20-25 spicy small dried Thai chillies, deseeded
1 tablespoon turmeric, finely chopped
2 tablespoons lemongrass, finely chopped
3 tablespoons garlic (about 1 head), finely chopped
2 tablespoons shallots, finely chopped
½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns, ground
1 teaspoon shrimp paste
zest from 1 small lime (keep the juice to finish the curry)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
500g scotch fillet or sirloin
1 tablespoon coconut oil
750ml coconut milk
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon palm sugar (or brown sugar)
7 large betel leaves (or use Thai basil or lighly sautéed kale)
a squeeze of lime juice
jasmine rice, to serve

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2.Soak the chillies in warm water for about 10 minutes to soften them, then chop finely – the finer you chop them, the easier it will be for you to process the curry paste.
3.If you want to go the ultra-authentic route, you can pound the paste in a Thai granite mortar and pestle – I’d suggest pounding each ingredient individually, then combining them and pounding a bit more to blend.
4.Otherwise, toss all the ingredients into a small food processor or blender and blitz into a fine paste.
6.Rub the fish sauce onto the meat and leave it to marinate for a couple of hours.
7.Then grill at a high heat just to sear both sides.
8. It’s OK if the meat is still quite rare inside.
10.Sauté the curry paste, coconut oil and a couple of spoonfuls of the creamy part of the coconut milk over a medium heat until the paste is fragrant.
11.Add the rest of the coconut milk a little bit at a time – keep stirring and watch for a layer of bright red oil emerging before adding more coconut milk.
12.Add the fish sauce and the sugar – some brands of fish sauce will be saltier than others, so use your judgement here and use enough fish sauce for the curry to taste right to you.
13.Be mindful that this will be eaten over jasmine rice so it should be a little on the saltier side when tasting alone.
14.Cut the meat into about 1cm slices, add to the curry and turn the heat off.
15.Tear the betel leaves into large pieces and fold into the curry.
16.Add a squeeze of lime juice to brighten and serve with jasmine rice.

Recipes & food styling Pim Techamuanvivit / Portrait & recipe photography Tony Nyberg / Restaurant photography Adahlia Cole, Anson Smart