A deeply flavorful homemade curry paste, inspired by Nguyen’s trips to Bali, is essential to the complex, delicious flavor of these beef skewers. You’ll have extra curry paste left over, and that’s a good thing: You can freeze it in ice-cube trays, transfer to freezer bags, and store them in the freezer for up to 2 months for marinades, curries, and more. 

Christina Nguyen

Gallery

Credit: Anna Stockwell

Recipe Summary

active:
45 mins
total:
3 hrs 45 mins
Servings:
2
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Ingredients

For the Balinese-Inspired Curry Paste
For the Beef Skewers

Directions

Make the Curry Paste
  • Trim and discard upper green leaves and root base from lemongrass stalks, then use the back of a chef’s knife or a meat mallet to smash and soften white part of the stalk to break down the fiber. Finely chop the lemongrass.

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  • If using a large, heavy mortar and pestle: Transfer the lemongrass, ginger, turmeric, and galangal to the mortar and pound into a coarse paste. Add the shallots, garlic, chiles, lime leaves, sugar, and salt. Continue to pound until the mixture forms a rough paste. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl, add the oil, and use an immersion blender to puree the paste until it becomes smoother, about 2 minutes. (There will still be some small chunks in the paste; don’t worry about getting it perfectly smooth.)

  • If using a food processor: Transfer the lemongrass, ginger, turmeric, and galangal to the bowl of the food processor and pulse into a coarse paste. Add the shallots, garlic, chiles, lime leaves, sugar, and salt. Continue to pulse the mixture until it forms a rough paste, about 3 minutes. Add the oil to the mixture and process until it becomes smoother. (There will still be some small chunks in the paste; don’t worry about getting it perfectly smooth.)

Make the Beef Skewers
  • Whisk together curry paste, oyster sauce, fish sauce, sherry, and honey in a medium bowl. Add steak and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours (or overnight).

  • Heat broiler on high (about 550 degrees) or prepare a grill for high heat. Thread marinated beef onto skewers and place on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment or foil. Lightly brush both sides of each skewer with oil. Broil or grill until skewers are caramelized and lightly charred, flipping once halfway, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Top with cilantro and serve immediately.

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