Beef with zingy coconut sauce

Matt Tebbutt makes a delicious spicy Asian-style sauce to serve over rare lean beef
By Matt Tebbutt
Beef with zingy coconut sauce
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8
  • Cook Time: plus 5-10 minutes resting time
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: medium


  • 4 sirloin steaks, trimmed
  • olive oil, for frying
  • 4 cloves garlic, bruised
  • banana leaves, to serve

For the zingy coconut sauce

  • 1 tsp grains of paradise, crushed (see Cook's tip below)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • olive oil, for frying
  • 4 cm piece ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 cm piece galangal, peeled and grated
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 coconut, flesh grated
  • 2 x 400 ml cans coconut milk
  • 1 lime, juice and zest only
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp golden caster sugar, (optional)

To garnish

  • chopped coriander leaves
  • chopped chillies
  • sliced spring onions

Tips and Suggestions

Grains of paradise (also known as Melegueta pepper) is a West African spice, related to the ginger family, with a spicy, peppery flavour.


1. For the zingy coconut sauce: toast the grains of paradise and the cinnamon stick in a heavy-based pan over a medium heat until fragrant.

2. Add a little olive oil to the pan, stir in the ginger, galangal, chilli and garlic and sweat until the ginger in soft.

3. Add the grated coconut flesh and the water from the coconut, and stir until well combined. Add the zest of the lime and juice and simmer the mixture to reduce to a sauce consistency. If you feel there is not enough liquid, then add a little coconut milk (this will depend on how large the original coconut was and how much of the water you managed to reserve). Season the sauce with the fish sauce and a pinch of sugar (if necessary).

4. Rub the steaks with a little olive oil and season all over with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
5. Heat an oiled pan and fry the steaks on each side with the cloves of garlic until warmed through but still rare (or cooked to your liking). Remove them from the pan and rest in a warm place for 5-10 minutes.

6. To serve, line a large serving platter with banana leaves. Slice the meat, arrange it on the platter and drizzle the sauce over and around it. Garnish with chopped coriander chillies and spring onions.

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