How to Make It
Wrap the ginger, cilantro stems, garlic, peppercorns, cloves and star anise in a cheesecloth bundle and tie with kitchen string. In a large saucepan, combine 3 quarts of water with the spice bundle, both soy sauces, rock sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil. Add the steak cubes and simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender, about 1 hour. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a plate. Discard the spice bundle and reserve the spiced broth for another use.
In a large, deep skillet, heat the vegetable oil until shimmering. Add the curry paste and fry over moderately high heat, stirring, until the paste is fragrant and the oil is bright red, about 2 minutes. Add the coconut milk, fish sauce, lime juice and sugar and bring just to a simmer.
Add the steak cubes to the curry sauce and simmer over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Season with salt. Ladle the beef curry into bowls and garnish with cilantro leaves. Serve with steamed rice and lime wedges.
Black soy sauce and Penang curry paste are available at Asian markets or online at kalustyans.com.