Thai-Style Beef with Chillies & Snow Peas


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

Balance and Harmony

By Neil Perry

Published 2008

  • About

This is, in essence, a dry-fried curry. You’ll love the fresh flavours the paste brings to the dish, but be careful not to burn it. You could add a teaspoon of shrimp paste to the spice paste to really add to its depth of flavour.


  • 350 g (12 oz) beef fillet, thickly sliced across the grain
  • 100 g ( oz) snow peas (mangetout), trimmed
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons grated palm sugar (jaggery)
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 50 g ( oz) fresh black fungi, torn
  • 1 tablespoon chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves
  • juice of half a lime

Spice Paste

  • 2 dried long red chillies, deseeded, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes and chopped
  • 3 red shallots, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped galangal
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, tough outer leaves removed, chopped
  • 6 coriander (cilantro) roots, scraped and chopped
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seeds, roasted and crushed
  • 6 white peppercorns, roasted and crushed
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt


Pound the spice paste ingredients in a mortar with a pestle until you have a fine paste. Or process in a blender, adding a little water if necessary.

Heat a wok until just smoking. Add the vegetable oil and, when hot, stir-fry the beef in batches until well browned, then remove from the wok. Add the paste to the wok and stir-fry until fragrant, then add the palm sugar and fish sauce. Return the beef to the wok with the snow peas and black fungi and stir-fry for a minute or so to integrate the flavours. Stir through the coriander and season with the lime juice to serve.