Thai Beef Coconut Curry Recipe

Thai Beef Coconut Curry

The Spruce / Christine Ma

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Total: 75 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
772 Calories
52g Fat
47g Carbs
35g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 772
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 52g 67%
Saturated Fat 27g 135%
Cholesterol 110mg 37%
Sodium 1380mg 60%
Total Carbohydrate 47g 17%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 29g
Protein 35g
Vitamin C 56mg 281%
Calcium 110mg 8%
Iron 8mg 46%
Potassium 1286mg 27%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This unique and beautiful curry is extremely flavorful with juicy chunks of beef and a surprise hit of fresh, sweet pineapple. This taste combination is mouthwateringly delicious, enhanced by ripe tomatoes in an easy-to-make curry sauce. Serve with steamed rice for a delicious, nutritious meal that's as pleasing to the eye as it is to the palate—perfect to serve guests as well as for an everyday meal.


  • 2 beef steaks, thinly sliced on a bias, fat left on

  • 1 (13.5-ounce) can thick coconut milk

  • 1 small or medium onion, sliced into rings

  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups fresh or canned pineapple chunks

  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups cherry tomatoes

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons oil

  • 1/4 cup chicken stock

  • 3 tablespoons sherry

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 handful fresh cilantro, or basil

  • 1 stalk fresh lemongrass, thinly sliced, or 2 tablespoons frozen or bottled lemongrass

  • 1 to 2 fresh red chiles

  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic

  • 1 thumb-sized piece galangal, or ginger, sliced

  • 3/4 teaspoon shrimp paste

  • 3/4 teaspoon turmeric

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ketchup

  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Thai Beef Coconut Curry ingredients

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  2. Place all curry paste ingredients (lemongrass, fresh chiles, garlic, ginger, shrimp paste, turmeric, ground coriander, brown sugar, ketchup, fish sauce, lime juice, and cardamom) in your food processor or blender. Add up to 1/4 can of the coconut milk to help blend ingredients. Blitz well and set aside.

    lemongrass, fresh chilies, garlic, ginger, shrimp paste, turmeric, ground coriander, brown sugar, ketchup, fish sauce, lime juice, and cardamom in a bowl

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  3. Heat a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add oil and swirl around, then add the onion rings. Stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes, until they start to brown, then add the stock.

    onions and stock in a wok

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  4. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until most of the stock has disappeared.

    onions cooking in a wok

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  5. Using a slotted spoon, pick out half of the rings and reserve in a bowl for later. Leave the rest in the pan.

    onions in a wok, onions in a bowl

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  6. Turn heat back up to high or medium-high and add the beef plus a little more oil if necessary. Stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes until beef is browned. Add the sherry as you stir-fry, a little at a time, to keep ingredients sizzling and add additional flavor.

    beef and onions in a wok

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  7. Add the curry paste plus most of the remaining coconut milk, reserving roughly 1/4 cup for later. Also, add the bay leaves. If using fresh pineapple, add it now as well (canned pineapple will be added later). Stir well and bring to a gentle boil.

    Thai Beef Coconut Curry cooking in a wok

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  8. Reduce heat to low. Cover and let the curry simmer 20 to 45 minutes, depending on how much time you have (the longer the beef simmers, the more tender it will be). Stir occasionally.

    Thai Beef Coconut Curry cooking in a covered wok

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  9. Add the tomatoes plus canned pineapple (if using in place of fresh). Simmer another 10 minutes, until tomatoes have softened.

    Thai Beef Coconut Curry cooking in a wok

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  10. Reduce heat to low and add remaining coconut milk plus reserved onion rings, gently stirring them in. Taste-test the curry for salt, spice, and sweetness, adding more fish sauce if not salty or flavorful enough, or more chile for more heat. If you'd like a sweeter curry, add a little more sugar. If too salty or sweet, add another tablespoon lime or lemon juice.

    spiced added to the Thai Beef Coconut Curry in the wok

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  11. Top the curry with fresh coriander and serve with plenty of Thai jasmine rice.

    Thai Beef Coconut Curry served with rice

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

Recipe Variations

  • Red wine is a good substitute for sherry in this recipe.
  • Use beef stock instead of chicken stock.
  • Replace the cilantro with fresh basil.
  • Instead of fresh chiles, use 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon dried crushed chile pepper.

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