Stir-fried beef with snake beans

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FOR THE SPICE PASTE

  • 1 tsp Thai shrimp paste, wrapped in foil and grilled until fragrant
  • 3 dried red chillies, chopped
  • 5 red eschalots [French shallots], chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp chopped lemongrass heart
  • 1 tsp washed, scraped and chopped coriander root
  • 1 tsp chopped galangal
  • ½ tsp white peppercorns
  • 1 tsp grated kaffir lime zest
  • 1 tsp salt

1. For the spice paste, put the Thai shrimp paste in foil and pop it under the grill or over a flame until it becomes fragrant. Place in a mortar and, with all the other ingredients, pound with a pestle until paste is as fine as possible.

2. Wash the beans and cut into 3cm lengths. Boil them until just cooked (about 5 minutes), then drain and refresh immediately in iced water and drain again.

3. Soak the shrimp in warm water for 15 minutes, then drain.

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4. Heat 3 tbsp of oil in a wok, add the beef and stir-fry until just cooked. Remove and set aside.
5. Fry the spice paste in the wok with the remaining 3 tbsp of oil until fragrant, then add the beef, beans, shrimp, sugar, and fish sauce. Stir-fry for 1 minute.

6. To serve, pile onto a large platter with coriander leaves on the side.

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