow storm. Good pass, Lydia!

Yum - like lettuce wraps!!
but I am going to be honest I wouldn't have these ingredients hanging around my pantry - some (thanks to you) but not all. I am a "pan of lasagna in a snow storm" kinda gal!
but this was ingenious and much lighter!!

Yum! This sounds so good! Very impressed that you did this with ground beef, never would have thought it but will definitely try it! Thanks!

Cookin' Canuck, I love these flavors, too. Sometimes improvisation in the kitchen really works out.

Alta, getting snowed in forces me to dig deeper into the pantry, and that's what happened here.

Sandie, this time I was really stuck in the house, and once again I'm grateful for a well-stocked pantry.

Carol, there are always a full range of Asian ingredients in the pantry. I'm lucky there were some vegetables this time, too.

Kirsten, this dish would be delicious with ground chicken, turkey or pork, too.

Oh yes please! This dish would be a complete WOW for me; so many of my favorite flavors in there!

Stumbled across this recipe yesterday and had to try it! So glad I did! My husband and I loved it. Made the house smell awesome!

Ah, but only the really great quarterbacks nail the pass. Nicely done.

That looks delicious! I love red curry - particularly the Mae Ploy brand. I have all of these ingredients in my pantry, except for the ground beef - but I do have chicken thighs, so I think I know what we're having for dinner tomorrow! Thanks for recommending red curry paste - I tend to feel guilty when I use a prepared red curry paste, but i have yet to make my own.

Hey, I made this last night for dinner and we really enjoyed it! Thanks!

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.