Steak Tips & Masaman Curry Sauce

Some of my curry and chili posts have sparked quite a bit of interest in just how I go about it. Various ways, always, but here's one, and I'll take you through all the major steps. But let's start with the finished product.


This is my Masaman beef curry, but instead of using stew meat or roast for a stewy concoction with vegetables, It's nuthin' but the meat. And, it's quality steak. The idea was to have just enough sauce. The side is cauliflower, and we decided it's easily as good as the rice, so those occasional splurges on starch are about to become even more occasional.


The base ingredients begin with the steak, 2 pounds in this case, finely chopped up cauliflower, coconut milk and Masaman curry paste. You could also grate the cauliflower, which I began to do, but it gets a bit messy, so I chopped. I may have finally discovered a reason to invest in a food processor.

Not pictured are the sea salt and fresh ground pepper I seasoned the meat with, the coconut oil I seared the steak in (and sir fried the cauliflower), or the almond meal that you see mixed in with the cauliflower.

The coconut milk I'm now using from a local Asian market has two ingredients: coconut meat and water.


When I do this with stew meat or roast, the idea is to slowly braise the meat, then add the coconut milk and paste, then simmer. In this case, I want medium rare steak in a sauce, but also taking advantage of the steak juices from cooking. This was done in coconut oil on medium high heat, turning continuously.


When medium rare, it comes out of the pan to rest.


Then I put about 1 cup of coconut milk in the cooking juices and 2 rounded teaspoons of the curry paste, mixed it all together, brought to a simmer and let reduce and thicken for a minute or so. Then I covered it, turned the heat to low, and positioned the pan to be just on the edge of the burner.

Then it's time to go to work on the cauliflower.


There's about 2 tbsp of coconut oil on a high flame to start. Then, there's as much almond meal as I can grasp with my five fingers from the bottom of the package. You let that sit there on medium high while you stir and agitate, waiting for the meal to begin turning brown. Then, in goes the cauliflower and some salt & pepper seasoning, if you like.

Basically, I cook it as I used to cook hash browns or fried potatoes. This goes a lot quicker, but you'll know it's ready when not as much steam is coming off and it begins to brown up nicely.


Then it's back to the meat, where, It's all simply put back in the pan (along with the resting juices, and tossed. Just flash it with only a few second of high heat. You don't want to further cook the meat.


This may not look too appetizing, having been mostly consumed, but here's what I mean about getting it medium rare. With steak as tender as this was, this is the way to go. It takes some care, but it's well worth it.


Memberships are $10 monthly, $20 quarterly, or $65 annually. The cost of two premium coffees per month. Every membership helps finance the travel to write, photo, and film from interesting places and share the experiences with you.


  1. Adam Cilonis on March 28, 2009 at 09:55

    Looks amazingly yummy! Dinner last night was awesome…thanks. That was the first time I have ever eaten cauliflower and liked it…no joke!

  2. keith norris on March 28, 2009 at 17:26

    Great idea. Especially so with the cauliflower.

  3. Richard Nikoley on March 28, 2009 at 18:07

    I'm up at the cabin, cooking with my Paleo cousin Adam.

    Wait until you see his Paleo cheesecake.

    Dimmer will be a huge low @ slow tri-tip, along with a sweet potato mash Adam is doing.

    To be blogged later. Prob tomorrow morning.

    Richard Nikoley

  4. scooby43215 on March 29, 2009 at 09:20

    I am brand new to your site, I love it man. Anxious to peruse the articles. What brand of masaman paste do you use? I would like to make this recipe.

  5. Methuselah - Pay Now Live Later on March 29, 2009 at 03:05

    Love the cauliflower idea. Going to try that. It's all about the colour.

  6. Mom's Cafe Home Cooking on March 29, 2009 at 10:55

    That does look lovely! I'm definitely going to have to try making this dish. I like the idea of cauliflower as an ingredient. I will have to look for the masaman paste while I'm here in the city. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Lily Marlene on March 29, 2009 at 18:22

    Thanks for sharing your great recipes and photos – can't wait to try them. They look delicious!


  8. Richard Nikoley on March 29, 2009 at 11:52

    I'm out of town and don't have it in front of me at the moment. Best way is to find an Asian market, and they'll usually have one or two brands. I'm not particular about the brand, but only that the ingredients are correct, i.e., no vegetable oils. Some have a small amount of sunflower oil.

  9. Richard Nikoley on March 30, 2009 at 06:17


    Here's the idea behind the almond meal.

    Mixing it in with the cauliflower chopped finely is quite different, but still quite good.

  10. Joe Matasic on March 30, 2009 at 05:47

    The food processor makes turning the cauliflower into "rice" easy and worth it. I just cut it into chunks and pulse till the texture I want. Then I just put some butter in the large skillet and brown. What was the idea behind the almond meal?

    I had actually bought a cauliflower to do that with a green curry I made last Thursday but ran out of time before league. I can only find red and green curry paste. Going to have to try some Asian markets.


  11. Joe Matasic on March 30, 2009 at 11:10

    Thanks, I'll be sure to try it. We ended up chopping up the caulflower covering it in 1/2 cup eat of mayo and spicy brown mustard and covered that with shredded cheddar. Baked for 20 minutes @ 350. Good simple. Of course homemade mayo would be best and certainly avoid the soybean oil ones if you can.

  12. mathman on March 30, 2009 at 14:40


    Why do you use the curry pastes as oppose to dry powders? The red oil film I get from using the paste always concerns me. I too want to avoid Omega 6 overload and the "little" amount of sunflower oil they claim may be a gross underexageration. I buy coconut milk from an asian store that says the whole can is only 300 cal(I am not sure who is their quality control for Thailand nutritional info).

  13. Richard Nikoley on March 30, 2009 at 14:45

    You certainly have a point. I've just not found any dry for the Thai
    curries. I hope to become more knowledgeable and proficient in the future.

    I don't know that I'd assume the red oil was all sunflower oil, rather than
    the more likely possibility that it's coconut fat and fat from the meat
    you're cooking (far more in abundance). The spices are waht give it the red
    color. I don't have a can in front of me, but in taking the total fat
    content for a whole jar, assuming it all to be sunflower oil, then the 1-2
    rounded teaspoons per recipe (4-6 servings) seems pretty miniscle.

    Tell you what, I'll go do a survey of the cans I have currently and do some

  14. mathman on March 31, 2009 at 13:32

    I have found some great dry curries and korean red chili powder at Asian markets here in socal. Again, my jar tells me it is in miniscule amounts as well but I just don't believe their nutritional information is accurate. I have found the red film even when using minimal oil and only veggies. Keep us informed as to what you find out.

    P.S. This may gross you out but the Asian markets also sell blood (pig,beef)which works great as a thickener for sauces if your game.

  15. Meese on April 17, 2009 at 17:38

    Just made this with lamb stew meat, and it was phenomenal. What a fantastic way to use cauliflower! Thanks!

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.