Grilled Coconut Curry Steak and Mango Bowls

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When we’re busy, which we seem to always be these days, our tried and true family favorite is a big bowl of curry. Indian curries, Thai curries, super authentic, laborious curries, quick and easy curries using curry powder – we love them all.

We like our curries every which way: Chicken, beef, tofu, or shrimp, with any combination of vegetables. Sometimes over rice, sometimes with noodles as they do in northern Thailand.

I saw a can of coconut milk in the pantry when I was hunting for something the other day, and realized that we hadn’t made a curry in months, not since the weather heated up. I instantly got a craving, but knew I didn’t actually want to sit down to a piping hot bowl of curry on a hot summer night, nor did I want to heat up my kitchen by cooking it. 

I created this dish as a way to get my curry fix in the summertime. Flank steak is marinated in a coconut curry marinade, which is then reduced down to create a creamy, delectable sauce to pour over the grilled steak, crisp romaine, and slippery rice noodles. I love the cool crisp base of romaine and rice noodles, but if you’re in the mood for something heartier, make a rice bowl instead. 

The bowl is topped off with chunks of fresh mango for a sweet contrast to the spicy sauce. It’s a delightful way to enjoy curry in the summertime. 

Grilled Coconut Curry Steak and Mango Bowls

Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 (15-ounce) can coconut milk
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 3 tbsp red curry paste
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp sriracha
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pound skirt or flank steak
  • 8 ounces rice vermicelli noodles (sometimes called thin rice noodles or rice sticks), cooked
  • 2 to 3 cups finely chopped romaine lettuce 
  • 1 large mango, diced
  • Optional: lime wedges, cilantro, and peanuts, for garnish

Substitutions

  • Coconut milk—> the coconut milk is pretty crucial here, team. You can use “low fat” or coconut cream, though!
  • Juice of 2 limes—> 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • Red curry paste—> 3 tablespoons curry powder, or go for a more Indian-inspired curry flavor by using 1 tablespoon garam masala, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 teaspoon turmeric.
  • Brown sugar—> white sugar, honey, or maple syrup.
  • Sriracha—> any hot sauce will work, sambal oelek or gochujang would be particularly great subs.
  • Fish sauce—> if you don’t have fish sauce, use 2 tablespoons soy sauce instead. No soy sauce? Bump the total salt up to 2 teaspoons.
  • Flank steak—> any cheap, thin cut of steak will work. My second choice would be to use boneless skinless chicken thighs. A pork tenderloin would also be fantasitc.
  • Vermicelli noodles—> rice, or use more lettuce and make it a salad bowl, or use a different noodle like soba!
  • Romaine lettuce—> any green you like.
  • Mango—> pineapple, papaya.

Instructions

  • Nestle a gallon-sized ziplock down into a medium bowl and open it to allow you to easily pour the marinade in. Pour coconut milk, lime juice, curry paste, brown sugar, sriracha, fish sauce, and salt into the bag. Zip the bag closed and use your hands to thoroughly combine the marinade. Add steak, remove all air from the bag, and zip closed. If you’re cooking right away, allow the steak to marinate at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Preferably, marinate the steak in the refrigerator for at least 4, but up to 24 hours. 
  • When you’re ready to cook, remove the steak from the bag and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Pour the marinade into a small heat-proof (no plastic handles!) pot. Allow steak to come to room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes before grilling. 
  • Preheat grill to 450°F. 
  • Place pot of marinade on the back of the grill. Grill meat for 4 minutes per side (for medium-rare), using a basting or pastry brush to brush the marinade onto the steak before and after you flip it. Keep the grill on so that the marinade can continue to cook and reduce into a thick sauce, an additional 7 to 10 minutes. If your grill is too small to fit the pot, you can reduce the sauce on your stovetop instead (see note below). 
  • Transfer the steak to a cutting board and allow to rest for several minutes. Slice against the grain and serve with noodles, romaine, and mango, plus any additional accompaniments as desired. Carefully, being sure not to touch the handle, remove the pot of marinade from the grill and spoon it over the beef and noodles.
  • 1 (15-ounce) can coconut milk
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 3 tbsp red curry paste
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp sriracha
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pound skirt or flank steak
  • 8 ounces rice vermicelli noodles (sometimes called thin rice noodles or rice sticks), cooked
  • 2 to 3 cups finely chopped romaine lettuce 
  • 1 large mango, diced
  • Optional: lime wedges, cilantro, and peanuts, for garnish

Substitutions

  • Coconut milk—> the coconut milk is pretty crucial here, team. You can use “low fat” or coconut cream, though!
  • Juice of 2 limes—> 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • Red curry paste—> 3 tablespoons curry powder, or go for a more Indian-inspired curry flavor by using 1 tablespoon garam masala, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 teaspoon turmeric.
  • Brown sugar—> white sugar, honey, or maple syrup.
  • Sriracha—> any hot sauce will work, sambal oelek or gochujang would be particularly great subs.
  • Fish sauce—> if you don’t have fish sauce, use 2 tablespoons soy sauce instead. No soy sauce? Bump the total salt up to 2 teaspoons.
  • Flank steak—> any cheap, thin cut of steak will work. My second choice would be to use boneless skinless chicken thighs. A pork tenderloin would also be fantasitc.
  • Vermicelli noodles—> rice, or use more lettuce and make it a salad bowl, or use a different noodle like soba!
  • Romaine lettuce—> any green you like.
  • Mango—> pineapple, papaya.

Notes

  • If you don’t have a grill, cook the steak in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat for 4 to 5 minutes per side. Cook the marinade on the stovetop over medium heat at the same time, until thickened, 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Want to add more veggies? Try adding steamed broccoli, thinly sliced red bell peppers, or cucumbers to your bowls. 
  • Not into beef? Try boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts instead.
Author: Caroline Chambers

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