Khmer Beef Curry

Submitted by Jem Natividad

Khmer Beef Curry

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Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 5 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 6 hours 30 minutes
Servings 6


  • 1 kg chuck steak, cut in chunks
  • 1 can coconut cream
  • 2 small onions, quartered
  • 1 inch of ginger, chopped
  • 1 bunch of coriander (including stalks), chopped
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, chopped
  • Some red chilli*
  • 1/2 cup fried shallots
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 3-4 whole star anise
  • 1 tsp whole pepper
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • fish sauce
  • sugar
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/4 chopped and roasted peanuts


  • - Use a mortar and pestle (or a food processor) to pound the coriander and ginger together
  • - Marinate beef in coriander and ginger mix for at least an hour, seasoned with salt, pepper, and some sugar (Pic 2)
  • - Use mortar and pestle to pound shallots, star anise, coriander seeds, and chilli together (Pic 3 + 4)
  • - In your slow cooker (using the 'brown' function, or on high), mix onions, lemongrass, garlic, and a little bit of oil, saute for a few minutes
  • - Add 1/3 coconut cream can, and continue to fry - when the cream stars to reduce, add the shallots / star anise / coriander / chilli mix, stir, and then add curry powder and garam masala (Pic 5)
  • - Add marinated steak, stir through thoroughly and brown the meat well (Pic 6)
  • - Add the remainder of the coconut cream, fish sauce and enough water to just about cover the meat (Pic 7)
  • - Slow cook on low for however long you want, anywhere between 4-6 hours would be a happy spot
  • - Reduce the sauce just prior to serving
  • - Stir through peanuts, then serve with rice


  • * On amount of chilli - that's entirely up to you. You can omit chilli entirely from this dish, and will still have plenty of flavour
  • - I use a mixture of Kampot pepper, mountain berry, and Sichuan for this, but you can just use black pepper
  • - for best results, do the recipe in steps, and make sure to sear / brown your meat
  • - you can absolutely just put everything in together, but flavour and colour depth won't be the same
  • - you can leave out the coriander if you're not a fan
  • - works beautifully with lamb (especially lamb shanks)
  • - for the keen eyed out there ... this is very, very similar to the more familiar Thai Massaman Curry

7 thoughts on “Khmer Beef Curry”

  1. Manda Van Niekerk

    I wish I could give it more stars. This is outstanding, worth the effort. You can seriously impress with this dish. ????

  2. Cindy Beckwith

    Mouth watering!! The house smelt spectacular as I made this 🙂 🙂
    I left out the coriander and fried shallots and forgot the peanuts! Used about 2kg of shin bone meat, 2 cans of coconut cream and doubled the spices since I had double the meat. I crushed my lemongrass stalk (misread the recipe) and used 4 soup spoons of minced garlic in place of cloves. Same with the ginger, minced instead of chopped. I couldn’t see where the whole pepper went in so ended up leaving it out. Now the chilli, I used dried crushed chilli, about a heaped teaspoon. Nearly forgot the fish sauce, so that went in about an hour in and it was about three or four shakes of the bottle (has a small hole in the top). Cooked for six hours on low in the 5.5lt Contempo slow cooker from Kmart. Served with plain rice and sour cream – delish!!

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