I love thai food, but sometimes I find that “thai-inspired” recipes don’t really taste authentic. This recipe for drunken stir-fried beef with green beans looks and tastes like it came from your neighborhood thai restaurant. Best of all, it’s relatively healthy and quick enough to put together on a weeknight.
I’m not really sure why this is called drunken beef, it doesn’t contain any alcohol! The recipe starts with a seasoning paste of garlic, ginger, chile, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and salt. I cut the amount of garlic in half, 7 cloves just seemed excessive to me. I only use the tender inner cores of the lemongrass, and I slice the ginger very thinly – that way, I don’t end up with a fibrous seasoning paste. If you can’t find kaffir lime leaves you can substitute lime zest, but it’s not quite the same. I don’t see kaffir lime leaves in the store that often, so when I find them, I store them in the freezer so I always have some on hand. If you’re in the Bay Area and want to know where I buy them, just let me know.
The recipe says to grind the seasoning paste in a mortar and pestle. I’m just not that skilled with my mortar and pestle, and since I was trying to get dinner on the table quickly, I used my food processor. That worked just fine.
Thinly sliced flank steak is quickly stir fried in the seasoning paste, with green beans and cherry tomatoes added to the mix. The dish is supposed to be finished with fresh basil leaves, but I used cilantro because I already had it on hand.
This was really delicious, and a great recipe to try if you’ve ever wanted to learn to make thai food. You could probably use a different cut of beef and try different vegetable combinations with good results. I served this over brown basmati rice.