Thai Yellow Curry with Beef (Gaeng Garee Nuea)

In Thailand, yellow curry or gaeng garee is a specialty of Thai Muslims, so beef is a common meat pairing. In Thailand, when we make curry with beef, we like to cook it separately from the curry sauce so that the curry will maintain bright colour, and it also saves time as the curry sauce can be made while the beef is being cooked. I’ve chosen the well-marbled top blade steak for this as it isn’t too lean, and it’s also not too chewy which reduces the amount of cooking time. Since beef can take a long time to tenderize, the way to make this curry weeknight-friendly is to thinly slice the beef rather than cutting it into large cubes; a trick I learned working in a Thai restaurant. This will also allow the flavor of the curry to penetrate the beef in a shorter amount of time. Another stew-friendly cut can also be used, though it may take longer to cook. Serve the curry with steamed jasmine rice.
Yield 4 Servings Prep. Time 20 min Cooking Time 40 min Total Time 60 min


Here are the following ingredients:

  • 1½ lb (750 g) Beef Top Blade Simmering Steaks
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) salt
  • 5 to 6 tbsp (75 to 90 mL) Thai yellow curry paste (store bought or recipe in Tip*), divided
  • 2 cups (500 mL) coconut milk, divided
  • 4 tsp to 2 tbsp (20 to 30 mL) finely chopped palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 to 2 tbsp (15 to 30 mL) tamarind paste
  • 1 to 2 tbsp (15 to 30 mL) fish sauce
  • 10 oz (300 g) mini potatoes or new potatoes, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) chunks
  • Half onion, cut lengthwise into slivers
  • ¾ cup (175 mL) halved grape or cherry tomatoes

Shopping List

Here are the following shopping items to buy:


Follow these cooking methods/directions:

  1. Slice the steak across the grain into ⅛-inch (3 mm) thick slices and place in a saucepan. Add enough water to completely submerge the beef; add salt and 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of the curry paste. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until fork tender.
  2. Meanwhile, bring ¾ cup (175 mL) coconut milk to a boil over medium-high heat in a large heavy saucepan. Stir in remaining curry paste, mixing well. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring constantly, for 5 to 8 minutes or until very thick and coconut oil separates from the paste (the oil may not separate depending on the coconut milk you’re using; this is okay).
  3. Stir in remaining coconut milk, 4 tsp (20 mL) sugar, 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the tamarind paste and 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the fish sauce and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and onion and simmer for 5 minutes (the potatoes should not be fully cooked at this point). Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. When beef is tender, use a slotted spoon to transfer the beef into the curry sauce. Stir in just enough of the beef cooking liquid to keep beef and vegetables barely submerged. 
  5. Bring curry to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning with more fish sauce, tamarind or sugar as needed.
  6. Stir in the tomatoes. Turn off heat and allow the tomatoes to soften in the residual heat for about 1 minute.