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Boom Stir-fried Beef with Red Curry Paste and Thai Herbs

Boom is Saba's hottest dish – it has been known to make grown men cry! It comes with a high five chilli warning on the menu, adding to the depth and layers of complexity in this rustic dish. The spice levels can be reduced to your taste.

Serves four.


3 dsps sunflower oil

3 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped

5 bird's-eye chillies, chopped

1 heaped dsp red curry paste

480g beef fillet, finely sliced

50g galangal, finely sliced

30g galingale root, finely sliced

4 kaffir lime leaves, torn

80g string beans, cut 4cm

50g bamboo shoots

80g Thai round aubergine, cut in 4

50g purple aubergine, cut lengthways and sliced

3 bunches fresh green peppercorns

3 chillies, sliced

2 dsps fish sauce

¼ tsp sugar

30ml chicken stock or water

10g sweet basil, torn


Bring the wok to a medium heat, add the oil, garlic, bird's-eye chillies and red curry paste and stir until you get an aroma. Add the beef and stir for another 30 seconds before adding the galangal, galingale root and kaffir lime leaves.

Add in the string beans, bamboo shoots, Thai round and purple aubergines, fresh peppercorns and chillies.

Season with the fish sauce and sugar, then add some chicken stock or water around the edges of the wok, so that it doesn't cool and to allow you to gather in the nice ingredients around the edge. Stir for a minute.

Do not overcook the vegetables – they should be crunchy. To serve, add the sweet basil and serve with Thai jasmine rice.


Use fresh or frozen kaffir lime leaves rather than the dried leaves, which have very little flavour.

Irish Independent