Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Tasty Tuesday: Thai Beef Kofta Bowls with Coconut Jasmine Rice

Unless you're new to my blog, you probably already know that I'm always searching for new and interesting ways to incorporate beef into our weekly meal plans. Each year Eric and I buy around 100 pounds of beef from his cousin's farm in western Nebraska. When you're just cooking for two people, that's a lot of meat. (Thankfully his parents let us store it in their extra freezer, and then we just pick some up once in a while to store at home. We have a pretty big freezer in our apartment, but there's no way we could fit that much meat in there at one time!)

Obviously since we have so much of it, we make a lot of beef meals. The only problem is that I get sick of things pretty quickly.

I'm not the kind of person who can have the same meal over and over. I definitely have favorite dishes, but I try to change things up at least a little each week. For example, I'm a huge fan of pasta. I could (no joke) eat it every day. But one of the reasons I love pasta so much is because it's very versatile. I could make pasta every night for a week and never make the same recipe twice. (I won't, though, because Eric doesn't love it quite as much as I do. Also, neither of us really wants to gain a bunch of weight by eating tons of pasta.)

Anyway, the point is that I like to mix things up when I cook and avoid making a lot of really similar meals all in a row.

So when I came across a recipe for Thai beef koftas, I was immediately intrigued. I'd never made koftas at home, but the dish looked really simple and we already had the majority of the ingredients on hand. Since Eric and I love all-in-one meals (particularly rice bowls!), I decided to turn the original recipe into a rice bowl complete with delicious coconut jasmine rice.

 photo ThaiBeefKoftaBowlswithCoconutJasmineRice_zps49p886ky.jpg
The result was awesome! I feel like I'm always saying how great the recipes I post taste (though, really, I wouldn't bother posting them here if I didn't think they were good), but this is one of the best things I've made in a while. As we were eating this I kept saying, "I think this is my new favorite beef dish."

If you're ever stuck wondering what to do with ground beef, you should definitely give this recipe a try. (Especially if you're a fan of coconut curries!)

Thai Beef Kofta Bowls with Coconut Jasmine Rice

Adapted from a recipe on Sweet Peas and Saffron.

Ingredient List (Koftas):
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp red curry paste (I usually use the Thai Kitchen brand.)
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce

Instructions (Koftas):

1.  Mix the fish sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, garlic salt, ground ginger, Thai red curry paste, soy sauce, and worcestershire sauce together in a large bowl. Stir until everything is well combined.

2.  Add the beef to the large bowl, and, using your hands, mix the meat with the other ingredients.

3.  Shape the meat into elongated meatballs and then place on a grill over medium heat for about 8-10 minutes (or until the meat is completely cooked through). If you're using a traditional grill, you may find it easier to stick skewers through the koftas in order to turn them every couple of minutes. We just used our little George Foreman grill, and Eric lowered the lid so that both sides of the meat were cooking at once. It took a little less time and effort to cook it this way, though it obviously flattened them out a little more.

4.  When the meat has finished cooking, set the koftas aside on a plate until you're ready to assemble the bowls.

Ingredient List (Vegetables):

  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 medium red onion, cut into thin strips
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

Instructions (Vegetables):

1.  Add the sesame oil to a medium skillet and heat over medium heat.

2.  When the oil has heated, add the thinly sliced red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, and red onion to the skillet. Cook over medium heat until the vegetables have just softened, stirring regularly.

3.  Once the vegetables have finished cooking, set them aside until you're ready to assemble the bowls.

Ingredient List (Coconut Sauce):

  • 1/2 cup lite coconut milk (I used lite to make it a little healthier, but you could also use regular coconut milk.)
  • 2 tsp red curry paste 
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 3 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • Juice from 1/2 a lime (I didn't measure this out exactly.)

Instructions (Coconut Sauce):

1.  Whisk together the coconut milk, red curry paste, fish sauce, brown sugar, soy sauce, and lime juice in a medium bowl.

2.  Set the sauce aside until you're ready to assemble the bowls.

Ingredient List (Coconut Jasmine Rice):
  • 2 cups jasmine rice
  • 1 1/2 cups lite coconut milk (This should use up the rest of a 14 oz. can of coconut milk.)
  • 1 1/2 cups water

Instructions (Coconut Jasmine Rice):

1.  Bring the rice, coconut milk, and water to a boil in a large saucepan over medium high heat.

2.  Cover and reduce the heat to low. Allow to simmer over low heat for about 15-20 minutes, or until the liquid is mostly evaporated.

3.  Remove from heat and allow to rest for a few minutes before fluffing with a fork.

4.  When the rice has finished cooking, assemble the bowls by adding the rice first, vegetables, koftas, and then topping with the coconut sauce.

I know that looks like a lot of steps, but it's actually a really simple meal to put together. I'll admit that it helps a lot if someone else can help with the cooking, but it's not impossible to do it all yourself. (I'm lucky because Eric usually helps me with most of our meals. In this case, he sliced the veggies while I prepared the meat, then he grilled the meat while I made the coconut sauce and cooked the veggies and rice. It just sped things along a bit.)

One final note: even though this uses red curry paste in both the koftas and the coconut sauce, this dish isn't what I would consider spicy. I think the flavor of the curry definitely comes out, but all of the other flavors stand out as well and there's not much (if any) heat.

1 comment:

  1. fabulous! i am definitely always trying to think of new beef recipes because we just seem to eat the same old stuff, so i'll have to give this a try. fish sauce sounds a bit odd though, never used that before, though i've heard of it.